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Google won't call games with in-app purchases "free" anymore

  • Article title says it all. I personally think it's the right move. Discuss!

    http://www.engadget.com/2014/07/18/google-wont-call-games-with-in-app-purchases-free-anymore/

  • I can see where they are coming from, but it means you can't have a free game with ads and have a single "pay to remove ads" button anymore because that's an IAP.

    I suppose you could just direct people to the ad-free premium version, but players will lose their progress.

  • Targets kids.

    Makes game frustrating.

    Offers "fee pass" for a premium.

    Everybody else pays.

    I wonder how many of the big name developers are guilty of this?

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  • newt

    A lot of developers. One of the Prince of Persia series did this a pissed a lot of people off. Level too hard?? Hey you can buy a life. Then it was a kids game Ice Age that limited you and you had to keep buying whatever it was to advance.

    Its a good move mainly when ones that target kids.

  • At least that would be clearer, I also hope that apps with advert will also have their own category, everything should be clear crystal for the user, saying free to charge afterwards is just being not free, but a demo or a potential pay-to-win, and for ads, they enforce mostly the use of ads-for-money while displaying crap or causing damage to the device (I seriously had the screen altered of it's color, and it could not respond and I could not even close the device because of an advertisement).

    You might say it is the choice of the developper of placing ads or not, and I will respond it is a choice of the user to choose not to have ads inside his app. And if you rely on this lack of information from the user, clearly you should revisit your marketing techniques.

    That makes me want to do small games with no ads and no in app purchase.

  • I don't care what they call it as long as a user can download and start playing your game without paying for it upfront, since that's a mountain of an obstacle for a new indie dev without a huge fanbase, asking people to even folk over $0.99 for your game when the rest are all free is a huge ask.

  • This would be a great move, but Apple didn't do this voluntarily.

    I have always found FREE games to be an insult to developers. It has really been a download slide not just for independent developers, but for the market as a whole. There is no such thing as free, and if people are playing and enjoying these games, they shouldn't expect them to be free.

    I always wonder what this would look like in other industries. What about American Airlines offering FREE flights around the world, with in-plane purchases that come to the same price as the ticket would have in the first place? Would people flock to them?

    I think we all have to re-think our strategy. Basically there should be totally free games supported by ads, or games should just charge $10-$30 up-front and be done with it. This allows lesser quality games to be in $0.99 to $2.00 range.

    What does everyone else think?

  • I have always found FREE games to be an insult to developers. It has really been a download slide not just for independent developers, but for the market as a whole. There is no such thing as free, and if people are playing and enjoying these games, they shouldn't expect them to be free.

    Absolutely this... I always nearly bang my head on the table when I read reviews of games you have to pay for. Main statement: Good game, but should be free.

    If if a game costs 1.99$, they moan that it should be lowered to 0.99$.

    I understand it for games like Flappy Birds, but if you read such statement on games like "Final Fantasy" you really do lose faith in mobile market.

  • > I have always found FREE games to be an insult to developers. It has really been a download slide not just for independent developers, but for the market as a whole. There is no such thing as free, and if people are playing and enjoying these games, they shouldn't expect them to be free.

    >

    >

    Absolutely this... I always nearly bang my head on the table when I read reviews of games you have to pay for. Main statement: Good game, but should be free.

    If if a game costs 1.99$, they moan that it should be lowered to 0.99$.

    I understand it for games like Flappy Birds, but if you read such statement on games like "Final Fantasy" you really do lose faith in mobile market.

    Don't loose faith. It is sort of like TV. Most people wouldn't pay for TV per show, but ads are totally acceptable. Same for casual gamers. It is very important that you understand that 99% of the game market is devoted to casual gamers, and shockingly, they are not gamers.

    This is were I think the disconnect is between indies who make money and indies who don't. Casuals (as I call them) don't care about your game, or any game in particular. If it is free and passes some time, they will download it, play it for a while, then throw it out. Just monetize accordingly.

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