Purchasing Revenue from In-App Payments

As discussed, in-app purchases for free download games tend to be the best way for developers to earn money. “Paid downloads are something of yesterday,” as Michael Oiknine, CEO of mobile analytics service Apsalar, puts it. “Everybody or almost everybody has moved to a freemium model.”

He doesn’t even recommend charging 99 cents. “You may think, ‘What is a dollar?’... but when you have so many games out there, the end user doesn’t have the time” to investigate whether it’s worth paying for when they can just play a slew of free iSO games before they find one they like. “Perception is reality, and they’ll think ‘I can get this download for free.’” Oiknine recommends selling your game as a paid download only when you’re going after a niche market.

Still, this does mean only a small percent of your players will pay to play: According to Oiknine, anywhere between 1–5 percent of players will make in-app purchases, depending on the game.

The United States, Japan, and Korea have the most highly monetized markets for free-to-play payments, followed by Western Europe.

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