In 1980, an exciting new video game was released, called “Pac Man”. Buyers had two choices: Buy the full console for $5,000.00, or stick 25 cents into an arcade slot and play only once (until you were eaten by ghosts). I was 8 years old, and my weekly allowance was enough for only 8 rounds. Video games were not free in the 80’s and 90’s.
Video games started becoming free online somewhere around the year 1998. Flash technology enabled users to play a virtually unlimited number of games within their browsers, without the need to install anything, and without the need for a credit card. Over the last 10 years, Google Ads has given basement game developers a way to earn an income by creating free games. The internet became packed full of just about every kind of game you could ever imagine, all for free. And the developers earned from it! How cool is that?
Recently the casual game industry has begun to revert back to what it was back in the 80’s. Developers are now demanding money for their hard work. This is done in a variety of ways. “Micro-transactions” have become insanely popular in places such as Facebook and mobile devices, while many developers prefer to tease the player with a free “lite” version and a paid “full” version. Others make their stuff free, supported by ads and incentivized videos.
We would like your feedback on pricing for our upcoming game, Airport Madness 4. What should it cost? Please send us your thoughts by email. Before you shout “Free!”, please bear in mind that these games do not build themselves. It is immensely time-consuming and costly. Web servers, digital certificates, artwork, web design, software, coding and training all add up. Version 5 only comes if version 4 was a worthwhile endeavor.