Many of the world's most popular games are free-to-play, yet they still manage to make a ton of money. Here's a simple explanation of how they work, and why they're able to get people to for over their cash for something that's technically 100% free.and more »
Many of the worldâ€™s most popular games are free-to-play, yet they still manage to make a ton of money. Hereâ€™s a simple explanation of how they work, and why theyâ€™re able to get people to for over their cash for something thatâ€™s technically 100% free.
This video from the Vox YouTube channel explains the complicated world of â€œfreemiumâ€ games and their business models. These games are using the fundamentals of behavioral psychology to get you hooked and get you spending on basic gameplay. Here are a few of the biggest tricks they use:
They have a virtual currency with a complicated exchange rate, like gems, gold, or coins, so you donâ€™t feel like youâ€™re spending real money. Itâ€™s similar to how itâ€™s easier to spend money with a card than it is with cash.Buying the virtual currency is instant and painless. With a single tap or click, youâ€™re money is spent and you barely even realize it. But other parts of the game are tedious and painful, making the desire to â€œpay-to-winâ€ much stronger. Essentially, developers take away convenience, but offer it to players for a price.Only a small percentage of players actually end up paying to play freemium games, but this group spends a lot of money. These so called â€œwhalesâ€ are who keep these games afloat.Of course, some freemium games are worse than others. The real money shop in PokÃ©mon Go, for example, is fairly unobtrusive. And while the items in the shop do increase convenience somewhat, theyâ€™re more about enhancing the way you play, not removing painful barriers. Still, that hasnâ€™t stopped the game from making more money than any other app in both Appleâ€™s and Googleâ€™s app stores.
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How free games are designed to make money | YouTube
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