Do you pay to play or just play for free and then uninstall and move on to the next flavor-of-the-moment app?

A new study from Swrve claims that less than 1% of mobile gamers actually pay for games, while the rest of us just do the frugal song and dance of download, install, uninstall.

And 1% seems fair, given that only 1% of games out there actually contain any original ideas.

Feed a starving developer

Believe it or not, someone put some real time and sweat into that crappy retread game you’re playing. And believe it or not, they’re expecting some sort of reward for their labor and lack of imagination.

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Never mind that most games in the App Store suck. Never mind that new ideas are scant, let alone worth paying for. I’m all for rewarding hard work, when the fruits justify the labor.

Before writing a single line of code, developers would do good to enlist the help of an editor, or a trusted friend, to tell them if the game they’re developing is even worth the trouble.

If it looks and plays like a dozen other apps, why bother?

The greed mentality

Sure, developers put a lot of hard work into the games we play, and then slap on ridiculous upgrades that cost upwards of $100 bucks or more for a bag of virtually useless virtual coins (or gems, or manta, or whatever else ain’t worth a dime, or nickel, or penny).

I’d happily pay for a game if it showed a shred of originality. Problem is, most don’t. Developers just copycat each other then wonder why the gravy train ain’t rolling in.

Hurry up and wait

A popular tact among developers is to make players wait, and wait, and wait, for fun to be had, and more often than not, those good times never arrive.

Game after game after game has you build this, develop that, then sit around and wait for things to evolve; intentionally boring you to tears just so you pay the damn ransom and get to the good part, if there even is a good part.

The 25 cent business model

dk-quarter_image

Once upon a time, there was a place called an arcade, and each video game was a stand alone behemoth that you plunked quarters into in exchange for 3 precious lives.

You played until you were dead, or your mother dragged you off by the ear, then snuck back to the arcade and plunked in another quarter to ride the ride again.

It was fun; you know, that elusive little thing that most apps aren’t.

Developers got it bass ackward

In the old days, Midway, Namco, Capco, Atari, Sega, et al, never got paid for their games up front.

On the contrary, they incurred big overhead to develop, construct, deliver and maintain their video games across the globe. And yes, they still turned a profit, one quarter at a time.

How? By developing games people actually wanted to play. Hmm, now there’s a novel idea, developers.

Where’s this generation’s Pac-Man?

pac-man

In 2010, Google created a 30th Anniversary Edition of Pac-Man on their home page that was actually fun and playable. Do you really think anyone will remember Flappy Bird 30 years from now?

Instead of whining they don’t make enough money for yet another unimaginative retread, developers would do good to adopt the arcade business model and charge 25 cents a pop to play their games.

If your game is worthy, it’ll make money. If not, then not. It’s just that simple.

What’s Next: Pac-Man goes viral

Developers will get a clue and actually put some originality and thought into their game development. As a result, fewer apps will be posted to the various app stores, but more of them will actually be worth the download.

Or at least that’s my hope.

What’s your take?

What apps, if any, do you think people will still be playing 30 years from now? Would you embrace the arcade business model and pay 25 cents a pop to play a good app? Post your comments below.

 

featured image: (c) kavistechnology.com

(c) karratti.com

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