• arrow
    LOG IN 
    • Log in using an option below.
      Forgot password?
      Login with Facebook
      Sign in with Twitter

Shop Contact Us Submit Videos Who Are We? Hall Of Fame Advertising With PG Games Archive
Best games on iPhone Best games on iPad Best games on Apple Watch Best games on Android
Best free games on iPhone Best free games on iPad Best free games on Apple Watch Best free games on Android Competitions
iPhone game sales iPad game sales Apple Watch game sales Android game sales
Latest iPhone game updates Latest iPad game updates Latest Apple Watch game updates Latest Android game updates
New iPhone games New iPad games New Apple Watch games New Android games
PG.biz PG FRANCE PG GERMANY PG Game Guides PG GameHubs PG Connects
AppSpy 148 Apps Android Rundown iPhone Quality Index iPad Quality Index Android Quality Index Swipe Magazine Best App Ever Awards
Pocket Gamer on NewsNow
UK Mobile Pages Directory
Skinflint Price Comparison
iPad  header logo


Mobile game politics: Booster Back initiative demands "freemium fairness"

Rabble-rousing for in-app refunds

Product: True
Everything's politics. Even games. Quizista, a new indie developer that has just launched its first game, Quizcover, is trying to drum up support for its Booster Back initiative.

In a nutshell, it's about demanding that if you pay for a booster but still don't master a level or score points, you should get your boosters back so you can use them next time.

Subscribe to Pocket Gamer on

Quizista is looking to find partners. They say they are prepared to discuss anything that will advance this cause, including licensing (for free) the Booster Back logo to other developers and publishers, or handing control over Booster Back to an industry group.

How -- and how soon -- the industry responds remains to be seen. The traditional approach is that users must choose wisely when to use boosters, and boosters don't generally come with the "value guarantee" that the Booster Back initiative demands.

Gamers, however, presumably welcome refunds any day of the week.

We've discussed the Booster Back idea and underlying strategy with Florian Mueller, Quizista's founder and a former EU Campaigner of the Year (Economist Group). Florian has fought for the open source movement and small software companies against software patents. He was also responsible, in a sales, marketing and publishing capacity, for Blizzard's first number one hit internationally.

The toughest question first: is Booster Back just a marketing stunt for your Quizcover trivia game, or is it a legitimate political campaign?

"That depends on others, not me. Right now, Quizcover is the only game to showcase the Booster Back approach. As soon as more companies adopt this approach, it will become a full-fledged campaign and I look forward to the day when Quizcover will be only one out of thousands of games that implement Booster Back. Gamers can sign up on the website to express their support or share the YouTube video. The more gamers do so, the more support this cause will get from companies."

If this is such a pressing issue, why haven't others complained about it before? Or, to put it another way, don't most gamers actually accept that using a booster does not come with guarantees?

"I'm a gamer and I always hated it when boosters I bought or that took me a lot of time to earn through so-called grinding were wasted. So I talked about it to other gamers and they said: now that I come to think about it, it really doesn't seem right that I have to spend ever more money on boosters or the boosters I've used in vain are a sunk cost. But you're right that there hasn't been a campaign yet and that's probably because freemium games have only in recent years become the predominant business model."

Why should the industry leave money on the table?

"I don't think this is a zero-sum game where the industry wins if gamers lose. If consumers have more confidence, they'll probably spend even more, but everyone will feel better about it."

Does the Booster Back promise have limits?

"For example, if your objective is to win a ranking, the game can't read your mind and refund your boosters because you finished only in second place. But if you don't score any points on something, that's a clear case for a refund. Also, it's specifically about boosters, such as hints in trivia games or high-power weapons in strategy games, and not about some other things. People often buy extra tries or extra time only because they've already used boosters that would be wasted if they gave up, and we do solve that problem, but aren't refunding retries. Maybe later."

From time to time Steel Media offers companies and organisations the opportunity to partner with us on specially commissioned articles on subjects we think are of interest to our readers. For more information about how we work with commercial partners, please visit http://download.steelmedia.co.uk/terms/SM-Sponsorship-Editorial-Independence-Policy.pdf.
If you're interested in becoming a Preferred Partner please click here.

Reviewer photo
Pocket Gamer staff  12 January 2018
Have your say! Related stories