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Whales infest the iPhone: Pocket Frog proves that $29.99 works
I’m getting more and more evidence that my “Whales, power laws and the future of media” theory is correct.
Put simply, if you are a media business that does not offer your true fans a chance to spend lots of money with you, you are going to go bust; if you do let them spend lots of money with you, you are laughing.
Pocket Frog is “a freemium game for iPhone and iPad that mixes up elements of Pokemon, We Rule, and Animal Crossing, that will have you discovering, collecting, trading, and breeding over 10,000 unique frogs.”
Developer Ian Marsh told PocketGamer that
Stamps can be earned in the game (or purchased), which instantly deliver frogs and other items you order in game or find in the pond. Potions can be earned in the game (or purchased) ,which instantly mature a frog. There are also some iAds in unobtrusive parts of the game.”
So how did it work out? Well the game was released on 15th September with three price points for the In-App Purchases (IAP): $0.99, $4.99, $29.99. Here are the results in a table.
Let’s look at that again, in chart form.
That looks pretty power law to me. Fifty per cent. of the In-App Purchases are at $0.99, but that makes only 9% of the revenue. In contrast, the premium price point (and $29.99 is pretty damn premium) generates nearly 50% of the revenue.
I’ve love to know more data (maybe one day Ian will indulge me), but for now I’ll take this evidence that whales and power laws are as significant on iPhone as they have been in free-to-play browser games.
And the last word goes to Ian, who suggests on Twitter that some users would like to spend more than $29.99.
@nattylux We’ve actually run into a number of people who are concerned there isn’t enough IAP in the game.