I recently made my only commercial game Hyper Snake on iOS free for 48 hours. I thought I'd post just to say how it went and whether it's worth it etc.
I'm not a business man in any shape or form, I'd rather just make games and not worry about it, but making and selling this game has been a pretty cool learning experience all round.
I made a post which is more bloggy just talking about making it free and my personal feelings on the result rather than much analysis but hopefully someone might find it useful; you can check that out (along with the sales figures for 2 weeks post-sale) here:http://iamclaw.com/?p=111
It was worth it for me, since my game had disappeared into the oblivion of the app store and I was getting around 3 sales a week. I'd rather give it away than have no one play it, and one day I'll make it totally free, but for now I appreciate the small amount of income it generates.
Things to note if you are planning to try something like this:
- Loads of apps go free every day, it would be beneficial to have a hook for marketing like a big game update going live at the same time so app sites have something to talk about along side "it's free!"
- Don't think about giving it away free as losing sales, because those people getting it for free either wouldn't have paid for it anyway, or would never have heard of it before the sale!
- Extending the previous point, sales generated after this event are generally word of mouth, so if it's a cool game/app people will tell their friends, so even though someone gets it for free, they might make sales for you through recommendations.
It's an interesting experience and worth it if your game/app is unknown to the world, I'm glad I gave it a shot and just thought I'd share my experience.