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Are in-app purchases ruining mobile video games?

Free games for mobile devices bring their creators several times more money than paid games. In the past, you had the opportunity to go to your local play store, grab a physical copy of your chosen title, and fork out up to $ 60 and that would be it. Unlimited pleasure at a fixed price most people are comfortable with paying. Over time, the digital era brought new ways to install and play games on a PC, console, or mobile device, and publishers decided to add a whole host of additional features to make more money.

The annual revenue reaches tens of billions of dollars. The choice of a model for monetizing computer games (selling physical and digital copies, microtransactions, charging a monthly fee, etc.) depends on the region and platform – console, smartphone / tablet or personal computer. In some countries, consoles are not widespread, in others, due to the high level of Internet piracy, in principle, the population is not ready to pay for original digital products. Also, most modern games use a hybrid approach to monetization: when combined, the methods form a flexible model, where the disadvantages of one monetization method can provide advantages for another.

Freemium as a business model

Freemium is one of the main monetizing models chosen by the mobile games developers. As a rule, a Freemium application has a set of basic (free) and additional features (in-app purchases) that the user can buy for money. A good example of an extremely successful, that is profitable, free mobile game with in-app purchases is Mobile Legends. Furthermore, bookmaker pm tech was the first among all betting companies to start accepting bets on Mobile Legends. This time, the bookie has become a flagship in the rapidly growing segment – mobile games.

Advantages of the Freemium model for sellers:

  •  this way of monetizing the app allows you to build a user base in a relatively short time, with many of them working with the program for months;
  •  people who try out the features before buying are likely to become loyal users for a long time;
  •  a very flexible solution that can be used in an overwhelming number of applications;
  •  can be combined with the use of the advertising model!
  •  Disadvantages of the Freemium model for sellers:
  •  if you offer few basic features, users will leave;
  •  too many basic features, users won’t buy additional features!

The premise of the model is to attract people to the application by providing a set of basic features. Over time, some users want more, and they start buying additional features.

Freemium model ruining the gaming experience

Most mobile games are labeled as free-to-play, but there are always in-game purchases. Sometimes people spend thousands of dollars in such a free game. And the actual problem is that in a very small number of games the in-game spending does not affect the gameplay.

If we are talking about MMORPG, where the balance of power in the game is the most critical indicator, in-game purchase should not be available. After all, it’s the basics of economics, like inevitable inflation. For real gamers the game is a sporting interest, strategizing, teamwork, and all the same excitement as in sports. Another issue is that the need to unlock some item can gradually become an addiction, causing you to begin to crave that feeling of unlocking anything you can use.

It’s not about wasting a lot of money on a mobile game. The worse thing is that developers are now specifically creating games to fit this business model. You pay and pay, and the story or gameplay means less and less. The reality looks sad: thousands of similar mobile games with similar experiences and even the same design.

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