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IN-APP PURCHASES GONE MAD [SOAPBOX]

28 Nov

In-App purchases have gone mad over the last few months and here is why.

In-app purchases are becoming the main source of income of most application now, even paid applications costing less than a pound will normally have an in-app purchase or two to try and increase the revenue.

It is up to the consumer whether they are willing to pay the additional money, and in many cases now I have for a lot of new content or an addition story/campaign mode. These in-app purchases are often worth while and give lots of added enjoyment to the title. (I only like to do this after an update adds to the size of the app, if the content was there but hidden in the original app I am not always so keen to part with the money.)

Recently the In-app purchases that are being added have started to get a bit silly, it is OK offering more money to help unlock things in-game more quickly, as long as the in game money is giving at a reasonable rate normal. However, when the game only gives in-game cash for real money then that is a different matter all together.

Another of my pet hates is energy to play the game, where energy can only be gained by waiting hours for it to rebuild, so when you hit zero energy the game becomes unusable for eight hours unless you buy energy. That is one of the quickest ways for a game to deleted for my device.

It has got to the point now when developers are asking you to pay real world money for the smallest thing in the game. Want a Ninja custom, that will be £2 please.

The idea in the old days was to keep you playing by unlocking extras, characters and costumes. Finish the game and get a new character to play the game with or collect hidden images to unlock the costumes. This would make you play the game again at least one, but now, that incentive is gone or ruined by the unlock all in-app purchase.

The unlock-all in-app purchase often ruins a game totally, you are suddenly about to pay extra money, play the final level fully armed and armoured and win the game. Making what could have been a good game a waste of time. The whole point of some of these games in the journey, not paying cash to skip the journey all together.

Imagine the Lord of the Rings, where Gandalf asks Frodo to leave the shire, and then offers to teleport him to Mount Doom for a few gold pieces. That would have made for a much shorter and boring story.

Do not get me wrong, I am not against in-app purchases for extra content like a whole new campaign or all lot of added functions. Developers just need to keep them under control a bit more. Give value to your customers, not something that gives them nothing in the long run or ruins you own app.

I know it is a lot about the money nowadays, but just think about what you are giving your buyers in return and would you have been happy with it.

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Posted by on November 28, 2011 in Article, Soapbox

 

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