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The free-to-play model fails for iOS hit  Punch Quest
The free-to-play model fails for iOS hit Punch Quest
November 15, 2012 | By Mike Rose

November 15, 2012 | By Mike Rose
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More: Smartphone/Tablet, Indie, Design, Business/Marketing



"More high-end purchases, a coin doubler, a non-coins IAP option, a clearer buy button -- didn't work. That leaves one simple thing: The game is way too generous to be a single currency free game."
- Kepa Auwae of Rocketcat Games discusses making iOS hit Punch Quest a paid download after previously launching as a free-to-play game.

While the free-to-play model has worked wonders for numerous games and studios, other developers are finding that in-app purchases don't work so well in all scenarios.

In Punch Quest, for example, players could buy in-game coins via real money in-app purchases. Yet after 600,000 downloads, the game only managed to make north of $10,000.

Even after introducing an update that aimed to tweak the in-app purchases and made the items for purchase more obvious, the game only saw a small boost in sales. "The update improved things for like a few days, and then it sank, hard," says Auwae.

Hence, the studio has now slapped a price tag on the game. "It's 99 cents or increase the price of everything by 8x or more, really," he added.

Seeing a free-to-play game switch to the paid model is unusual. Earlier this year, Madfinger's Dead Trigger went free-to-play due to the terrible piracy rates on the title.


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