I’m doing something a little different tonight and, instead of reviewing a game, I’m writing a few updates to previous articles, as well as some musings on recent gaming news. I was initially thinking about writing a Mobile Money article about a game I had played last year, KO Trivia, which was an advertising-based free-to-play game where you earned tokens for winning trivia contests that could be exchanged for cash or prizes. It turns out that they closed down their app on April 5th due to decreasing ad revenues.
In a similar vein, I also happened to be scrolling through my Steam collection and noticed that the free-to-play Mobius Final Fantasy, which was also a mobile application, was shutting down June 30th, or a of couple days prior to this post. Mobius Final Fantasy was primarily a game where you collected and combined cards to power up your character to battle against various monsters, whose monetization was through in-app purchases. They had apparently posted the shutdown notice in January, but I hadn’t played it in at least a year. One thing that struck me about the notice was that they were keeping in-app purchases live until March.
Who would buy items for a game that they know is going to shut down in a few months? For that matter, is it ever a good idea to make in-app purchases? The answer to the first question is likely no one, unless they were unaware of the impending doom of the game. The second question merits a bit more thought.
In my Mobile Money articles, I always say that you shouldn’t spend money on games, which I stand by if the goal is to try to earn something by playing them. However, if you enjoy a game and want to support it , then aside from your time, spending some hard earned cash is the primary way of doing that. Running servers, paying support staff, and further development tends to cost money, and most companies aren’t running games just for the fun of it.
You do run the risk that your investment may go away if the game does shut down, but by making that investment you help make it worthwhile for the people running the game to keep doing so. I have certainly made my own cash contributions to several massive multiplayer online games over the years, at least in terms of monthly subscription fees. Nowadays, I tend to enjoy the simplicity of single-player games, where you pay up front for the experience and they tend to have a more definitive ending. Some companies do try to nickel and dime you by adding mobile monetization practices into single player games, but that’s an entirely different topic that frustrates me to no end.
If you have any thoughts on the subject of in-app purchases, please share them in a comment below.
As apps are patched, some things have changed with games that I have previously written about, leading me to want to add a few updated notes of my own.
In my first Mobile Money review of Lucky Day, I had noted that you always won tokens. This has since been changed, greatly lowering the average number of tokens you would earn a day. They also seem to have increased the frequency of ads, and I would still strongly advice against using this app.
In my review of AFK Arena, I had noted that the music was not working on my phone. This seems to have been fixed, either by a phone restart or game patch, and is now working. The music is better than the sound effects, in my opinion, though not to a degree where I’m going to change my overall rating of the game.
I hope that everyone has a happy and safe 4th of July, and I’ll be back Sunday with another game review!