Have you ever downloaded a free game on your iPhone and wondered how in the world the developer could possibly be making money with it? As it turns out, the so-called “freemium” business model is actually far more lucrative than charging money, at least for mobile.
When Smurfs’ Village hit the App Store in November 2010, it initially seemed like a fairly innocuous take on the FarmVille formula -- but almost immediately, it shot to the top of the Top Grossing charts and continues to linger in the higher spots to this day. Certainly, the enduring popularity of those cartoon creatures and their colorful adventures explained, in part, the phenomenon. However, it quickly became clear that not only was the scale of the game’s in-app purchases unlike anything we’d seen before, but that parents weren’t always aware of their kids’ buying habits. And worse yet, the kids might not have known what they were doing.
Bored? Looking for something new to put a little excitement into your life? Why not try out a freemium game? Here are five of Mac’s top free-to-play titles that are worth their free content -- and some of your coin, too.
Sometimes there's an iOS app that comes out that reflects a great, unique idea. And sometimes that great, unique idea gets thoroughly trashed in the implementation by whatever consulting company was assigned to create the iOS app and make sure it found its way to the App Store. We can't say for certain that's exactly how it went, but this seems to be the case with Cooktorial, a cooking utility for the iOS.
4th and Battery isn't the only new casual gaming off-shoot brand that's bursting onto the App Store. Today, Capcom announced that they are forming a new brand to publish their freemium social games like Smurfs' Village and Zombie Cafe. The label will be called Beeline, and is part of Capcom's realignment intended to help the company focus more on rapidly expanding smartphone markets.
Earlier today, a story appeared on PocketGamer.biz alleging that Apple had scolded Capcom over last week's $1400 smurfberry scandal. The report was based on comments from an anonymous source who said that Apple was upset by the recent flurry of return requests due to children accidentally buying expensive virtual items in the online Capcom game Smurfs' Village, and "had strong words" with Capcom over the issue. The report also said this controversy had prompted Apple to reconsider their iTunes log-in policies. However, when we spoke to representatives at Capcom, they said Apple never talked to them at all about this situation.
In what can safely be called a "cautionary tale," a young girl named Madison (currently attending second grade) racked up a gargantuan $1400 bill for her parents this week while playing Smurfs' Village - a Farmville-esque freemium online game. The item that caught her eye? Dozens of barrels of delicious, delicious smurfberries.