For close followers of the mobile industry, that’s no surprise. In a previous post last October, I pointed out the impact that free apps were having on the App Store. The Facebook model of free apps with in-game transactions is now dominating mobile as well. Why? As counterintuitive as it may seem, it’s possible to make more money when you give your app away for free. Possible, but certainly not guaranteed.
Update: Between the writing and publishing of this entry, Ngmoco blew up. First came the rumors, then the facts. That’s $400 Million worth of proof that Free-to-Play apps have a huge future on the Apple App Store!
Looking for a measure of how much impact Free-to-Play games are making on the Apple App Store? As Finger Gaming noted last week, free apps occupied 5 of the top 10 iPad top Grossing spots. And last Friday afternoon around 4:30pm PST, 12 of the Top 50 Highest Grossing iPhone Games were free. This is not a huge shock, given the runaway success companies like Zynga and the artist formerly known as Playdom are seeing with the free model on Facebook and MySpace. But it is great to see free apps successfully competing against branded juggernauts such as Madden, FIFA, Bejeweled and Final Fantasy in the Apple App Store.
Check out the list of free titles in the Top 50 Grossing iPhone Game Apps (10/01/2010 at 4:30PM PST):