3 ideas for acceptable IAP

There’s a wonderful new trend of “No IAP ever!” RPGs coming out. For example Mazes of Karradash and Dungeons of Chaos (reviews to come). This is great, because most players are thoroughly sick of games that require expensive crystals or bucks or other premium currency purchases to actually progress and win the game.

Some years ago I wrote about the freemium debate, and looked at ways that games might include IAP in a non-repellent way. With that in mind, here are three IAPs that I don’t mind paying for:

1. Extra chapters

The marvellous Temple of the Abyssal Winds has in-game chapter purchases, and that’s fine. The total cost of all the chapters is easily justified by the quality and play time. It also means that the developer can still monetise extra work, rather than having to create a whole new app.

2. Full game unlock

I’m very happy to pay in-game to unlock the full version of a demo game. I don’t know whether this causes confusion in the Free vs Paid categories in the iTunes store, but I’m much happier with a single app download. That way I can keep my progress most easily and reliably.

3. A non-essential perk

Sometimes I feel I’ve had so much enjoyment and value out of a game that I wish there was a way to “tip” the developer. A non-essential perk, particularly a “lazy perk”, can be good for this.

Customisation doesn’t work for me, since I’m not that fussed about it. Also by the time you’ve realised a game is great value, you’re not really bothered if you can give your character blonde hair or a custom name or whatever. Customisation only matters right at the start, when most players aren’t (yet) inclined to invest more money in the privilege.

While the basic game shouldn’t be made frustrating or irritating for players that don’t want to buy the “lazy perk”, some ideas are:

  • a slightly larger minimap square
  • autolooting bodies
  • autosell junk items
  • an extra life for recharge games (I bought this on Two Dots to try and show appreciation as the base game is free)
  • slightly faster recharges
  • slightly bigger loot bag

None of these dramatically changes the game, they just make the experience slightly more comfortable/requiring less patience and repetition.