Microtransactions in Flash Games

A while back, Kongregate added “kreds” so that you could donate to developers and for other potential uses. You now see flash versions of the standard browser games where you can pay for bonuses, more turns, etc. There are some games with a free level with an option to buy the rest; when one had a badge added, that received just a bit of negative feedback.

The game of the week is Bloons Tower Defense 4, which has dived into microtransactions. It added a level grind, which you can pay to skip past. You can pay for a earning twice as much money in-game. You can pay for a variety of bonuses to your towers.

Feel free to discuss what you think of this as a development tactic. If you are one of the developers, please let us know how that is working out for you financially. I just wonder how it goes on a game where everything is done client side. If I want more in-game money, I can edit it in. It is not as though that can be violating the purity of the game or even particularly cheating when the developers will let me pay for the same privilege.

: Zubon

8 thoughts on “Microtransactions in Flash Games”

  1. It would take an awfully good Flash game to get money out of me…. and Bloons TD is certainly not that :P

    Some of the more “mmo” Flash games though….. maybe.

  2. I think that the Flash Gaming phenomenon is one of the best things to happen to PC gaming in recent years and the a quality and innovation of some of these games is outstanding. I don’t have a problem with developers trying to monetise their games, in fact if we don’t allow developers to make money from their Flash games then all the good developers will move over to other platforms such as Iphone / Ipod games. Unfortunately not all forms of monetisation are equal and some forms of monetisation absolutely stink. I really don’t like paying for in game bonuses because that blurs the distinction between game decisions and real world decisions and I believe it has a harmful impact on game design. I am much more comfortable with “pay for content”. Let people play a few levels of your game for free and if they like it let them buy more levels for cash. For example I recently bought the full version of “Creeper World” on account of having enjoyed the Flash version so much. The Flash game was enjoyable in its own right but it was also a great demo for the full game.

  3. I been a long time member of kongregate and its been my primary site for flash gaming. And flash gaming in itself largely replaced all other kind of gaming for me (not entirely but now of all my gaming time its probably 80% flash games 15% single player and 5% mmos)

    I am frankly divided on the issue , on one hand I have I want to reward the developers for the excellent games they make. On the other hand there are so many great games that I would simply go broke. I can go trough like 2 dozens flash games in one weekend session. many of them are masterpieces. But they are short and once you finish one you rarely come back (that one part which I like about flash games -they are concentrated fun, and any concentrated fun would be short lasting)

    With so many free great games out there I simply skip the ones asking for money. I did purchase kreds on a site and rewarded a few games , but its probably only a dozen games out of hundreds played

    I think maybe if they started charging some small fee and that would go to the all games pool (maybe based on the one I played) -that will be more reasonable. Its just giving 1$ to every game would be too expensive and also management nightmare. If I spned 3 hours on one game , dont make me also go trough whole kreds process – its just annoying

  4. And btw the way bloons did it was utterly disgusting – annoying kred nag screen every time I clicked a new button , I do not want being constantly nagged in game about money. Kills all gaming experience for me

  5. Paying for faster leveling is noxious because it implies that you have a unnecessarily punishing level curve.

    Better to give everyone an acceptable leveling curve and make money by selling nifty hats or fancy-looking gold towers.

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