Games like Farm Up! and Found: A Hidden Object Adventure are examples of the the Freemium genre.
And now, (parts of) an article:
<clip>techcrunch.com wrote:Freemium Is Irresistable, Even For Successful Game Companies
The freemium debate continues to rage on. Some say it’s the future of how business will be run, while others say it’s synonymous with casual games (read: not for hardcore gamers). Now the tide appears to be changing for the latter group, spurred by the success of companies like Supercell (Clash of Clans’ maker) and King (which makes Candy Crush), that have inverted the model for free and picked up huge, dedicated gaming audiences in their wake.
Rajeev Chand , managing director and head of research for Rutberg & Company , said that one of the biggest drivers moving everyone to freemium is simply that in-app purchases are generating a whopping 70 percent of game revenues today.
<clip>Hopping on the freemium bandwagon
The trend seems to have resonated with several game companies, which are moving over to freemium models, in spite of having enjoyed success with traditional monetization models.
Boomzap Entertainment is an eight-year-old studio that has had many of its titles published by big names such as Big Fish Games and Reflexive Entertainment .
The company has survived, maintaining its full-time employee base of 85 on its stable of paid games that are generally priced at the $14 mark.
Its co-founder, Allan Simonsen, is vocal about “abhorring” the freemium model. And yet the company is breaking away from its tried-and-tested base to get on the freemium bandwagon.
Simonsen said the freemium trend is one that is hard to ignore, given the wild success of some of its forerunners..
With Boomzap relying on Big Fish for the “vast source of (its) income”, going freemium may allow it to diversify its publisher relationships, he said. “We have to find partners that have the right understanding and learn from them.”
The company released a freemium title called Brain Curve in May, and another which has been picked up by a publisher will come out later this month.
“We’re experimenting with pure free-to-play models, with consumable in-app purchases, and other in-app purchases like content add-ons,” he said.
Still, some factors may push against freemium’s reign in the long run, said Simonsen. For one, user acquisition costs have climbed up to about $5 – $8 for US and Japanese users, and there is bad sentiment in the industry, thanks to events like EA pulling the plug on its Playfish subsidiary, which wiped out a lot of users’ virtual currency.
“And personally, I prefer Shareware and the paywall, because I feel it’s the most honest relationship between the user and developer—I let you play, and if you like it, you give me money,” he said.
Another game maker, Witching Hour Studios is hardly considered a casual game maker. Its 2011-released title, Ravenmark: Scourge of Estellion , is a turn-based strategy game with a 30-hour story campaign that has won rave reviews.
Brian Kwek, co-founder at Witching Hour, said the company had to tweak its pricing before arriving at the relatively high price of $9.99. “We launched Ravenmark at $2.99, and people thought it was a steal,” he said. When it raised the price to $4.99 after packing in more content, people started to balk.
So the studio raised it again to $9.99 after another update, which ironically got people saying it was cheap again. “We got comments like, this would cost $30 on the Sony PSP or Nintendo DS (handheld consoles). This underscores the old idea that there’s a sweet spot to premium pricing and the consumer perception of value,” said Kwek.
In spite of its success with the first title, its latest sequel, Ravenmark: Mercenaries is a freemium game.
Kwek explained: “Since the market at large is being weaned on the freemium model, we think adopting free-to-play will help up transition to building a gaming brand with that wider audience who would not pay upfront.”
He acknowledged that the flip side of going freemium is alienating gamers who consider themselves above “casual games”. The game mechanics are set such that it doesn’t favor paying players, he said.
And getting itself in front of more users is the main goal of going freemium. The pay-off that Witching Hour hopes for is merchandizing and spin-offs such as a possible animated series, for example.
The team is aiming for a base of at least 300,000 active players, which will justify the cost of building it. The original Ravenmark attracted just over 100,000 downloads, said Kwek.
Read the full article here:
It's interesting that they mention both Boomzap and Big Fish in there. *sigh*
I would consider any free-to-play game, whether it be at a casual game portal or something huge like an MMORPG, freemium, personally. So why didn't it bother me with Glitch or FaunaSphere, but it DOES bother me with the casual game portals? Perhaps it's because there (ie. at Big Fish) the games are presented as being FREE-FREE-FREE, but if you truly want to get anywhere in the game(s), you have to pay. It was not so with Glitch or FS, nor is it that way with the MMORPG's -- in those games, you can play for free forever, and the extras that you have to pay for are like candy... You don't NEED them to play, but they'd sure be nice to have!
My feelings on the matter are the reason why there's only one freemium topic here at GGG -- and it's only here because it was the TGT that day, and I didn't realize it when I posted the topic!