Litigation is a machine which you go into as a pig and come out as a sausage - Ambrose Bierce, allegedly
THE PAY AFTER YOUR TRY Freemium market is the "dominant" force in mobile apps, according to a company that analyses that sort of thing.
That company, app analytics firm App Annie, has published its June report on the market, and reported something that we might have suspected - that the freemium market is preferred because it brings in the most cash.
Bucket loads of cash are pulled in by games that are free to download but are stuffed like a sardine tin with in-game gewgaws that have an eye on your money.
They have won the attention of regulators, and their criticism, but people still download them and throw money into the pit that they open.
App Annie said that an outfit called Halfbrick, to which we owe thanks for Fruit Ninja, doubled its downloads after it made its apps free, for a limited time. Fruit Ninja is presently free in the App Store and boasts of in-app purchases.
Also touted as a rising star is Bubble Witch Saga 2, offered to the App store by a firm called King. Again this is a free title, and again it offers in-app purchases.
King is already a dominant force, and with just 32 apps under its wings it is top of the combined Google Play and Apple App Store rankings in terms of downloads. It sits above Electronic Arts, with some 1,000 apps, and big hurler Rovio, which has 60.
Something called Two Dots is the most downloaded title on the Apple iOS store. This is free and offers in-app purchases.
"Two Dots is Betaworks One's aptly named sequel to the award-winning 2013 smash hit Dots, jumping into the [number one] download spot for iOS games for June," said App Annie as it beautifully illustrated how the freemium model works.
"Two Dots supplements the simple dot-connecting puzzle gameplay from the first game with an original storyline that presents different challenges on top of the core gameplay. Users can purchase extra moves or bombs to help them pass particularly difficult levels."
This month the European Commission rounded on Apple over the apparently "misleading" way that it deals with in-app purchases. Then Apple said that actually it is very clear on the system.
"Apple takes great pride in leading the industry in parental controls that are incredibly easy to use and help ensure a great experience for parents and children on the App Store," it said in a statement.
"The parental controls in iOS are strong, intuitive and customizable. And over the last year we made sure any app which enables customers to make in-app purchases is clearly marked."
According to App Annie the EC's moves are good news. "In June, revenue from freemium apps accounted for over 95 percent of all app store revenue from the iOS App Store and Google Play combined," commented App Annie EVP of marketing Oliver Lo.
"The proposed legislation legitimizes a business model that app publishers know is working and provides greater transparency to consumers. It demonstrates the real and meaningful effect that new app business models are having on the wider world." µ
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