So what about paid/premium apps?

The freemium business model has changed how paid or premium apps are delivered to you.  But there still paid apps that incorporate the “pay once and use it forever” mentality which is valuable as this is a one time buy method and includes future updates for the apps at no charge.  These purchases allow the developers to make a guaranteed amount of money each time their app is downloaded, but what if the app doesn’t work right or function like it does in the description?  A twenty second video, 5 screen shots and the text summary of an app only helps to a point compared to actually using it on your device.  You’ve probably already come across trial versions of apps or the “lite” versions which have a certain amount of features unlocked at no cost but then charges to unlock them all.  A problem from a developer’s stand point would be that the lite version does what a user needs and there is no reason purchase of the rest of the app. 

Micro Transactions or in-app purchases are a common occurrence that you’ve come to see in apps quite often (dubbed freemium apps) and were one of the biggest controversies in the gaming world.  Should apps and games have microtransactions?

The whole process of paying “bits” of money started back in the days of the arcades, where you would a few quarters could continue your game if you died, so you wouldn’t have to start all over.  I remember hearing about when game developer Bethesda, offered a horse armor pack add-on for its game The Elder Scrolls IV:  Oblivion.  Purchasable add-on downloads were also available in some other titles but, these microtransactions did not gain a lot of support from players vocally, but Bethesda sold many of these downloads as add-ons to their games you would have to purchase.

While the gaming world was seeing the microtransactions more and more, there was one social online game that showed microtransactions are successful and could increase the games growth.  I’m talking about Farmville, a game where you build your farm for free, nice and slow, or invite your friends to use Facebook, and get in-game rewards when they signed on to the game.  If you were to plant a crop for example the game would have you wait for X amount of time before you could.  You also had the choice to pay $ to bypass the time restraint. 

Farmville brought many users to Facebook and at that time, a game played through a social network and it made it easy to get your friends/family added to sign up.

One of those players in the small percentage we’ll call Katie S. She told CNET her daily FarmVille routine consists of waking up around 10 a.m. and proceeding to play the game until well past midnight, though her sessions can often go longer.

“I’ve been known to stay up all night until at least 5 or 6 a.m. if a new feature is out, and I’m excited about it,” she said.

Since beginning to play the game last August, she’s reached an unusually high level 111 in the game–40 levels beyond where the game offers incentives in the form of newly unlocked features. And she’s spent about $2,000 on in-game currency expenses–roughly $100 a month.

“I justify this as being my only source of entertainment, and I’m forgoing movies and dinners out, so it’s OK,” she told us.

This was from an article on CNET written on 8/27/2010. 

https://www.cnet.com/news/virtual-farm-games-absorb-real-money-real-lives/

Five Years on, Millions Still Dig Farmville.

  • According to a survey from “Farmville” maker Zynga, 80% of players say they’ve connected with people they otherwise wouldn’t have through the game, and 34% play it with a significant other. Other “farmers” have stories about how the game has become an educational tool for children.

This was from an article by CNN on 7/31/2014.

https://www.cnn.com/2014/07/31/tech/gaming-gadgets/farmville-fifth-anniversary/index.html

A Personal Story on Farmville

  • In my previous life in sales, I’ve sold two laptops to two different clients in 2009/2010 for one reason, to play Farmville. This is what they told me when they were using them for and nothing else .  Around this time, I also remember reading that Farmville was making around 150 million a year in early 2010s.

A Couple More Articles

King’s match-three puzzler Candy Crush Saga has brought in over $3.91 billion in lifetime revenue.

According to Sensor Tower, Candy Crush Saga has also been downloaded by over 823 million players since launching back in 2012.

The match-three puzzler enjoyed a solid September, where it brought in over $76 million and averaged more than $2.5 million in daily gross.

Candy Crush Saga ranked at seventh among all apps for worldwide revenue in September.

This was from an article by Pocketgamer on 10/09/2018

https://www.pocketgamer.biz/news/69228/kings-candy-crush-saga-hits-391-billion-in-lifetime-revenues/

Other Stats

  • Supercell’s Clash of Clans and Clash Royale have both brought in over 2 billion dollars individually.

  • Pokemon Go raked in just about 800 million in revenue in 2018, which was 35% more than it made in 2017 (about 560 million)

https://sensortower.com/blog/pokemon-go-revenue-december-2018

  • Fortnite had grossed in $385 million on iOS and $60 million on Android as of the end of 2018. See the below article from Techcrunch.com.

https://techcrunch.com/2018/12/27/epic-fortnite-3-billion-profit/