BB DevCon 11: Magmic on the opportunities of freemium on BlackBerry; top players of Texas Hold 'Em King spend over $5,000

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BB DevCon 11: Magmic on the opportunities of freemium on BlackBerry; top players of Texas Hold 'Em King spend over $5,000
Freemium is the key business model for all mobile platforms, and that's also the case on BlackBerry, although few companies are presently exploring the opportunity.

On company that is, however, is Canadian publisher Magmic, which is one of the largest games companies on the platform with over 70 games on the App World

In a talk entitled 'Monetising freemium products to work for you', Ryan Henry and Ian MacDonald discussed some of Magmic's findings in the area.

5. Up

One example is its New York Times Crossword app.

This is a free download, which includes some puzzles, but monetises on a subscription model based on 1, 6 and 12 month access to the daily puzzle of the New York Times, plus 5,000 back catalog puzzles.

Significantly, while officially App World subscriptions are only 7 or 30 day, Magmic has constructed its own durations using in-app purchases, rather than plugging in the official subscription API.

Downloaded over one million times on BlackBerry, iOS and Android, the game has around 120,000 daily sessions, with the average subscription duration being 184 days.

Magmic has also experimented with ad-funded models. Its puzzler Ka-Glom was switched from paid to ad-supported, with the option to pay to remove the ads.

The result has been over five million downloads, with the company making multiple times the amount of money compared to when it was a straight paid game.

Aces high

The company's top performing freemium game, however, is the BlackBerry-only Texas Hold 'Em King, which has been downloaded over one million times.

Users get free chips daily, but there's also the option for users to spend their own cash.

As seen on other platforms, the biggest item sales by volume are the lowest priced options; with the 99c and $4.99 IAP option making up 78 percent of sales.

But, overall, the average sale is $14, with 2 percent of purchasers spending the maximum $399.99.

Indeed, some individuals have spent over $5,000 in the game.
Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.