Game Marketing Tips, Analysis, and News

Friday, July 29, 2011

Good Advice On App Pricing

This reminds me of some other game... wait, don't tell me... 
There's nothing like some real-world data to inform your decisions. One app developer, Appy Entertainment, took to wondering how their app might do if they made it free, and relied on in-app purchases to bring in money. The story is told in an interview with Pocket Gamer, recounted in this article. Their app, Trucks and Skulls, normally sold for 99 cents. When they added a freemium store to the latest release,revenue jumped 150%. When they got a promotional opportunity from Free App A Day, they went for the free pricing... and downloads jumped 5,000 percent. The game was downloaded more than 100,000 times on July 3. They brought the price back to 99 cents to see what would happen, and basically revenue returned to the previous level.

The data have convinced them that straight pricing is the inferior business model. (Though they call 99 cents premium pricing, which sure doesn't sound premium to me.) They plan all their future titles for a freemium business model. They do understand, though, that the design of the game has to incorporate that idea from the start in order to be really successful. The game balance becomes critical between paid and unpaid players; you can't make it feel like the only way to succeed is to buy your way to success.

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