We’ve heard feedback from a few people that “they wish they could just pay us $0.99 and get an ad-free version of Wordament.” We considered this at length both during initial development and, again, after getting this feedback. We thought we should take a minute to discuss it and share our perspective.
Wordament is a Massively Multiplayer Online Word Playing Game (MMOWPG). In order to be fun, it requires a user base of sufficient size. While this game can be played—even enjoyed—as a solitaire experience, the magic of this game comes from our company meme: “You vs. the Internet”. Without that, we would be like so many other basic word game clones in the Marketplace.
So, what are the impediments to success? Three things:
- Spreading the word that our game exists and that it’s available to play—this is a place where you can help! If you like the game, please rate and review us in the Marketplace and don’t forget to tell your friends how much you love it!
- Taking away friction from gaining a new player. We’ve addressed this by doing two things: eliminating the install barrier (offering the game FREE prevents anyone from having an excuse not too) and minimizing the time from launch to play (not requiring account set up).
- Covering our infrastructure costs for running an internet-scale cloud-based service: servers aren’t free!
As you can probably guess, items 2 and 3, above, are in conflict. We want as many players as possible, but we need to cover our costs. The solution is advertising. Ads don’t pay much per person, but they do pay consistently, over time. And, servers cost money over time too. The problem with having a “paid version without ads” is that it provides all the funding we will ever get for a user in one shot. But, our expenses are not “one time expenses” – such as covering the initial cost of development. We need to cover both the initial development costs plus the ongoing costs.
So, the bottom line is: we aren’t planning on ever charging for this game. We love the game and we love having you as a player much more than we want money “upfront.” We are not shoving ads at you to upset you either. We are simply trying to strike a fair balance between you having a great game that costs you nothing and is available forever with us trying to cover our ongoing costs so that we can all enjoy this game together.
“Black Snapper” – Engineer and Gamer, You vs. the Internet