Laser Dog sells out?
Well, no. Not really.
We’ve always said that we’d never make a freemium game, as they’re basically evil. The big companies use them to extract as much money out of players as possible. That sucks, and isn’t what we class as “gaming”.
There are two things recently that have changed the way we think about freemium games:
- Some companies do it right and are not evil. We refer to these as “clean-freemium” games. Crossy Road is a good example, as you can play the game in its entirety. Anything you pay for (with money or by watching ads) is purely aesthetic and isn’t “pay to win”.
The market has changed a lot in the past year. It’s a growing concern that more and more people don’t expect to pay for mobile games. This sucks for us.
So you’re gonna try cash in now?
No. Well yeah, kinda.
When we released HoPiKo, we had a lot of press coverage and the Editor’s choice spot in the App Store. iOS sales were good enough for us to continue our business (we had one month left in the bank - cutting it close) for at least a while longer. We were overjoyed. There was even a jumping double high-five moment on launch day!
Android sales were VERY different. It took about 4 hours for someone to release a “cracked” (whatever that means) version of HoPiKo. That quickly spread through all the various websites that host such things. Soon it was higher in the Google search than the genuine app.
What we’ve seen is that 90% of all android installs have been pirates. 90%. 9 out of 10. That hurts.
I made a pretty chart:
HoPiKo is going to be “Monetised” then?
That’s an awful word. But yes, in a way.
IMPORTANT: The premium version of HoPiKo on iOS and Android will be totally unchanged. That is a premium game. Pay once, play forever and free updates.
We’ve been watching the figures come in over the last few months and thought “If people are going to get it for free, we might as well try earn a bit of money from it”.
What we’ve done is released a new version of HoPiKo, “HoPiKo Free”, on the Google Play store. This is monetised in the following way:
- The player starts with 20 credits.
You lose a credit every time you die.
When you’re out of credits, you can wait 10 minutes for new round of 20 credits.
OR (this is the best bit) you can watch an advert and get some credits without waiting.
Other than that, it’s the same game.
We’re viewing this as an experiment really, and expect to earn very little money from it. But a little bit is more than none..
You can download the free version of HoPiKo here if you want to give it a go