South Park attacks/mocks "Freemium" app model

Discussion in 'Current Events' started by simonmet, Nov 8, 2014.

  1. simonmet, Nov 8, 2014
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2014

    simonmet macrumors 65816

    simonmet

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    #1
    I'm surprised they haven't done this sooner but South Park finally took aim at the scourge of iOS that is "freemium" apps and games.

    What they didn't focus on but which I've long argued is that Apple are complicit and supportive in these morally reprehensible apps that target people with addiction problems and addictive tendencies.

    Apple has taken minor steps here and there but is still largely supportive of freemium apps that have virtually no merit but use sophisticated tactics to target vulnerable individuals. Some of the "games" go so far as to even simulate real poker machines and let the player spend an infinite amount of real money without even any possibility of a real prize.

    Though I avoid freemium apps like the plague, they clog up the iTunes charts, particularly the highest grossing charts, making worthwhile apps difficult to find. I recently counted just two non-freemium apps in the top 20 highest grossing apps in the iOS store. Is it any wonder then why Apple chooses to turn a blind eye?

    It's about time Apple is shamed into taking further action against what has long been the scourge of iOS.
     
  2. barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

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    #2
    The premise of that whole episode was pure 100% solid gold satire :)
     
  3. simonmet thread starter macrumors 65816

    simonmet

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    #3
    So true! South Park still manages to be both biting social commentary and hilariously funny at the same time!
     
  4. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #4
    I totally agree. If an app is worth anything, it's price should be up front. Maybe a trial, then pay. But no ongoing costs. Charging constantly is ridiculous. If the apps were worth a dime, they'd charge it up front, not every hour.
     
  5. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

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    #5
    So I'm a little confused. Do these kind of apps not exist on Android and Windows phone?

    I had assumed they're everywhere but you're making it sound like they've somehow all migrated to one platform that's helping them thrive. What's that stance based on?
     
  6. JackieInCo macrumors 601

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    #6
    I don't download any apps that have in app purchases. I look for another app that can do the same thing that will cost a one time fee.
     
  7. RebornProphet Suspended

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    Nov 3, 2013
    #7
    You DO realise that freemium apps are not exclusive to iOS?

    It's not Apple who need to be shamed, it's greedy developers such as EA (especially after their takeover of Firemint and the subsequent release of Real Racing 3).
     
  8. PsykX macrumors 6502a

    PsykX

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    #8
    I can't say I particularly hate this model, as I've been able to play Plants vs Zombies 2 and other cool games completely for free.

    Hell, even the game I made in my sig is a freemium, in a way. You can try 7 stories, and then if you like it, you're willing to support us by paying a buck to buy a pack of stories. I think this is an incredible model for small developers. It becomes a greedy model for big-ass companies like EA, Ubisoft, etc.

    What I hate about freemium is those that let you buy consumables, like virtual money (tokens), and will annoy you every single day to buy that. (i.e. Underworld). Or simply let you buy stuff that has absolutely no added-value. Like costumes for your plants in Plants vs Zombies, like color palettes in Draw Something (come on!!!)
     
  9. flyinmac macrumors 68030

    flyinmac

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    #9
    Exactly. I follow that rule in both iOS and Android.
     
  10. H3boy macrumors regular

    H3boy

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    #10
    Anyone know where I could watch the episode for free online? My cable company is in a "peeing" contest with Viacom and I currently don't have Comedy Central.
     
  11. APlotdevice macrumors 68040

    APlotdevice

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    #11
    http://southpark.cc.com
     
  12. H3boy macrumors regular

    H3boy

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  13. s2mikey macrumors 68020

    s2mikey

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    #13
    I can't stand the freemium model at all. You can blame the cheapskate idiots who can't possibly fathom actually paying like $3 or $5 bucks for an app upfront. No way. Can't do it. :rolleyes:

    Instead they pay zero upfront but almost always end up spending more than they would have in the first place. Hilarious. It ruins it for us normal people who don't mind paying for apps since it requires a lot of effort to create a good app. It's not FREE at all.

    It's ruined many apps IMO. So thanks a lot you cheap losers. :mad:
     
  14. moderngamenewb macrumors 6502

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    #14
    This episode was as spot on about freemium apps as the Facebook episode a few years ago. The only freemium games I really play are Simpsons: Tapped Out, and Family Guy: Quest For Stuff, but I rarely spend money on them.
     
  15. JuryDuty macrumors 6502

    JuryDuty

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    #15
    I agree in that I like PvZ 2 being free...but then again, I'd have GLADLY paid $7 to have all the plants with no ads up front. I do feel that PvZ 2 keeps getting updates because it is freemium. If it were just a single price, they'd probably not focus so much on getting you to log in every day with new levels, etc.

    In the end I don't mind freemium so long as I can either 1) buy everything and be done with it (essentially use it as a demo until I buy) or 2) for games, get everything through playing only if I choose. Don't make items ONLY available for those who pay. Injustice is an example of a game that does this second one really well.
     
  16. Ken Kaniff macrumors regular

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  17. nutmac macrumors 68040

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    #17
    At the risk of defending freemium model, the sad reality is that majority are more comfortable with free to download apps and games, whether it be (1) totally free, (2) freemium, (3) ad-supported, (4) subscription, or (5) pay per features.

    People would be less critical of freemium model if there's a running tally of money spent (ideally with reasonable maximum cap) AND option to unlock the full game. Take Angry Bird Transformers or Real Racing 3, for instance. These games would be so much more enjoyable if one can pay a reasonable fee upfront to remove the stupid timer. Some people don't mind waiting and pay occasionally to remove the timer or buy cheat pack. So offer choices.
     
  18. TJ61 macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    Yeah, that was sad. RR3 was kind of OK at first, too. Technically, it was quite impressive. I played it a lot without paying anything until they finally updated it once too many to squeeze out more $$. RIP.

    I still play RR2 now and then -- probably been through the career a dozen times.
     
  19. af21187 Suspended

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    Sep 15, 2012
    #19
    This post is hilarious. You call people "cheapskate idiots", and then say they pay more money than they would have in the first place, which you have no clue if they would or not as it varies on a per individual basis. If you get so mad over someone else's preference because it doesn't match yours, I feel sorry for you.
     
  20. RebornProphet Suspended

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    Nov 3, 2013
    #20
    As someone alluded to earlier, App developers have been forced to adopt this route due to the cheapskates. People who can afford £500 tablets and phones but then baulk at the £5 for a quality game or app.

    Developers who realise premium titles should be rewarded and the more we complain about up front one off costs, the closer we come to zero premium titles on iOS.

    Games like Bioshock, The World Ends With You, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, X-Com, etc are unbelievable tablet apps and worth the £10/£12 the developers charge.

    Imagine what Real Racing 3 would have been like as a premium app. No gold, no timers.
     
  21. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

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    #21
    I saw this last week and LOVE it. I watched it several times.

    ----------

    Use Hulu. I used Hulu only $8/mo.
     
  22. JackieInCo macrumors 601

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    #22
    I will still refuse to download any freemium apps. I doubt premium apps will ever go away and I don't play any games.
     
  23. simonmet thread starter macrumors 65816

    simonmet

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    #23
    Sorry for the slow reply.

    Yes of course I realise it's not an Apple only problem. I don't think I implied that. But I disagree that the solution should be left up to self-regulation by big greedy developers. That clearly hasn't and won't work. Apple is the only one that can take steps to crack down on exploitative apps on their App Store.

    I also want to point out that In-app purchases are not in itself the problem. There are many smaller or indie developers or even just apps like Skype that use the model appropriately.

    Take the game Carcassonne for instance. It's based on a real board game with many expansions. In the iOS app (which isn't free mind you) you can buy the expansions as in-app purchases. They are fairly cheap, limited in number and you can only buy each expansion once, after which you own it and get access to the additional content and rules.

    Other forms of in-app purchases that are appropriate are things like monthly subscriptions to magazine/news content or games with chapter driven storylines where you buy significant new content every so often (and can't repurchase the same content) or even the dating apps that are subscription-based also.

    However we all know the type of Freemium apps that completely abuse in-app purchases, that create nothing but addictive apps designed to make you pay to play and allow you to spend an infinite amount of money on virtual crap in the game. It's these apps that Apple should clamp down on.

    Apple can do so quite easily but they choose not and by extension they are a significant part of the problem and complicit in exploitation as I alluded to in my original post.
     
  24. Paradoxally macrumors 65816

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    #24
    Honestly, the only mobile games worth playing from big companies are GTA ports.

    All the rest from big developers use some form of IAP crap. I prefer paying up front for games like Monument Valley. They did release new levels and charge for them, but that is ONE time for an expansion. Not every hour for coins and stuff.

    It's quite sad because great games like Clumsy Ninja got absolutely overshadowed by IAP and you need to basically pay to unlock stuff for your ninja to become less, well, clumsy.
     
  25. RebornProphet Suspended

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    Nov 3, 2013
    #25
    The entire IAP culture started because it became clear to developers early on that customers would happily pay £500 for a new phone or tablet but somehow baulk at being asked for £3.99 for an app.

    The only people to blame are the people who refuse to pay up front for good content. You can't get something for nothing, yet people expect just that. So they get the free entry then moan when asked to make micro transactions.

    I always buy the "big apps" and have no qualms in doing so. I also pay for IAP if it's good value and in "bulk" such as The Wolf Among Us episode pack.
     

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