With the redesign of the Google Play store a little while ago, the games section gained an area for “Top Grossing Games.” The top grossing title as of this writing is Minecraft Pocket Edition. That’s not too offensive. The second leading grosser? Rage of Bahamut, and it has been in the top five since it released.
Bahamut is free, and as described by develper Mobage, it is “Highly addictive.” It’s the first line in the description. Free, addictive, and top grossing. It’s a terrifying proposition.
Most reviews come from players looking for funds or berating the pricing scheme, but it would seem that most pay. After all, they wouldn’t be pushing this title to the top were it not for the in-game purchases.
The free-to-play concept rubs me the wrong way. There is no definitive way to know how much you’ve spent, and there is nothing to show for your purchase. It is worse than a typical digital download in that you are paying to win, not play. And, if your free game – amongst hundreds of thousands on the Play Store mind you – is a stand out, I’m not interested.
I remember when I first gained access to the Google App Store on my Droid Incredible. It opened up a new world, and I downloaded free and paid software. The free games were developers looking to stand out via ads. That is, after all, how Angry Birds was spawned. Now, free has become an immediate turn off. I don’t mind supporting developers, but the idea of spending X hours in a game only to hit a paywall that saps all enjoyment is detestable. Charge me outright and the problem goes away.
Of course, people don’t like to pay outright. Paid apps don’t sell well in comparison to other app stores as a rule, and turnover rates from free versions is ridiculously low. When people don’t notice how much they are spending, it becomes a free-for-all in a climb to the top of the game, and the bottom of their pocket book. That’s a game I won’t becomes caught up in.