If you take a gander at the App Store right this minute, you will see a large number of large “free” titles. These titles have come to be known as “freemium” titles. What does this mean? This means the developer is being as tricky as possible to get you to purchase in app “upgrades” to drain your bank account.
Freemium apps are now all of the rage, especially when you see reports of in-app purchases accounting for 76% of iPhone app revenue. That is HUGE!
With the mad rush to get paid, developers are resiging to the fact that the easiest way to get that dollar, is to trick as many folks as possible. Mike Schramm over at TUAW posted up a great article about the latest in freemium apps, Dunegon Hunter 4.
It is a popular game by a well known developer, but boy did they pull a fast one. Free up front, but to “enjoy” the game you have to pay, and pay you will.
Dungeon Hunter 4 is a freemium title, and I’d go so far as to say it’s viciously freemium. It’s up to you what the most annoying of its many in-app purchase tricks are, but they include putting a timer on potions so that you have to wait or pay to use them frequently, teasing the player with better items for sale right there in your own personal inventory, or making you wait in real time (or pay, again) for item upgrades and crafting.
This has become the norm, a bad norm if you ask most players of these games. Putting a timer on something unless you pay for it is plain sleazy!
The plea is simple, let us pay up front for a solid game and know we get to enjoy all of it, for that price.
Let us choose to pay 16.99 for an app such as Final Fantasy 5. It’s our choice. I do understand that not many folks will pay for it, but for the ones who do you can rest easy that they will enjoy your game that you worked so hard for. They will enjoy the game as it is, not a piece, small piece, of it prior to deleting it. As for games such as Dungeon Hunter 4, most would pick it up, play it once, understand the business aspect, which outweighs the game aspect, and delete it before their iPhone gets cold.
It’s sleazy, it’s business. Let us enjoy the game!
What say you!?!