It’s Annoying To Explain You’re Not Making A Mobile Or Social Game

Some devs like to keep it simple: no in-app purchases or microtransactions — hell, no app at all; no forcing you to rope your friends to play. Just, you know, player gives dev money, player gets entire game. That game is probably priced at more than 99 cents to boot.

It’s an approach that may seem strange in the age of mobile and social games. For Tim Keenan, selling A Virus Named TOM in a simple, traditional approach sounds like it resulted in some majorly annoying conversations with other people judging from this funny puppet theatre reenactment.

“I guess it’s more the frustration of all the random advice you get, telling you to do whatever is hot at the moment. Though I recognise it’s usually with the best intentions ;),” Keenan explained in a Reddit thread.

“It’s almost therapeutic making these. I may make one on the joy of dealing with publishers next.”

Indie Life #1: “PC Game” [MisfitsAttic]


  • Meh. These days to me, and im sure to a lot if not most consumers, playing an entirely offline game seems pointless. Even if the game is awesome.. You get to the end and it feels like wasted time..

    .. However even the most basic level of connectivity/social aspects to the degree of say, an old arcade games scoreboard/highscore system, it’s instantly like “crap, my friend got 20 points more than me! im going again!”

    And really, in the end of the day, not including even a basic, optional online component just seems lazy.. This isn’t about what you want after all, the basic premise of the game is your ideological contribution – past that, it’s what consumers want..

    Though you’re more than welcome to make a game for the 1-2% of hardcore gamers.. If in the end it’s just to save time/effort that you don’t include ANY online or social component then really that does seem like a major foobar in the current consumer market, and it’s more confusing why you would be confused that it doesn’t seem to be what people expect…

  • Microtransactions feel tacky to me. It’s like I’ve just bought a solar powered car but the car dealer is always sitting in the passenger seat hassling me if I buy petrol I can drive faster.

  • Problem seems to be that its the free games with in-game micro-transactions for exorbitant prices that make the most money in the mobile games space.
    I imagine they’ve done the math and come to the conclusion that even if only a small (say 1%) portion of your player base is spending $10, $20, maybe $30, and an even smaller portion going silly – spending hundreds or more on your “free” game then you’ll make more money than selling the game for 99c (the sweet spot) or having “fair” in-game pricing.

    Many of us traditional gamers really prefer to spend an up-front fee to get a game that we “own”. Unfortunately there are enough “big fish” casuals who are making “free” games more profitable =(

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