All of the games Nintendo is currently planning for Android and iOS will be free-to-play titles, according to development partner DeNA. That means you won’t have to pay a penny to download them — but they will almost certainly be filled with in-app purchases.
Let’s face it: Freemium games and games with an inordinate number of in-app purchases are out of control on the App Store. To a certain extent, that’s understandable: Developers are hard-pressed to get anyone to download their games if they charge money for them, which means it’s all a race to the bottom. The only way to get any visibility is for developers to release their games free, then hope they can make money later.
In a refreshing move, though, Apple is trying to do something about its freemium problem, by highlighting “Pay Once & Play” games that charge players once upfront, then never bug them for more money again.
It’s possible to make a lot of money by writing an iOS app. In fact, the top iOS app makers each gross as much as $90,000 a day from their offerings. Yet despite these success stories, the vast majority of app developers are finding it difficult to make money on the App Store, and the bad news is, it’s only going to get worse, with a new forecast predicting that less than one app in 10,000 will make money by 2018. Woof.
EA Sports has brought the controversial free-to-play game model to the world’s biggest soccer franchise in FIFA 14 for iOS, which is now available to download from the App Store — three days before the big console release.
The title boasts a whole heap of improvements, including a new and intuitive control system, online multiplayer, a game of the week feature, and the hugely popular FIFA Ultimate Team mode.
Let’s be clear: I love tower defense games. I’ve been a fan since the first time I played Desktop Tower Defense on Kongregate, I fell hard for Gem Keeper and Fieldrunners, and I carry a torch for Kingdom Rush.
Pirate Legends TD by Super Hippo Studios Limited Category: iOS Games Works With: iPhone, iPad Price: Free
These are tough waters to compete in, especially with a free-to-play business model that needs to encourage players to spend real money to help fund the game itself. There’s a delicate balance in tower defense games, between too easy and too difficult.
Does Super Hippo Studios Limited’s Pirate Legends TD bring enough to the table, then, to stand next to these others?
You’ve been waiting for months and months, and it’s finally time. Plants vs. Zombies 2 is finally available in the U.S. App Store after a soft launch last month in Australia and New Zealand.
The download is free, but there are in-app purchases for certain upgrades and power-ups. But it’s not the annoying kind of freemium like Real Racing; you can play through the whole game just fine without having to buy anything. We’ll have a full review up soon.
So what are you waiting for? The sequel to one of the best iOS games in history just came out. Get downloading!
So it’s hardly surprising it was a massive success. In just seven days, the sword-fighting action game had attracted 5.7 million new players, with 1.7 million of those getting the game on the first day the promotion went live.
We’ve heard before that piracy is just killing Android developers. It’s such a wide scale problem that some devs are finding little incentive, between piracy and fragmentation, to actually release their games on Android.
Sadly, the problem doesn’t seem to be getting any better. Another developer has just released details on the massive problem they are having on Android with app piracy. How bad is it? Piracy on Android outnumbers iOS piracy by fourteen to one. Woof!
Apple has quietly added a new labeling system to the App Store that shows which apps have in-app purchases. You can only see whether an app or game has in-app purchases on the desktop version of iTunes, but the feature will presumably be rolled out to the App Store on iOS devices soon.
Coincidentally, Apple recently settled a lawsuit with some parents over in-app purchases. Kids were spending thousands of dollars making in-app purchases in freemium games.
After saying that the highly anticipated racing game would launch in 2012, EA and Firemonkeys have finally released Real Racing 3 in the U.S. App Store. The Real Racing franchise has been a staple part of the App Store since 2009, and the third installment was demoed onstage at Apple’s iPhone 5 event last September.
Real Racing 3 is perhaps the most visually stunning iOS game ever, and it’s free to download. However, there is one catch…
PopCap’s beloved Plants vs. Zombies has today been made available for free in the App Store. The reduction applies to both the iPhone and iPad titles, which were previously priced at $2.99 and $6.99 respectively. If you don’t already have it, it’s well worth adding to your collection.
Fieldrunners 2 is one of my favorite iOS games, hands down. Developer Subatomic Studios has taken the tower defense genere to a new level with this sequel to their popular and multi-platform game, Fieldrunners. This second game was released in July of this year, almost 4 years after the first iteration came out on iOS, then Mac.
Today, the studio announced that they’ve added in-app purchasing to the game, something many games come with from the start. Those games, however, typically come at no up-front cost. Fieldrunners 2 was released as a premium, paid game, at $2.99 for the iPhone and $7.99 for the iPad version. Why did they add this freemium-style in-app purchasing system to a game that’s already doing well as a paid app?
Remember The Simpsons: Tapped Out? It was a free iOS game from EA that launched earlier this year, but it only spent a short time in the App Store because it became so popular that EA’s servers couldn’t handle it and it was pulled. The company promised, however, that it would return, and it’s making its comeback this month.
Earlier this year, we reported on the plans by NetZero and FreedomPop to offer free 4G mobile broadband in the U.S. over ClearWire’s WiMax network. Both companies planned to operate on a freemium basis where users get a limited amount of data each month and can buy more if they choose.
This week, a company in the U.K. called Samba joined the free broadband bandwagon with a model that’s ad-based and freemium in nature, making it somewhat similar to NetZero’s original business model from the good old days of dial-up service.
Despite the success of Gears of War on consoles, it is in fact Infinity Blade for iPad which holds the title for Epic Games’s most profitable game of all time. The popular sword fighter, which has been showcased at a number of Apple keynotes over the years, has earned a whopping $30 million since its debut just 18 months ago.
2012 Mobile Game of the Year, The Dark Meadow, received a pretty major update on iOS today. Aside from all of the new features, the game has also gone freemium. The freemium version, entitled Dark Meadow: The Pact is a separate download on the App Store and as far as I can tell is exactly the same as the original paid version. The decision to go freemium may benefit the developers over the long term and is the reasoning for the jump. Although it is only available on iOS at the moment, it is scheduled to hit Android next month.
Free apps that display in-app advertising are sucking the life out of your cellphone’s battery. A team led by Abhinav Pathak, a computer boffin at Purdue University, Indiana, found that around “65%-75% of energy in free apps is spent in third-party advertising modules.”
Translation: Free apps like Angry Birds and Facebook may actually cost you more than paid apps in the end.
Gameloft is famous for producing terrific iOS games that are inspired by hit releases on consoles like the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Its upcoming release, Six Guns, will appeal to those who are fans of Rockstar Games’ Red Dead Redemption.This trailer shows off the wild west gun slinger in all its glory, and it looks pretty darn awesome.
The Games category is by far the most popular corner of the iOS App Store, and a new report has surfaced that says most people spend their money on virtual, in-app goods and upgrades in their favorite games.
In terms of Android and iOS users, the ‘freemium’ model seems to be the reigning king of mobile gaming. Users are starting to prefer free games that offer in-app upgrades and purchases to unlock new content.
To this day, Space Miner: Space Ore Bust is one of my favorite games for the iOS, and while I’ve been anxiously waiting for a sequel, I think I can make do with this: Venan Arcade has just announced the free-to-play spin-off title, Space Miner Blast, which strips out the former game’s story and RPG elements to deliver a frenetic arcade shooter.
It’s a freemium title, so to unlock all four ships (as well as Retina Display support), you’ll need to drop $1.99 on the Blast Pack in-app purchase, but if you’ve ever been curious about Space Miner, this is an excellent intro… and to tempt you even further into the franchise, Venan has also dropped the price of the original game to just $1.99.