F2P Goes From “Free” to “Get”
Earlier this week, Apple decided to change the wording on their Mac and iTunes App Stores for free-to-play games. Instead of a free “Free” download button, the F2P games now display “Get”.
The new change in wording is most likely a response to the negativity that F2P games have been receiving over the past few years, in an effort avoid complaints over misleading F2P games. Regulations laid down by the European Commission earlier this year provided similar guidelines: “Games advertised as 'free' should not mislead consumers about the true costs involved”. Other app stores like Google Play’s have already conformed to a few of these regulations in Europe. You can learn more about the changes here on Gamasutra.
Mobile Discovery Tips
Google Developer Relations executive Rupert Whitehead recently spoke at the London Games Conference to provide advice on how mobile game developers can improve the discovery of their video games.
While the tips were primarily targeted at the Google Play store, most of them can be applied to other platforms such as Apple’s App Store. Whitehead’s first word of advice was to encourage developers to put more effort in their app store listings, by optimizing images, video trailers and descriptions.
Another suggestion by Rupert was that developers should be proactive in responding to negative reviews - since many negative reviews are a response to a gameplay or software issue, that can usually be resolved. Often times, users will change their reviews if the developer can provide a reasonable solution. Take a look at more of Rupert Whitehead’s advice here on Develop Online.
The Death of Launch Dates?
As gaming continues to transition from AAA-only titles to indies, the gaming industry has been seeing more alpha and beta releases with soft launches, and less of the hyped up big-box launches. We are now seeing wildly popular games like Minecraft and DayZ being released partially finished, and under the radar - letting the community create buzz through word-of-mouth, instead of big-budget marketing campaigns.
Does this mean the death of launch dates is near? Take a look at PocketGamer’s insight here on how the current mobile and beta landscape is changing the way developers release their games.