Lite version and Premium version or One version with in game purchases

I am getting close to completing my game (Hmm I think I said that a few months ago too but client work and life has taken its toll on my capacity).

Anyway I would obviously like to maximise my games potential to make some dollar and I am now thinking of the best approach to launching it. I see a lot of games have a lite version and a premium version and was up until recently thinking this was really the only way to approach this.

However with the strong rumours of in game purchases coming soon to Corona, I am wondering if it would be a better idea to have just one version of the game with the premium functionality locked and then enable users to purchase this extra functionality?

I would be interested in hearing what the pros and cons of each approach are and if there are any alternative approaches?

Thanks

Paul

I think it depends of how you want to implement in-app purchases. I see in-app more like add-ons to a game. For example, you would put a character that the user can purchase for the amount of 1.99$ or add a couple of bonus extra-hard levels for 0.99$. That's how I see it.

If you want to make a version that is more like a demo of the full version I would go for the lite/premium versions. Otherwise in-app could be an interesting idea. You could always put a free version and ask for 0.99$ for the full version with all levels and features but, as for myself, I'm not the type to buy full version from in-app. I don't know why... :\

I've read an article in the Game Developer mag about in-app and that's basically what I'm explaining right there; add-ons and bonus features for in-app purchasing.

Hope it helps. :)

There are pros and cons for each method.

If you have 2 apps you have more presence in the store, which could lead to more recognition. I recently read about a dev recommending avoiding universal apps altogether for the same reason. 4 apps, 4 times the exposure than a single universal app with in-app purchases, thus maximizing the change of achieving a high store rank.

Can't find the link, but it explained that it's much more difficult to maintain your position in the free charts than the paid ones. Showing with data how rotation is much faster. So if you only go with a free version it might not last that long up there.

The cons would be that you can't share GC leaderboards between your lite and full (I'm not sure about OF). Depending on your game this could be a deal breaker. It's harder to maintain different versions and you add more steps between your user want to buy your game and effectively can (one click, vs leaving the game and going to the store).

I'm more partial to using IAPs. I've seen lots of titles use it to remove ads.

Thanks for the very helpful posts on this subject. It looks like it is not black and white. My main problem at the moment is determining which features to give away free and which to include as premium content.

The most obvious feature to differentiate is the number of levels available in each but I wonder if not including things like OpenFeint on the free version is a good idea or not. Currently I have just one version of my game that includes everything so it is a case of removing features to enable me to have a free and premium version.

I would at least include OF leaderboards on the free version if you go the IAP route, since it adds value to the paid version as well (having more people to compete against). If you can't share the leaderboards then I don't know, but I'd probably add them anyway, especially if you go with iAds or something along those lines.

I've pretty much decided that achievements and OpenFeint are the two things I'll leave out of my Lite version from the full paid version. I'm not having ads in either. Other than just being really keen to get it out there and feeling like it's taken ling enough, it's my first game and I'm not expecting much.

The driver to the paid edition, IMHO, are elements which make the game more complete and tempting, without reducing the free version. At least, too much.

Matt

@horacebury

You mentioned "I'm not having ads in either". Have I missed something here? I wasn't aware we could have ads in Corona games

Thanks

Paul

http://www.twitter.com/ballfrenzy

Well, you can, but ATM its not necessarily easy.

M

views:1075 update:2011/10/7 11:17:15
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