Sections

Angry Birds dev: the only way to do free-to-play is “ethically”

Friday, 21st February 2014 12:47 GMT By Dave Cook

Angry Birds developer Rovio Entertainment has stressed the need to deliver free-to-play experiences ethically, following an investigation into in-app purchasing conduced by the Office of Fair Trading.

Rovio released karting game Angry Birds Go with a slew of costly in-app purchases and an energy system.

Speaking with MCV, Jami Laes, EVP of Games at Rovio Entertainment said on the matter, “The only way to do free-to-play is ethically. Accidental purchases benefit no-one.

“This is a matter we take seriously. We want our games to be safe and fun for people of all ages. We strive to make parents aware of in-app costs and to use the safeguards the different mobile and payment platforms have.”

What’s your view on Laes perspective?

Latest

4 Comments

  1. CyberMarco

    Fuck you, you fucking hypocrite!

    #1 6 months ago
  2. TheWulf

    What #1 said. They don’t exactly practice what they preach, do they? Plus, they hand over very private user data to spying agencies. Essentially, every time you open up Angry Birds, you’re broadcasting where you are, and thus what you’re doing. And that’s lovely, isn’t it?

    But this kind of thing will manage itself. If there is unethical activity going on, people will know. I suspect that they’re doing this because they’re losing customers over the spying thing.

    If it had been Vlambeer or someone who’d said this, I’d be cheering for them. But then, they use the age old system of ‘buy to play.’ You pay one price, once, and then nothing else. You own the game, and there are no exploitative methods to try to get you to pay more.

    This is why the lion’s share of the mobile games I have (especially the ones I play most) are by respectable indie or small devs. Stuff like Super Crate Box, VVVVVV, Super Hexagon, MacGuffin’s Curse, et al.

    There is some stuff out there in the mobile market that’s worth it. Stuff that has just the one price to pay, and nothing else. You can find sites out there on the Internet that specifically list these games.

    What you have to watch out for is when they drop a stealth patch.

    Never have your games auto-update, on either Android or iOS. That’s the best advice I can give you. Whale Trail, for example, used to be the loveliest thing. It was a game of properly progressing skill, it was lovely, and beautiful, and I liked playing it every now and then.

    Then they dropped a stealth patch and butchered that whale. It became a freemium game (screw those who actually paid for it, right?), and it became this massive vertical progression grind (fuck that). It sucked all the fun, and joy, and love out of it. I had a great deal of admiration for ustwo for making something so amazing… right up until they butchered it without warning.

    So, yeah, there’s a lot of exploitation out there, and a lot of people who just want to make money at your expense, in the least fair ways possible.

    Be wary, be smart, don’t support shitty shenanigans.

    #2 6 months ago
  3. Lloytron

    I think there probably is a valid F2P model out there, but I don’t think anyone has really nailed it. Some of the console MMOs seem to work quite well, like DCUO and World Of Tanks where you can have a good game yet not be crippled by ads or prompts to buy add ons.

    Plants Vs Zombies 2 got F2P right, you could play the whole game through without the need to buy anything and its a really nice game too.

    But as mentioned above, they stealth updated it, changed the game modes around, made it tougher and I’m not sure you can get though it without purchases or at least grinding some more coins.

    Getjar seems a nice enough idea. I got the free version of Cut The Rope last week, without ads, just by downloading some game demos, presumably funded by some ad revenue share model.

    #3 6 months ago
  4. EdgizAwesome

    Best F2P so far has been GW2. Pay once and have all the content in the game. Game had a pay shop in it where u can use actual money and in game currency to buy. Great system.

    #4 6 months ago

Comments are now closed on this article.