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Super Meat Boy dev attacks freemium games that ‘view their audience as dumb cattle’

No ‘business bullsh**’ from Team Meat’s debut mobile title

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Joined:
Mar 2012
Post count:
6
Raygor | 17:04 - 9 May 2012
Since, I haven't played Pocket Legends, I'm speaking somewhat from ignorance, and more in terms of generalities. And it obviously depends on the fidelity of the experience vs the time you can play to get through the content. In the console space it can take months of time to get an hour of solid gameplay. In phone its certainly faster, but a good map in a 3D game will take at least a few weeks of art, design, and possibly programming time.

If you have a good editor, and you are reusing everything, it would be less than a week for a designer to make and playtest. If that's the kind of content you're talking about, then yah, that shouldn't really cost much, if anything in a freemium game.

It may be "free" for a hobbyist to make a map for a game, but it does take them many hours to make a good map. If they value their time at nothing, they do it just for the love of making the game. However, if you are a professional game maker, you do this for a living. It's all about perspective.

You wouldn't go to a store and ask to just walk out with the items you want, or go to a restaurant and leave after eating, even if you didn't like what you ate.

Joined:
Jul 2011
Post count:
502
aros | 12:07 - 9 May 2012
I was quite deeply dissapointed with Pocket Legends. They could have charged for the platinum etc as they do in the new games rather than areas, which were very simple corridor affairs with enemies spread out. Some of the packs did not even bring new textures to the surroundings, ie just more forest levels.

The developers did not provide the promised extra classes and made so many claims in the build up to release on Touch Arcade any avid follower could not help but be dissapointed.

You think it costs 50k to make 10 minutes worth of content when all the art, enemies, AI, textures etc etc are all present? People make maps for games they love all the time in editors and it costs essentially 0.

If they charged for maps, the equipment etc should not have been locked out and platinum should not have been an issue. One or the other should have been the choice they made, but they were very greedy. If you look at more recent releases they seem to have learnt this lesson so I'm surprised to see you defending the choices they made with that game when they realised it was a mistake themselves.
Joined:
Mar 2012
Post count:
6
Raygor | 17:32 - 8 May 2012
@aros

You make my point quite clearly. You obviously like Pocket Legends, however you seem unwilling to spend money to see more content. How do you think that content gets created? It takes designers, artists, animators, and programmers. It costs on average, in places like SF, LA or Seattle, approximately 10k a month per person for salary and overhead. It takes 2-3 weeks to make a significant content addition, it could easily have cost 40-50k for that new content, but you expect them to give it away for free?

I don't want to take away from meat boy, but this is two guys, no real company, probably working from home, an extension of a hobby that got traction. It's different when you are trying to support a company of 20-30 people.
Joined:
Jul 2011
Post count:
502
aros | 15:14 - 8 May 2012
Pocket Legends was a freemium game it was impossible to continue in without shelling out for new areas - very poor
Joined:
Jul 2011
Post count:
502
aros | 15:13 - 8 May 2012
He's right but I am interested to see the devs commitment to good controls by seeing if there is an Xperia Play version. I will lose a lot of love for the developer if they pass on physical controls for touch only rubbish
Joined:
Oct 2011
Post count:
74
NotSoAngryBird | 09:06 - 8 May 2012
turn off IAP, problem solved.
Joined:
Nov 2011
Post count:
401
mr_bez | 08:11 - 8 May 2012
Freemium isn't the problem, per se. The problem is that many devs for whatever reason (inexperience, greed, publisher pressure, nerves that they won't earn enough to stY in business.) strike the wrong balance between what should be free and what should be paid for.
It's a really tough balance to get right.
Joined:
Mar 2012
Post count:
6
Raygor | 23:23 - 7 May 2012
@jn2002dk

You'll have to be more clear about what my logical fallacy is. I've played a ton of freemium games as well, and none of them do that. They allow you to play the game for free, and you don't have to spend money if you don't want to. You can progress faster if you spend money, or get an advantage, and perhaps unlock new areas, however you are never forced to spend money.

If you like the game, and you hit a gate, and money is required, you either think it's worth it or you don't. You can keep playing, or stop, there are tons of other games out there.

Sure there are rippoff games as well, but that is certainly the case in the 99c category as well.
Joined:
Mar 2012
Post count:
6
Raygor | 23:18 - 7 May 2012
@Chivas77

How is that a pathetic thing to say? If the game is free, and it doesn't have any monetization in the game, of course you won't make any money. The point is, if you don't like freemium, don't play them. If you are enjoying it, what is the problem with spending in the game?

You are likely speaking from ignorance, and don't know anything about the game industry, what it takes to make a game, how much it costs, or how expensive it is to get the word out about your game.

The costs are not hidden, you are not sold something without realizing its an in-app purchase, that never ever happens, it always comes up with the Apple text box letting you know it's a purchase. If you don't like the purchase, don't make it. If you don't like that game limiting you, don't play it.

You can point all day to games at the top of the heap, the game industry is a hit driven business. The reality is, a lot of very fun games, that are sold for 99c in the store do not make enough money to make it possible for that dev to make another game, especially if it was financed by a publisher.
Joined:
Apr 2012
Post count:
76
jn2002dk | 19:06 - 7 May 2012
@Raygor

You're missing the point

He is advocating p2p rather than freemium games because a vast majority of the freemium games are enticing you to pay again and again just to simply play the game where as paid games are upfront. You pay once and can play as much as you want with no hidden barriers

Freemium can be done right but sadly the majority of games i've played on both the app store and google play fall into the greed trap. Furthermore freemium often turns out to be more expensive than simply paying once if you want the full experience leaving me with a bad taste in my mouth

The fact that freemium games often makes more money than one time fee games is not a good thing. Just take a look at how many new social building games ala farmville, sims social, my little fantasy blah blah games arrive weekly. Those aren't quality games and the talents of the people who made them could have been utilized in a much better way. At least from a gaming stand point

It amuses me when people have to resort to logical fallacies to make their case - it means they have no case at all
Joined:
Nov 2011
Post count:
46
Chivas77 | 18:36 - 7 May 2012
@Raygor :-

"If you are getting enjoyment out of the game, don't you think you should spend a little bit of money so the dev's kids can eat?"

That's a pretty pathetic thing to say, usually a sign that you don't have a leg to stand on. If devs aren't making money, it might be that their game well...sucks, and maybe it's time to get out of dreamland and get a real job that, you know, pays.

And that article at no point states or even implies that devs are there to entertain people for free. The point is with freemium, costs are hidden and not immediately apparent as to how much the piece of junk will cost to complete. Looking at some of these in app purchase prices, ranging anything up to $60 for a game that has a budget of a postage stamp, and let's not forget a lot of these games are cutesy things aimed at kids.

We don't get many people complaining about Sword and Sworcery or even the Chaos Rings series etc do we? Hmm it might be due to the no nonsense pricing structure, it's there in big bold letters, you pay it and you get a work of art


Joined:
Mar 2012
Post count:
6
Raygor | 18:12 - 7 May 2012
You can play the game for FREE! You don't have to pay money to play most of the game. If you don't like Freemium, don't play it!

These kinds of articles really annoy me, as if game devs are required to entertain players for no cost. If you are getting enjoyment out of the game, don't you think you should spend a little bit of money so the dev's kids can eat? Only 2-5% of the people that play Freemium games spend money, and yet freemium will often make more money than a game sold for 99c.

It amuses me that most people who have iphones are willing without thinking to buy a $4 cup of coffee, but get annoyed when a game they downloaded for FREE tries to get them to spend a little bit of money.

It amuses me that somehow when marketing and sales methods are used in the service of buying a product its ok, but if it's used inside a product its not? It's like getting annoyed at product placement in a movie, as long as it's not out of place, what's the big deal. As long as you find value in the purchase inside a freemium game, what's the big deal?

I can understand a cynical attitude against the largest companies in the social/mobile space, however all the little guys are just trying to make games, and work in their profession, and in the current climate, Freemium is the way that works more often than not.
Joined:
May 2012
Post count:
1
adesilva | 15:03 - 7 May 2012
The main problem is that a lot of smaller developers are forced into the freemium model because the average customer does not want to pay 99c or 1.99 for a game they do not know is good. To get a high volume of downloads they opt for releasing the game for free. I do agree though that purchases should not be made to feel mandatory. A player should be able to enjoy a game forever without paying a dime. (unless of course the free game is a demo with the IAP being to unlock the rest of the game)
Joined:
Sep 2009
Post count:
31
gave29 | 14:48 - 7 May 2012
Well said Edward McMillen
Joined:
Apr 2011
Post count:
279
NotSpam | 14:36 - 7 May 2012
@ atlas: I don't mind some IAP pricing structure, but agree when freemium is tied strongly with IAP+gameplay/time sink/consumable/in-game currency etc some option to "block" all apps of this type would be a very satisfying to use: 2 steps ahead of the cynical marketing of these apps as well as better user experience using the App Store.
Joined:
Apr 2011
Post count:
279
NotSpam | 14:32 - 7 May 2012
Lots to be said for this. iTunes store does not provide customers with enough search/filter/block options for browsing apps.

They also don't do enough to create a qualty index metascore compiled across the internet or such to include. The occassional "complex games" or "best rpg games" is welcome but it's just a scratch at an otherwise clunky user experience.
Joined:
May 2012
Post count:
1
atlas3686 | 13:26 - 7 May 2012
Freemium needs to DIE. Glad someone is raging about this. Games are entertainment I don't like being fleeced for money as I play.
 
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