Author Topic: Lite versions on Android. Worth the effort?  (Read 3093 times)

Offline ampos

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I am asking myself if to put a lite/demo version with link to full version has sense on Android, since any purchase can be rejected before 15 minutes timeframe expires...
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Offline Crivens

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Re: Lite versions on Android. Worth the effort?
« Reply #1 on: 2011-Dec-12 »
I'm thinking with my latest game to not bother with a lite/free version. I have coded it into the game already but I might just not release it.

The main reason is my first game had a few thousand free downloads (not great but acceptable enough), but only a few dozen actual paid for downloads (roughly 60 on all devices).

Now I see a game like Tiny Wings has no free version and yet has about 3.5 million paid for downloads. It got to the top of the paid for charts and yet only costs like 69p with no in-app purchases. Ok so it's pretty addictive, but also pretty simple. Mine's in that sort of bracket, and I feel that a free version will just make people think "Meh, was pretty good, but can't be bothered paying for it". But if there is no free version then they paid for it at that point :good:

Perhaps after a couple of months I may do a free version to draw more people in. It's all about balance though between the free version and the paid for version. Plus the idea of releasing a game at different prices at different times. eg. start high then lower it a few months later in a "sale" and just keep it at that price...

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Offline Ian Price

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Re: Lite versions on Android. Worth the effort?
« Reply #2 on: 2011-Dec-12 »
I'm thinking with my latest game to not bother with a lite/free version. I have coded it into the game already but I might just not release it.

The main reason is my first game had a few thousand free downloads (not great but acceptable enough), but only a few dozen actual paid for downloads (roughly 60 on all devices).

Now I see a game like Tiny Wings has no free version and yet has about 3.5 million paid for downloads. It got to the top of the paid for charts and yet only costs like 69p with no in-app purchases. Ok so it's pretty addictive, but also pretty simple. Mine's in that sort of bracket, and I feel that a free version will just make people think "Meh, was pretty good, but can't be bothered paying for it". But if there is no free version then they paid for it at that point :good:

Perhaps after a couple of months I may do a free version to draw more people in. It's all about balance though between the free version and the paid for version. Plus the idea of releasing a game at different prices at different times. eg. start high then lower it a few months later in a "sale" and just keep it at that price...

Cheers
I'm inclined to agree - don't bother with lite downloads. My experience tells me they detract from sales - if someone wants to play your game based on the look or sound of the write-up/review, then they are already half-hooked and if so,  make them pay.

If they can get a taste for free, they will and quickly establish whether it's worth buying (or not as the case seems to generally be) One of my  webOS Lite games have been downloaded 138 times the number of sales of the full version - I'm talking over 12,000 downloads of the free version, compared to barely 100 of the full version. People state that there is a massive shortage of apps, but they aren't buying the ones that are available.

 I have NEVER bought a single app based on playing a Lite version. I will never do another Lite version, unless it's way down the line when nobody remembers/is aware of the original game.
I came. I saw. I played.

Offline Crivens

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Re: Lite versions on Android. Worth the effort?
« Reply #3 on: 2011-Dec-12 »
Yep very good points. And yes I don't believe I've ever bought anything due to a free version. That's not to say free versions don't help sales, but it's *very* hard to balance a free version. Make it too short or limited and they may not like your game, but make it too long or featured and they may not feel it's worthwhile to continue with the full version.

IMHO I think the best idea is not to go with free versions, but consider making the full version free for limited periods. eg. Xmas, or the apps birthday etc. Plus possibly start higher in price and then lower it to the proper price a couple of weeks later (in a "sale" which goes on forever) but only obviously if it needs a push. Then to gather extra cash add in-app purchases where possible. Then update a bit to get the app back in the limelight. Finally, as you said, once the app looks to be dead in the water with sales, then make a free version as a last gasp for a few sales.

I think the only thing that misses out there is iAds. Quite nice to have them if the app gets good downloads. Not too nice if they are there in paid for games, although could have an in-app purchase to remove them although doubt anyone would like that. So I think best to leave for an app that you totally intend to be free, possibly with in-app purchases to get revenue and to remove iAds. But that's a whole new can of worms about making more money by making the games free all the time. Really need to have a good idea to make in-app purchasing a pull for the gamer...

Cheers
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Offline Wampus

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Re: Lite versions on Android. Worth the effort?
« Reply #4 on: 2011-Dec-12 »
Hmm. This has convinced me to try launching my next app as paid only, at least on Android. I had no idea there was a 15 minute rejection period. For most games that is enough time for someone to know if a) the app reaches their expectations, and 2) if they want to play more.

Offline ampos

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Re: Lite versions on Android. Worth the effort?
« Reply #5 on: 2011-Dec-13 »
Currently I have 5 apps.

2 of them had lite and full.

-MAGIC COIN BOX. Really, it is a stupid app, and I wasnt hoping to get many sales. First I launched if with paid, and it was, I think, one of the first GLB-iAD apps. 47 sales in 3 months, around 25€. Them I sent the one with iADs. 10 months, 4300 downloads, 30 sales (15€) and 56€ in iADs. All of this in iOS. On WebOS it was just paid: 40 sales, 20€ in 8 months.

-GLOWING SKY. The lite version has everything: iADs, InApps and limited figures to play with. Later I added a annoyiong waiting intro screen of 10 seconds talking about how nice the full app is. InApp purchases for lite->full has been almost null.

Code: (glbasic) [Select]
Apple free  ratio sales  money      iAD         SUM          Webos  Ratio     Free       Money
1442        2,90% 72     32,14 €    10,26 €  42,40€      564       1,50%  37190 278,46 €

In my apps I have noticed that paid-free ratio is bigger on iOS, but Webos has bigger absolute numbers.


Also, talking about "more expensive at start and cheaper later" with DIGITAL PHOTO FRAME I followed the reverse path.

I launched the app in what I thought was not a fully finished state. Also 100% functional, it lacked many options I would like to implement, so I set it at low price at start, and with every update I change it to .10$ more expensive. Also I stated in the description that it was at "launch discount" and will be more expensive later.

Discuss.
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Offline Minion

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Re: Lite versions on Android. Worth the effort?
« Reply #6 on: 2011-Dec-13 »
I too am thinking of knocking the free versions on the head (Android stuff)

Heres my stats...

Earth Invasion 1.0         10 total installs (users)      4 active installs (devices)

Earth Invasion - Free 1.0      368 total installs (users)      98 active installs (devices)

GL-X-EONS 1.0            13 total installs (users)      9 active installs (devices)

GL-X-EONS free 1.0         194 total installs (users)      61 active installs (devices)



MrTAToad

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Re: Lite versions on Android. Worth the effort?
« Reply #7 on: 2011-Dec-13 »
I generally only get a game only after playing a demo of it...

Offline ampos

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Re: Lite versions on Android. Worth the effort?
« Reply #8 on: 2011-Dec-18 »
I have been updating my excel and had noticed 2 things.

Snowland, Magic Box and Glowing Sky all had free/lite and full versions on iOS. On Webos, just Glowing.

The full version was on sale and the free was online 3 months later.

After the free version was online, sales on full version drops significantly on iOS

On Webos, sales of full version (only Glowing Sky here) were low (19 sales in 3 months), but after the release of lite version, sales go to 512 units on 3 months.
check my web and/or my blog :D
http://diniplay.blogspot.com (devblog)
http://www.ampostata.org
http://ampostata.blogspot.com
I own PC-Win, MacBook 13", iPhone 3G/3GS/4G and iPAC-WinCE

Offline erico

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Re: Lite versions on Android. Worth the effort?
« Reply #9 on: 2011-Dec-18 »
I generally don´t like demos, I have a few ideas about how to go on this.

But I think a demo depreciates a game, whatever game that is.
Now if you consider the mobile market a casual game situation for most of the times, then it may be even worse as the user gets the fix of your type of game just by using the demo.

I see not much reason to demo a casual game or any game at all, I think a gameplay video is all you need these days.
It can also be that this is just me, I haven´t downloaded a game demo for more then 10 years(I really don´t like it).

Usually, I see a few videos and that is enough to make my mind for good or bad.