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August 12, 2020, 03:58:41 PM

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TIGSource ForumsDeveloperBusinessHow to avoid annoying people with a "full game" unlock?
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mrspatula
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« on: October 12, 2019, 03:17:01 PM »

I have a game on the app store. It's free to download, and the first 20 levels are free (about 10 minutes of gameplay) - a free demo basically. The demo can be replayed as many times as the user likes. If the user wants to keep on playing past level 20, there is a one-off in app purchase ($2), and they never get bothered again.

I've been recently dealing with a slew of 1 star reviews from people who are pissed off that the game isn't entirely free. They're posting 1 star reviews like "Do not download, THIS IS A DEMO". I'm kind of amazed - are they expecting every game to be free? I have no ads.

I was wondering if anyone has tried this business model, and has any tips on how to make it friendlier? I've tried to make the app descriptions more upfront about this, but lost for other ideas.

Peace
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fluffrabbit
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2019, 05:32:15 PM »

As of today, I have 1 install each of 2 completely free/gratis games that have been on Google Play for 5 years. So from my perspective, angry 1-star shit-flinging ain't too bad!
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ProgramGamer
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« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2019, 02:38:27 PM »

While I wouldn't put it past most mobile game players to expect a game to be free forever, in your case I think the problem was that people weren't expecting to hit a paywall, so they reacted negatively to that. It might be a good idea to add an upfront disclaimer about your payment model so that players aren't surprised by the sudden 2$ fee.
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goobliata
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« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2019, 02:02:44 PM »

I've had the same reaction to one of my games. The first store I put it on I made it free with an IAP to unlock (everything works except saving.) Got people bitching about it. My advice (probably too late now) is to just charge $2 for it upfront - I've had maybe a dozen or so sales of the game where it's free+unlock over 5 years (with thousands of free downloads.) On other stores it has sold more than that upfront.

What I'd do now that it's too late to charge upfront is label it clearly as a "demo" as ProgramGamer said.

Sadly people are conditioned to prefer a game full of ads/IAP for coins etc rather than a full unlock. Pretty stupid IMO but that's the way it is. When I made my game that way in my mind I was doing something positive for people but...
« Last Edit: November 03, 2019, 02:14:55 PM by goobliata » Logged

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RalphAbadie
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« Reply #4 on: November 19, 2019, 01:29:03 AM »

Hey. As for me, this example is very revealing in the sense that we got used to free stuff too much. I ran an Android application with various exercises for gaining muscle mass, it cost $ 5 a month. I also get a bunch of negative reviews. Do not pay attention. Here the only advice is understanding that the audience who really wants to buy the offer - she will buy it. Negative reviews here are inevitable as for me. Tears of Joy Cry
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Demeter
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2020, 04:15:20 PM »

What if at the start of the game you provided a message along the lines of "This game is completely free until level 20. If you like the game from there, please support me by buying the full game for $2, or you may continue the game by watching an ad". If they purchase the game, stop the ads. If they don't, have an ad appear after x amount of levels.
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Spectragate
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« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2020, 08:17:54 AM »

I had this happen to one of my mobile games years ago. I released a full version for a few dollars, and a demo with the first few levels. People were furious over the demo - "It's not a full game, it's a scam to get you to buy the full version", "Wtf I have to pay to keep playing?!". I'm thinking to myself "but it has the word demo right there in the title, 4 times in the description and on the games splash page!". After the negative reviews from the demo started leaking over to the paid version I had to yank it from the store.

Mobile games man.
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