Why I Make Lite Versions of Games for WP7
From time to time, I get into discussions about WP7 Free plus ads vs. Paid / Trial versions of games. I always tell people "free downloads are going to kill paid / trial downloads" but I've never had my own numbers to back it up with... until today.
On 4/27, I released Hypership Out of Control Lite for WP7. The game is free with in-game ads. On 5/25, I released Hypership Out of Control regular for $1.99. This version also includes trial mode, which is identical to the Lite version. The paid version is just the Lite version without the ads.
As of 7/2, here are the overall download numbers for the two versions of Hypership:
Hypership Out of Control Lite - 7855 downloads
Hypership Out of Control ($1.99) - 150 downloads
Did your jaw drop? It's nearly the identical game. The trial version and the free version are the same game.
Averaging the downloads per day, Hypership ($1.99) gets approximately 2.3 and Hypership Lite gets 82.7. So when people ask me why I have a separate Lite version, this is why. Gamers overwhelmingly download more free games on WP7 than they do paid ones, even paid ones with identical trial modes to the free game. I will continue to do paid games for WP7 because I know some gamers will appreciate the ad-less display, but besides being nice to loyal fans, financially there is no incentive to do so.
EDIT: Just to clarify, the 150 downloads for Hypership ($1.99) aren't necessarily purchases. They are a mix of people that outright bought the game and people that downloaded the trial. The actual purchases from that amount is 16.
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