Purchasable Premium Currency - Clash of Clans
Hey everyone, today I am going to introduce and explain one of my most familiar fields in design: Free to Play Mobile Games Monetization .
Disclaimer: This by no means represent that this is my favorite topic, there is oftenmost stigma on designing games for profit.
When phones first transitioned from feature slates to the smart era (the first iPhones and Android devices), games were naturally inherited. Java games commonly cost money and the first cycle of games on smartphones cost money (Angry Birds and Doodle Jump have an initial price tag of USD1). From a luxury to a commodity, the App market has since matured to mainly comprise of Free games (I still do sincerely appreciate many innovative paid titles in the market).
Otherwise referred to In-App Purchases (IAP), they form the profiteering basis of all Free to Play games in which all readers here would be familiar with. Let's jump to the various sub-topics from here on...
Direct Content Purchase
Commonly used on western releases, users pay for what they want. No frills here, you pay for what you want. Here is a quick list of common content users pay for:
This is where things start getting interesting but not unfamiliar. A big majority of the grossing (highest revenue) games have currencies in them, most often consisting of 2 or more types: Premium (Hard currency) and Free (Soft currency).
Usually represented by gems or jewels, users purchase a small to big amount of currency for many of the game's core content functions. If they have more than a single usage, they serve as the unifying currency to spend the same thing for a variety of things in the game:
The last one listed is a tricky one, games that allow for currency exchange often drive complex and/or layered economies. On hindsight, it's oftenmost for designers to set content progression in a game based on time and effort sinks in the game.
In Part II, I will be covering about known tricks that mobile games employ to encourage free users to convert to paying players so stay tuned! Thanks for reading!