By Joe Osborne From games.com
Perhaps "PopCap feels the power of Facebook" is more like it. During an interview with PocketGamer.biz, PopCap senior director of mobile product and business strategy Giordano Contestabile revealed that the Bejeweled Blitz creator has plenty more plans for freemium mobile games. That's especially since its recent Plants vs Zombies freemium-inspired update.
"While we typically don't disclose much about our future plans, I can say that you're in for a lot of surprises for us in the coming months, and that in-app transactions and the freemium model are going to feature prominently," Contestabile told PocketGamer.biz. The PopCap exec believes that the play first, (maybe) pay later model of mobile games will likely take over.
"I think that, one year from now, 95 percent or more of iOS game downloads might come from freemium games, and 80 percent or more of the revenue could be associated with them," Contestabile told the website. "The freemium model is extremely powerful because it allows developers to reach the biggest possible audience, and it allows players to choose if and how to pay for content, after having tried it out."
While Contestabile did say that there's still a place for premium game experiences, or pay-to-play games, that approach is losing its luster for most games. It wouldn't be terribly inaccurate to call this "The Facebook Effect." The fact that companies like Zynga and EA (which now owns PopCap) have made serious dough with free-to-play Facebook games has certainly had a visible impact on mobile gaming, which has a distribution model fairly similar to social networks. Almost Free is here to stay, and it looks like PopCap wants to lead the charge.
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