Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 2nd Feb 2014 18:08 UTC

I don't like writing negative articles that don't include a solution to the problem, but in this case, there is no solution. The state of in-app purchases has now reached a level where we have completely lost it. Not only has the gaming industry shot itself in the foot, hacked off their other foot, and lost both its arms ... but it's still engaging in a strategy that will only damage it further.

Why are these gaming studios so intent of killing themselves?

Because massive application stores created a race to the bottom - as well as a huge pile of crap to wade through. Ten to twenty years from now, we won't look back favourably upon the App Store or Google Play.

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Mobile OSes only?
by jared_wilkes on Sun 2nd Feb 2014 20:57 UTC
Member since:

Thom's conclusion completely ignores that Zynga and EA (villainized as the two largest perpetrators of IAP) exist across all platforms and Android and iOS wouldn't even have been considered their primary platforms at the time that both drew attention for the shift in the market place.

IAP was not uniquely enabled by the dominant smartphone platforms nor is it exclusively endemic to these platforms. Maybe casual, social gaming could be specifically blamed, but, again, there is plenty of evidence against this as well...

Edited 2014-02-02 21:02 UTC

Reply Score: 6

RE: Mobile OSes only?
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 2nd Feb 2014 21:15 in reply to "Mobile OSes only?"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:

IAP was not uniquely enabled by the dominant smartphone platforms nor is it exclusively endemic to these platforms.

In-application purchasing owes its existence almost exclusively - maybe even just exclusively - to the App Store, Google Play, and similar venues. Not only were these platforms the first venues for IAP, they also provided the race-to-the-bottom in the business of selling (mobile) applications.

Apple, Google, and Microsoft spurred it along by promoting the quantity of applications as the one true metric of success - instead of quality. You may not like the truth, but there it is.

Reply Parent Score: -1

RE[2]: Mobile OSes only?
by jared_wilkes on Sun 2nd Feb 2014 21:28 in reply to "RE: Mobile OSes only?"
jared_wilkes Member since:

Virtually every word you utter in this comment is completely and utterly wrong and it's entirely evident to almost everyone who reads it.

Edited 2014-02-02 21:29 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Mobile OSes only?
by ddc_ on Sun 2nd Feb 2014 23:24 in reply to "RE: Mobile OSes only?"
ddc_ Member since:

Thom, IAP was popular in online games back when there was nothing like mobile app stores. It grew naturally, and naturally it overtook the newer markets - online casual games, social network games and mobile games first - there simply was no pre-existing tradition there, so users had to accept IAP in such games as market standard.

Sure, app stores have their flaws, but you really shouldn't attribute every new plague of the day to them simply on basis that the problem is most visible there.

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[2]: Mobile OSes only?
by Lava_Croft on Mon 3rd Feb 2014 00:35 in reply to "RE: Mobile OSes only?"
Lava_Croft Member since:

While in-app purchases may have become commonplace thanks to the mobile platforms, they have existed in online PC games for quite some time, probably even longer than Apple's App Store exists.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Mobile OSes only?
by charlieg on Mon 3rd Feb 2014 09:09 in reply to "RE: Mobile OSes only?"
charlieg Member since:

I'm pretty sure facebook was the original breeding ground for IAP games.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Mobile OSes only?
by jockm on Mon 3rd Feb 2014 18:03 in reply to "RE: Mobile OSes only?"
jockm Member since:

Thom, Free to play goes back to the 90s (, especially in Korea. Remember Guild Wars back in the mid-2000s. Habbo Hotel had in app purchases back in 1999/2000 (I don't recall which).

Free to play might have come into its own with IAP's in the various app stores/facebook; but it was already a viable business model before then. All that happened is that it made these things palatable to (more or less) the "west".

What we are seeing now is decades of refinement to the business model till the point it has been (for want of a better word) perfected. But it isn't new, nor a product of the app stores you blamed.

Free to play, or in app purchases don't have to be a problem. I think Triple Town balances the factors quite well. I played the game for two months before I liked it enough to buy unlimited turns. Considering just how long I have played that game it was a good investment. But the point was that I was able to try out the game and get a good sense of it without committing at first.

The point is you can do free to play well, or you can do it badly, but free to play isn't the problem. It is predatory applications of it that are. Besides, who doesn't want to put hats on their sloths...

Reply Parent Score: 4