Free Game?

By December 8, 2013Product Management

Is it a free game? In my quest to learn more about mobile apps, I installed the mobile app game DeerHunter 2014. I grew up deer hunting in southwest Washington state so I thought I could pickup the game fairly quickly.  As well, the game was free so what did I have to lose? In general the game challenges you to hunt different animals in different regions around the world and your ability to accomplish that goal depends on the equipment you have or you earn.

Everything started out good and I got into the game, but very quickly I found that the game got harder.  At each level I was offered to use game tokens to upgrade my equipment or use in-app purchases to upgrade my equipment for cash. I found a few times when a particular hunt got hard, I wanted to simply upgrade my equipment using in-app purchases.  I was extremely tempted to purchase the shortcut.

These games are generating significant revenue. They entice you with their free price, but very quickly get you hooked into the game and are quickly tempted to spend $5.00 or the cost of a Starbucks coffee to upgrade your equipment or $20.00 to save the most money on a specific upgrade or future upgrades.

After a little searching, my experience was supported by a blog by distimo.com. In-app purchases are popular way for people to spend their money. Especially when you get to a hard part in the game and for only a few dollars you can simplify the game.

As well, thinkgaming.com estimates that DeerHunter 2014 makes a little over $121,000 in daily revenue! Not a bad return for a free game…