Why force push notifications onto players instead of charging for them?
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.
A lot of games (if not all of them) use push notifications to inform or get players back into the game:
- Your energy/life is recharged...
- Player97 has challenged you. It's your move
- Your hero is fully healed
And it is normal for those to be free. I have a valid interest in sending those pushes to the player.
Games however have the power to create needs and thus the possibility of extra service for the players.
A good example of a service within a game is "Tom" from Hay Day. He's an errand boy that helps you find resources you need to buy from other players. Instead of searching through all your friends' products on sale, you just tell him what to find and he gets it.
Now back to the notifications. Apart from the basic ones mentioned above that are nowadays sent even without specific permission (see local pushes), I think it is a valid option to charge for getting notified of important events within a game. Here are some that I would consider paying for:
- New events or allies needing my help to defeat a Raid boss in Blood Brothers
- When bosses can be attacked again in Word Mage
- When any person from my shortlist or list of friends are playing any multiplayer game
- When new heroes are activated/available for play in Kingdoms CCG for iPad
It is an interesting IAP that also can take on a "subscription" form. The speed of receiving the notification versus other players is another approach to it. Having a player pay for this feature might also increase the value the information that they receive.
It is true that I have only seen this in practice with Twiterrific, an app not a game but I am curious and searching to see if I can find such a service in a mobile game (that actually had success).
What are your thoughts on charging for "valuable" notifications (notifications as a service)?
Repost from the moWOW blog.