Developers have always had to make hard decisions concerning the future of their products and brands. Even after weeks of planning and researching business models, what may have worked for one brand my not work for yours. Such is the case with Glass Bottom Games and Jones on Fire, which has just released on GooglePlay at $1.99.
Jones on Fire was released earlier this month on the App Store as a free-to-play runner game, in the same vein as Canabalt and Robot Unicorn Attack. Unfortunately, it seems as though Jones on Fire was unable to take off with its in-app purchase system, which pushed Glass Bottom Games CEO and designer Megan Fox to make the hard decision of dropping the free-to-play model altogether for a $1.99 price point with no in-app purchases.
"Free-to-play (F2P) didn't work at all for us. We thought we'd ticked of all of the necessary boxes to lead to a successful F2P game," said Fox. She continued on to say that in-app purchases systems don't work for indie game developers.
"Most will happily tell you that Android users don’t monetize, that they don’t pay for games, and yet indies recently have consistently reported higher income from Android, often substantially higher, and with fixed single-price games...I simply don’t believe you should double dip. Either you put a price on the game, or you make it free with IAPs, period. That’s why the Android build has no IAPs period and we’ve got a patch in the pipe to remove them from the iOS version."
I'm not a big fan of in-app purchases, no matter the developer or title. I can understand their presence in the mobile gaming landscape, but I feel as thought that does a disservice to the overall game to speed up or hinder the player's progression by how much expendable income they can drop on another digital item or pack. Hopefully, we will get to see more come from Glass Bottom Games in the near future, and that game developers can dial back on all these in-app purchase games.