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Microtransactions "best thing to happen to mobile gaming", says Chillingo

Sam Loveridge



Chillingo believes that microtransactions and the free to play model is the "best thing" to happen to the mobile gaming industry.

The free to play model, complete with its in-app purchasers has been under a lot of scrutiny in the news thanks to the large accidental purchases made by children.

However, despite those issues, Ed Rumley, General Manager of Chillingo believes the model is the fairest for consumers.

"I believe microtransactions are the best thing to happen to this industry. I’m a big believer that micro transactions are the fairest business model in the world", said Rumley speaking to TrustedReviews. The reason I say that is that I can go buy a cinema ticket, I can pay a huge amount of money to watch a football match, or whatever the entertainment, but there’s never any guarantee of enjoyment."

It's all about looking at the changing market and the type of people that consume mobile games or apps. The majority of them, with a vastly varying age range, would never consider themselves gamers, but are regularly playing titles like Candy Crush.

"It’s micro transactions that have helped that. If games were still $10 or so on the App Store, then certain barriers to entry would be there. But when games are free, what’s more acceptable for the mass market?"

But, of course, there's a big difference between using the free to play model and using it correctly, we applauded games like Plants vs Zombies 2 for their ability to be played from start to end without paying, but it's games like Angry Birds Go, which forced you to fork out for new cars in order to progress that give micro transactions a bad name,

"It’s all about fun. When people load that game for the first time, we want that door to open up and for people to play that game. We don’t want people to feel that after 20 seconds they’ve got to start spending on a game. That’s why we’re so focused on fun. Providing we can do that, we’re delivering a good game to the market."

"This is the way you’ve got to look at monetisation. You’ve got to look at each game in turn and decide what’s right. It’s all about the game and it’s all about the player."

"The bottom line is that you’ve got to accept the fact that the majority of people are never going to spend. But those people are still very valuable to our organisation because they’re telling us how to improve our games, they’re telling their friends about the game. They’re as important to us as the people who do spend."

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July 24, 2014, 2:38 pm

Tried to come up with intelligent rebuttals to this guy, but my brain melted from the insanity of it all. So all I can say is this:



July 25, 2014, 6:04 pm

Giving you games for free and making sure they're designed so you don't ever have to spend a single dime to play, win, and enjoy is "insanity?" I'm trying to come up with an intelligent rebuttal to your comment, but my brain melted from the inanity of it all.

What exactly do you want? Developers to pay you to play their games? That's the only thing I can come up with that's better than "completely free."

Honestly, not only is what Rumley's saying here NOT insane, he's absolutely right when he says the model -- when not abused by developers -- is "the fairest for consumers." I mean, what other medium does this for you?

These people are not making games between shifts at their day jobs. This is what they do for a living. And games are not free to create. Even a simple game with a VERY small team will cost AT LEAST a few hundred thousand to make. A medium-sized game (and/or a medium-sized team) can easily put you in the half a million-to-a-million dollar range. And a big game will easily cost millions of dollars to produce. And, tbh, I'm being a little conservative with the estimates here.

So how exactly are developers and publishers meant to make money to be able to (1) live, and (2) keep creating games? If they charge for the game, people complain about being gouged by the prices. If they make the games free with optional microtransactions, people complain that game developers are evil and greedy. If they make the games completely free and devoid of microtransactions but include ads, people complain about the torture of having to click past an ad.

So what is YOUR solution? If this is insane, then please, by all means, don't just complain. Suggest a better model.

Tim Orman

July 29, 2014, 12:13 pm

Micro transactions are an extremely turbulent issue. Gaming companies are adding this feature to games with little consideration to the views of the consumer. This is why I am conducting research in the subject in order to create a deeper understanding of the gamers opinions on this matter.


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