Paid games still alive and kicking on iOS, says Halfbrick

Paid games still alive and kicking on iOS, says Halfbrick
Halfbrick CMO Phil Larsen has reacted to those claiming iOS is dominated by free releases by revealing that the Australian studio is making more money from paid games than ever.

Speaking during an interview with, Larsen said it doesn't help developers to think of the App Store as an either-or market.

Paid and free-to-play releases can coexist alongside each other perfectly happily.

Alive and kicking

"Some people say paid is dead and that's wrong, it's not dead than all," Larsen told the site.

"We made more money on paid than we ever have it's just that free is growing alongside it. At the time you're going to see that shift in balance and it's up to the consumers to see where that goes."

Indeed, the wealth of free games on the market means that those still that come with a price tag do gain a certain advantage in the eyes of many a consumer.

"Paid games do have a different perception on the App Store, they do have a higher perception of quality about them," he added.

"99 cents for a game is cool, but people want to spend more if they like it. And we want to have that ability to let them spend more if they want to."

Design decisions

Larsen stresses that knowing when to go the paid or free release is a question of learning more about the marketplace in question.

At the end of the day, however, the decision should be based on the design of the game itself, rather than the market pressures of the time.

"We know what we're going to make and if a game that we're making is built around a paid design or a free design we'll decide," he concluded.

"With Jetpack Joyride we gave it a lot of options. It had those legs to be able to change and adapt.

"I'm a big fan of paid content, but the free model has helped get more people into gaming and now they have been eased into it perhaps they will be enticed to pay for content. Then we need to market it correctly and explain why something is paid for and why we're asking for money upfront.”


With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.


No comments
View options
  • Order by latest to oldest
  • Order by oldest to latest
  • Show all replies