App Storefronts Could Change Mobile Gaming:
Some of the app gaming industry’s biggest names are following in the footsteps of Epic Games and protesting the storefronts of Apple and Google by taking their business elsewhere. And by ‘business’, we of course mean us, the players.
Free-to-play app games rely on in-app purchases to make their mountains of cash. It’s a model that has heralded the incoming age of the app game, thanks to its gargantuan levels of profitability. But for every in-app purchase made through the App Store and Google Play, Apple and Google respectively take a hefty cut.
The Epic vs. Apple lawsuit was an attempt by Epic to free themselves from the shackles of Apple’s (and Google’s) 30% share of in-app purchases back in 2021. It became one of the most high-profile games industry controversies in recent history, resulting in Fortnite being removed from iOS, and Apple and Google agreeing to make some concessions for developers.
But it has also seemingly worked to inspire other app game devs into following suit, as some high-rolling app games are circumventing the charges by simply creating their own app storefronts, meaning payments go to the devs directly.
On the face of it, it seems like a no-brainer. But the F2P model relies heavily on the ease with which a player can make an in-app purchase on the fly. And that’s thanks to these purchases being made via the App Store and Google Play. Putting in extra steps (opening up a browser and taking eyes off the game) only gives the player more time to reconsider that purchase.
But that doesn’t seem to be much of a problem for Game of Thrones: Conquest, Clash of Clans, Marvel Strike Force and Star Trek Fleet Command, who have each opted to open and promote their own external platforms. According to data from Game Refinery, these titles are making huge profits from in-app purchases. But they are keen to make even more.
Needless to say, Apple and Google refuse to allow these games to promote or link to these sites within the app games themselves. But this has led to titles like Clash of Clans offering incentivizing bundles to get users to visit their app storefronts directly.
Whether this will stop most players from opting for the convenient in-app purchase, however, remains to be seen. After all, the companies are still rolling in cash regardless.
What do you think about new App Storefronts?
Dragon image credit: GoT conquest: Turbine
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