I read David Smith’s Honest In-App Purchases.
And for the two suggestions proposed, I think the first one that to show indicators of the effective cost of the game won’t affect much. People are usually confident to believe themselves are special, are resistant to the well-suited goods, ending up spending tons of money. The second idea that show cumulative spent amount of money on IAP confirmation sounds good, though I doubt Apple would even consider to implement it.
Regardless of the evil of other apps, the mobile game field nowadays has become more and more evil, to pursue money, only. The origin of creating games, has been forgotten, especially by big companies.
The so-popular way to make money is to be “freemium”, and the players have to pay to be outstanding among world-wide players and/or friends. This is to take advantage of the essential impulse of human to defeat others to gain attentions, even the action is not intended to do by him/her. I call that evil.
Games are a way to relax, or to have fun, or to practice the skill, and some more, but to show off is the last intention in my opinion. Unfortunately, that’s now the best way to make money. So tons of companies and startups throw themselves into it. Also, tons of articles were and being published to teach them how to use different kinds of skills to earn more and more money.
The ads, the A/B testing, (and something I don’t know) are the opposite of a good game in my mind.
- The ads make the experience fragmentary. I can live with little ads shown, like at the start of the game, or at the end of a long battle. But that would make the profit from ads looks bad. Actually, ads are not always boring. I’ve seen some carefully-picked ads looks graceful on the website, and I don’t want to turn it off because I do want to click on some promoted products sometimes.
- The A/B testing is totally anti-game, at least in the ways it’s being used now. The companies are willing to change the model or tweak the numbers according the result of an A/B testing that which part is the most attractive way to “coerce” players to pay, with no consideration that how the game should behave, and if it meets the original desire. A/B testing, or the way to use A/B testing, turns the game into what the players want it to be, and due to the statistics result, into what “average” players want it to be, which may be a mediocre one nobody really love.
In my mind, games are strong presentations of the creator, to show how he/she thinks, looks at the world, and deal with things, and end up being loved by a group of people who have similar ideas or are inspired by it. Game are definitely not some random elements beautified and glued together without deep thoughts, or only with deep thoughts to make money, “inspired” by the “business-successfully” skills.
I would like to pay for following kinds of games:
- Paid once. The price can be high, as long as the quality deserves it.
- By subscriptions. I heard World of Warcraft is. It’s suitable for a network based game. You need to pay to keep the servers running, the maintenance, and continuous improvement.
- With paid-required premium features. I don’t mean the consumables. Extra roles, extra maps, extra skills, extra modes, etc. It’s like the software that there are different level of price for beginners and pro users.
I find the “real” games more and more rarely these days. Sometimes I downloaded games made decades ago and enjoyed it for hours, but the top 10 in App Store, I don’t give a shit. Maybe there are some good ones, but it’s hard to find needle in a haystack.
I’m worried about games, because people cannot get real games, and maybe the younger don’t even know what a really good game is. I don’t want it to be destroyed by commerce. Maybe I’m over-worried, and I hope so.