Jeff had great fun at Apps World last week in London when he joined a panel discussion with Big Point, Kabam and Creative Mobile, ably chaired by PocketGamer’s Jon Jordan. The guys had a spirited conversation about the current and future trends in the mobile gaming marketplace and Jeff stirred up some animated exchanges when he shared his thoughts on the future of free to play.
The F2P business model has become increasingly controversial over the last year or so. Apple and Google have already paid out tens of millions to settle IAP complaints, and Apple themselves have just changed their App Store listings to remove the word ‘free’ altogether. While there are some big companies doing incredibly well in F2P, Jeff was keen to give the Apps World audience his take on where he believes that model is going:
“User Acquisition costs are now crippling for all but the largest companies to make a dent in the App Store and there’s a tonne of developers making incredibly creative and interesting games and apps that are just not seeing the light of day. But more than that, the legal trouble that’s plagued all the digital store owners of late is proof of a consumer backlash that helps none of us succeed in the free arena.
“I strongly believe that we’re now seeing a bounceback from the ‘race to the bottom’ pricing that characterised the smart phone’s first few years. It’s now clear from the success of quality premium games like the stunningly inventive Monument Valley, the wonderfully varied Toca Boca kids’ range, and the beautifully atmospheric Limbo that the consumer is now way happier to pay for quality entertainment and engaging experiences.
“They’re tired of getting bombarded with adverts in their free ‘lite’ games and apps, and they’re seeing through the blatant IAP manipulation that makes up a lot of the current F2P offerings. Some may be doing it well and non-cynically, but all too many of them aren’t – the consumer won’t stand it for much longer.
“And that’s why I think that F2P as we know it is dying. But that’s only a good thing for creative, innovative developers who will soon stand a much better chance of success when they can once again charge a fair price for a great experience.”
*photo courtesy of appsworld site