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Apple iPhone: Micro transactions free | PencilGym.com

deng.

didn’t i blog about this before some where… i personally believe very strictly in the micro transaction business model for games. There’s always been a new idea for how to make money off the game you work so hard to develop and put onto store shelves… the more accepted “episodic release” being one of the better favored “new successful distribution” method. Games like NCSoft’s Guild Wars for example was one of the early pioneers of ‘episodic release’ business model… customers buy the game, and get to enjoy the full content of the game for free, until, there’s a new “episode” or expansion, you pay for the expansion, and it’s the customer’s choice if he/she wants the additional content. Valve’s Halflife 2 Episodes are also a great example of this business model.

But that model seems to be… failing. It’s hard work to keep steady with a “6 month” develop-and-release cycle, especially if each new episode has to be as good, or even better, than the previous one (usually it has to be better otherwise why would fans continue to keep up with the game).

So introduce Micro Transactions. The general idea of it alone sounds so much more appealing already to any shopper. You pretty much buy the game free, play all you want, but, when you’re in-game with your character and friends, you start to realize you’re lacking something. So you continue on into the in-game shop, and purchase a new item or boost or armor or etc..for a measly fee of usually something around 2 or 3 real-life dollars. Every time you want something more, or a new kind of boost or upgrade or a new expansion chapter, you head back into that virtual store, and make another 3 or 5 real-life dollar purchase to get an in-game item. Developers are constantly updating and adding new content, usually very simple and quick content, bringing them into these virtual stores within that game, and everyone loves new stuff, so the masses will naturally horde in to grab that new item for 3 dollars a pop.

Alright so what about the iPhone??

well, now Apple has available this type of transaction for game/app developers that wish to make use of. It’s proven that this kind of distribution and business solution helps control piracy, and also increases the title’s distribution rate. Afterall, game is free, why won’t a person grab it? And the moment they do start playing it, that’s where the hook is…and they latch on, and they start micro-transactions, buying mini-game items for “just 1 buck” for the rest of their lives playing this game. Developers add something new and enticing into this virtual shop, and bam, the person goes to spend more money on the game.

I’m excited ’cause i’ve always dreamt to develop a game, which utilizes heavily this micro transaction model..and with the iPhone now capable of it, it’s another motivator for me to push on with my personal iPhone project. :)

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