Jones On Fire Developer Removes In-App Purchases
Jones On Fire developer Glass Bottom Games has removed in-app purchases (IAP) from the Android edition of the premium game, following a weekend described by the company as "abysmal". The game's IAPs will be removed from the iOS edition in an upcoming update.
In a statement to Modojo, developer Megan Fox explained the reasoning for the change of approach.
"Our launch weekend was abysmal, basically, and we appear to be the next somewhat high profile indie critical success / F2P failure on iOS", she wrote.
"If my gut instincts are right, $1.99 is a better price point for indies like myself, especially on Android - but if I'm wrong, at least Jones on Fire will fail as an ethical, balanced-for-fun game."
In an official press release, the developer went into greater detail surrounding the decision to remove IAP from the game, reviewed by Modojo yesterday.
"Free-to-play (F2P) didn't work at all for us. We thought we'd ticked off all the necessary boxes to lead to a successful F2P game, but it would seem right now, we're only a critical success. The numbers aren't good at all. The only way we could turn it into a F2P success, is if we had the ~$25k to advertise our way into the top grossing charts.
"The idea with switching to $1.99, and removing all IAPs, is that if the conventional wisdom with respect to F2P being the way to go doesn't apply to indies - then what else doesn't apply? Most will happily tell you that Android users don't monetize, that they don't pay for games, and yet indies recently have consistently reported higher income from Android, often substantially higher, and with fixed single-price games. I'm inclined to believe their experience applies more to us than the rest of the conventional wisdom, so, we're going to try it."
As for why the game was having its IAP removed, rather than its premium price tag, Fox had this to say:
"For me, it's an ethical issue. I simply don't believe you should double dip. Either you put a price on the game, or you make it free with IAPs, period. That's why the Android build has no IAPs period, and we've got a patch in the pipe to remove them from the iOS version - though IAPs purchased pre-patch will continue to function. Even if Jones On Fire still fails, it'll at least fail as a fun, honest, ethically-balanced game."