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Are in-app purchases effective?

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Default Are in-app purchases effective?

As the title says, are in-app purchases as effective as I'd like to think they are?

As we're all fully aware, there are a lot of people around the internet who will do whatever they can to get a game or app that they shouldn't be able to.
Obviously developers have to make money when they choose to because otherwise they could be making a loss and not want to continue to develop any more. What is their best option to make money?

1) They could have a price on their app/game but once paid for, no more money will need to be spent in the app/game.
2) They could use the popular method of creating a free version and a paid version.
3) Have the app/game free of charge but have in-app purchases to make some money from it.

There are of course downsides to each of the options above but in my mind, the best option is 3) because it's not as easy to be able to get around the paying system. The only way around, that I can currently think of, would be by using cheat systems such as GameCih.
Whereas with the other 2 options, it's fairly easy to be able to bypass the required payment.

A perfect example of in-app purchases working is with Shadowgun Deadzone.
If the app had not been free, chances are I wouldn't have been interested in it because I couldn't test it before buying.
As the game is free, I tested the game out and because I thoroughly enjoy the game, I've since bought in game gold numerous times and will continue to do so.

I know that not everyone will have the same mentality as me but it proves, in my case, that in-app purchases work.

What are your thoughts on in-app purchases or what do you feel are the benefits of simply putting a price on the app/game?
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From my experience, In App Billing is really good.
In my truck parking game, 3D Truck Parking, there are about 4 level packs for free and 1 that you have to buy with IAB. I must say that I got a lot of purchases daily!
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IAB is better, you don't have to maintain two different versions, its easy to set up. Also users can't cancel an order they make through IAB & its linked to their accounts. On a normal paid app you can copy the apk and cancel the order, making it easy to steal.
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When i started to work with android app i did two version free and paid. Now i'm sure that it's wrong. One free application with in-app payments is the best choise.
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Default Question

Hi Guys!

I'm writing my academic thesis about the market of the app stores and I would like to interview some developers about the monetization, revenue models etc... If you could answer some questions please contact me at It would be a great help! Thank you very much!
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Default Freemium and IAB


I believe Freemium is a good model for many apps, specially games.
And IAB is the best option to support the Freemium model, to my experience.
I tried other options such as free app with paid apk acting as an unlock key, which is a quite popular model on the Play Store, but not as powerful and flexible as IAB.
So I would really recommend IAB, specially latest version 3 which is easier to use.
Make sure you use the helper class provided by Google, but be careful, there are a few bugs in it...Look for fixes in stackoverflow !

Good luck!
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I can certainly say I wish I had implemented in app purchasing instead of a free and paid version of the same app. As mentioned before, the ease of not having to maintain two versions, as well as the advantage of free app entry is a big plus. Definitely the way to go if the app is designed in a way that makes sense for that style.
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In-apps are gr8, the only problem is that the app must be developed rly good (if not excelent i.e. nice in-game economy) to encurage ppl to use them. Freemium FTW!
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I would love to move to IAB but I already have a paid/free app combo in the store. That would just be another app to maintain

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(Last edited by cities516; 22nd July 2013 at 09:59 AM.)
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Just to say, Google Play bans ALL apps with in-app purchase here.
Besides, I can't but any apps in GP.
What a shame, Google.
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