Do you pay for games? Indie developers want to know

Are you willing to pay to play, or does a price tag on a game turn you off?

One of the biggest decisions a game developer, especially an independent one, needs to make is whether or not charge for their product. One way the other, they run risks.

A free, ad-supported game, can bring in more downloads, but runs the risk of annoying players. At the same time, a pay-to-play game seems like a sure way to limit the number of downloads you get. Of course, there’s always the in-game purchase route, but not all games lend themselves to that model.

We as consumers of mobile content are so used to getting it at no cost to them because most of the well-known apps are free, and if not, there’s usually some third-party app that does the same thing free of charge.

But the fact of the matter is that indie developers put a lot of time and effort into their product and need some financial motivation if they hope to continue creating for the rest of us. So what’s a dev to do?

Make your way over to our Windows Phone Central forums and help a game developer and fellow user understand how you feel about paying for games:


Reader comments

Do you pay for games? Indie developers want to know



ONLY for Xbox LIVE-enabled games. I made one exception for a developer who was very friendly and active on the forums at the time, and he even responded by mailing me a couple of nifty items after the fact.

Same here...XBL games only...I get hours of additional game play from achievement hunting. The storage on my 920 is maxed from XBL games. I rarely download an indie game because I always end up deleting them to make room for new XBL games.

I couldn't care less about "Xbox Live" achievement points, if those points actually meant something or I could use them somehow it would be different.

Until being an "Xbox Live" game means something substantial like being a cross platform game (like playing Forza on my phone, coming home and picking up where I left off on the Xbox), it means nothing to me.

I could not care less about XBL! I buy games all the time. I am actually not even a gamer and buy games that I think my kids will like when they play with my phone. But there are caveats -
1. I somehow cannot justify a price higher than $2.99 for a game (maybe the fact that I am not a gamer plays a part in this).
2. I seem to mostly only buy games that either have -
      a) Great ratings in store
      b) Equivalent offering on iOS and Android (to encourage more devs to bring their offerings to WP)


I find this argument both dumb and hilarious. People think that everyone gets Achievements for bragging rights or something, but that's just not the case. I don't ever tell others about my GamerScore. I don't tell them about this "SUPER-HARD Achievement" I got.

I don't get Achievements for any kind of bragging rights. I go after them because they are a goal I can attempt to accomplish, same as those who want to get 100% in GTA V (a game I find to be stupid as a whole). It's not about bragging rights, it's about enjoying the challenge.

Agreed. It is quite amazing how obtuse some people can be about the "I don't get the purpose of Xbox achievements" things. Xbox integration brings with it social features that only add to the enjoyment of the game. The same game without those features is even more meaningless, yet they're content with that. Very bizarre. #SaveXboxWP

I'm in this camp.  I don't care if it's XBL or not.  I also do pay for games/Micro Transactions.  I don't play many games on my phone though.  I play Song Arc, Subway Surfer and Asphalt 8.  All great games worthy of the price/MT IMO.


I'm in Canada. You just have to sign up for Xbox rewards. Go to Rewards.xbox.com to see if you have it in your country.

I'm already part of rewards and haven't seen any gamerscore related discounts... or perhaps I just haven't noticed :P

Same here..... Putting xbox suport actually adds to the cost of the app so please developers do not put xbox support! Ignore all the xbox losers and focus on your app! #Idontcareaboutxbox

I more inclined to purchase XBL games but only if the price is reasonable. I'll pay for some indie games if I hear good reviews and it's a game I will play for awhile.

Obviously, it has to be a reasonable price still. I made an exception for Spartan Assault, but I think that I did that more because it was WORTH the $6.99. I wouldn't touch any of the $6.99 GameLoft crap, nor would I spend $11.99 or whatever for Final Fantasy.

I would like to pay only for Xbox games, but considering how little Microsoft cares about Xbox on WP, I started to actually stop paying for Xbox games and now only pay for non-Xbox games. I hope the platform dies, maybe then one day Microsoft will learn to pay more attention and invest more in its consumer side.

I purchase most XBL games, and only a few non-XBL. I actually rather spend my money on a really useful app, even if ots only useful for a couple of days xD When an XBL title is freemium I NEVER EVER pay for IAP. But I do in apps for removal of ads and/or extra features, but never in games. Games should be either totally free or a fixed purchase price. Players should not have a benefit in a game just because they have more money to spend.

I also buy only Xbox Live games. I have even bought many games I wasn't initially interested in just because they are both Xbox Live and on sale (Red Stripe Deal). I have also bought expensive but popular Xbox Live games. I support developers of Xbox Live games as much as I can.

Same here. The only Windows 8 or WP8 games I've purchased have been Xbox Live games. I need my achievements!

That being said, and seeing how many others are the same way, I think Microsoft needs to make it much easier and cheaper for more developers to have Xbox Live enabled games. It'd boost game sales, increase interest in the platform, and make deva happier to include it.


Althou ocasionally I'd pay with no trial if I read the good review on the game or see a gameplay video on youtube.

I've played enough games to know right away if I'd like the game or not just based on gameplay video. (But trial is preffered...)

How about set a poll on this...? Instead of reading thru the all the comments the dev can jst take a look at statistics...and additionally read thru comments for more info...hw abt it WPCentral?

I pay for game if I liked the trial or if i played it before and liked it (like I bought Fruit Ninja cause I played it on Android when it was free). And I won't pay more than 2$ for a mobile game. I'd be able to make exception and get 3$ game but not 10$. I don't live in a country where you earn a lot.

Free trial is key. I will not buy a game with no free trial, no matter how cheap it is. Seems the article glossed over this fourth option

Yup. I have no problem spending up to $1.99 for a good game. Usually wait for reviews (WP Central a great source) before purchasing.

I support all devs irrespective XBL integration. As long as the game is good and supported, expect money to go to the dev.

There is no piracy in wp or atleast i didn't found it yet...and no i don't pay for the apps..cz i don't have credit card

You need a developer unlocked phone to sideload. I haven't read anywhere that it's possible to play pirated games on WP. It's possible with a jailbroken iphone and android doesn't require any effort to sideload apps.

Yes,i think paid games with no in-app purchases are the best thing,i don't like free games with in-app purchases and annoying ads

I really am not fond of this f2p or fremium age. The games are rarely balanced well and quite often are just black holes for your dollars. I much prefer 1 time pay or ad supported with option to purchase to remove Ads. I too avoid games with in-app purchases unless it is for removing ads.

Ill pay for games and apps quite happily. People deserve to be remunerated for their work and I don't want adverts of bs freemium games!

Not really. I'm more likely to buy lock screen apps, photo locker apps, etc before I'll buy a phone game.

I usually only buy Xbox live enabled games but will also buy a really good non XBL game if its only a buck or two

I glady pay for apps (provided the app is quality).  I believe if a developer has taken the effort to make or port a quality app that takes full advantage of WP's features/design philosophy,  then they should be rewarded for that work.  I get pissed whenever I see a quality app or game released and people immediately start to bitch about having to pay for it.

Too true... Why do people have a cry about paying for a app or game, just think about the time an cost involved an under taken to make develop an app...

The only time I've paid for games on my phone was when I got my app credit for buying the phone. I'll stick to games that are free. They pass just as much time.

Same for me, I've bought; Rayman, Asphalt 7, Contre Jour, Halo: SA, Skulls of the Shogun and GTA:SA.

I also have Cut the Rope, Angry Birds etc from when they were free for one day a few months ago, so didnt buy these =/

Looking at this it shows i mainly buy Xbox Games that have a trial.

I pay for good games, not the greedy DLC or eShop games that Facebook is known for. Give me good strategy, puzzle, or RPG games and I will buy them. There are 5,834,234,764,112,906,302,689 platformers out there and they are all junk. Unfortunately good strategy, RPG or Puzzle games don't exist on mobile platforms.

Exaggerate much?  There are at least...I don't know...3x less than what you listed there. Come on man...how will the kids fit in there?

I believe kids shouldn't be owning a mobile phone until they can pay for it themselves. And yeah I did exaggerate a little, there might be 1 or 2 good platformers instead of the 0 I claimed :)

If the game is an Xbox-Live game, yes. If it isn't no. I don't pay and I don't download them even if they're free.

Same with me. I only buy Xbox Live games. I don't have time for anything else and that's what I want. I won't even download a non-Xbox Live game even if it's free.

No. I don't play many games on a phone and I only pay for apps that are useful to me, not apps to kill time. 

I use the Bing rewards to pay for the games... All of you might as well do the Bing rewards... Its free... Save up enough Bing points and u can get the $1.50 or more and get the $3 towards the app store... Juss keep racking up the points...

I do that too. But I would also pay for a good game/app. Sometimes even for just supporting the dev.

I prefer a game without ads or IAP, will gladly pay for one that doesn't have those if it is available.  I will occassionally play an ad supported game if the ad placement isn't too annoying but I despise F2P and IAP and refuse to play those types of games.

I do. I don't play them. But I've filled my phone with games I might want to play. I target developers with active communities, good reviews, and interesting enough game play.

Yes, I pay. But I'm especially more apt to pay if I have a free trial before making the commitment. 

I have never pay a single cent in all of my PC games and Android games. NOVA 3 and Asphalt 7 in Windows phone are the only games I bought. Of course it should be in a 50% discount sale.

Don't really play games on my phone as I have a dedicated handheld for that and touch only games don't do much for me beyond puzzle games. Still, I have no problem paying for an app if I like it as a developer should be paid for their work. Adding a trial to your app makes it even better.

No,but I'm ready to pay.However,I don't have a credit or debit card & carrier billing is not supported.

Mostly Xbox live games. I don't play much otherwise. In fact I was shocked last time I went in the store and saw a lot of games I hadn't seen in early wp8 days

I pay after a trial. I hate ads, and have no problem paying up front. A few IAPs that are reasonable are fine, too.

I'll gladly pay for a game if it means no in-app purchases. I would much rather pay $5 and play the game the way it's supposed to be played than download one for free (or cheap) and be forced to pay $1 every time I want to start a new level or progress further. The current state of mobile gaming is sad, with EA leading the way.

I pay for my games. It's just freemiums that I try to avoid like the plague. Games should be ONE payment, nothing else.

Who in the world of 2014 doesn't have a card? How do you get your paycheck, man? In hand? Even my mother gets her pension on a card... Sorry...

Hey dude,I am underage,17 to be exact and my parents won't allow me to use their credit cards for mobile phone games. :(

ads is sux, is big sux... put something interesting to buy in-game if you want to distribute it for free, but never put ads, I remove the game at the same time that the ad appears. that's my opinion.

Not being a 'gamer', my first reaction is no, I will not pay for games.  BUT, I am willing to pay a very small fee for a simple game to keep the youngsters in the family focused during a boring event that they are dragged to.  That being said, I guess it falls under how much time is a developer willing to donate to get it out there and how fast do they want to make their millions?

Yes, I'll pay for a game up front. If there are annoying IAPs, I stay away. No matter how good the game is.

I pay because to support their hard work.But if I found out the price doesn't deserve how the game play is.Sorry I won't pay for any of it.

I'm ok with paying $3 for a good game (and with obvious hard work put into it), and even then, only games that are sit-n-play, not toilet-seat games (angry birds, doodle jump, ect). Anything above $3 and I'll probably not pay anytime soon, if at all.

I'll only pay if I know it's good.  Rarely do I take a leap on a game that I haven't been able to try, I'm done it maybe once or twice and been disappointed.  Free trials are a MUST!!!  I'll never do an in-app purchase.  What a joke.

Yes i do pay for games and apps and I have over 40 "Microsoft billing" emails stored, just in case. However, it's a real pain in the neck having to create and manage virtual credit cards in order to be able to buy those games and apps. I prefer when I can try before buying but the wpc reviews also come in handy when no trial is available. I also bought a few in-app items.

I pay for a game if I actually enjoy it. If its a solid game and I want to help support the developer then yes I will pay

I won't touch a game with in game purchases, nor a game with no form of trial. Give me a free taste of the experience and if its a good one I will happily pay for it. Will buy additional Map Packs (are you listening Race and Battle?!). OK with in game Ads, as long as I can purchase a no-Ads version.

Depends how often the game is being updated. If a large amount of time has lapsed since it was last updated then definitely NO. Also depends on the quality of the game.

I don't mind paying for games, but they should be priced appropriately. I won't wonna pay 10 dollars for a phone game!! But, 3-4 dollars seems extremely fair. Again, as a one time payment; none of that in-game rubbish.

I think we all love free apps one way or another. But for me I have and would rather purchase an app and be done with it over the very annoying in app purchase model. I refuse to support that type of model. Yea the devs may make more money that way can't fault them foe that, but when they want you keep spending and spending its called gouging.

Pay?  Yes, with a caveat.  Paying for a game only to have additional in-app purchased content sucks.  If the game's free, the in-app purchased content is a little more bareable, but only for a few dollars' worth.  My thought is that if you want to sell content separately, make separate apps, and I'll decide if the $$ is worth it on each unit of content based on separate ratings. 

I pay, but only if it appeals to me and if it is of quality. People that moan about some 0.99 games not being free - sorry if this might offend anybody - disgust me.

I would usually not buy a game from an indie developer, usually a large one like EA/gameloft. For long games such as dungeon hunter ads in the game play are annoying but ok in the menu. For short mobile games that require short attention spans (like flappy bird) ads are perfect.

I do pay for games like to support the people who make it and look forward to there update's to make the game better.
I have only 2 free games on my phone and I play them less than the one's I pay for.

If they deserve it I pay for all of them and apps as well, either by buying it from the store or if they free, by purchasing something within the app/game!!

Xbox live games and also the indie games that are plain awesome! I have no problem supporting any. The time that is put into a quality game deserves reward

I only pay for xbl games! You have to bring some pretty good games w/o xbl for me to even think of spending more than .99 cents

It all depends on the trial version first if there is one if the trial has a good impression then there's a chance that the full game will be bought

I gladly pay. A lot of cheapskates on all platforms:) However, I want quality for my money. I would gladly pay $100 for a well functioning panzer general. I love it when developers are active on forums like this.

I paid for Modern Warfare 4 (Xbox Live) and Into the Dead.
I get more enjoyment from Wordament though :).
The only other apps I've paid for are ProShot and Nokia MixRadio.
I guess we are kind of spoilt on Windows Phone. Between the Nokia apps, the Bing suite and the Microsoft free games, I really don't wish for much more!
Oh, I did also pay for 6Tinder. Any news on that?!

Being a huge fan of windows phone, I support as many developers as I can. If there's a free version I will try it and if its good I'll buy it. I have purchased more apps.than my phone can hold. Damn 810 and its 8gb... Come on t-mobile, get the 1520 or a variant of lol

I pay for games with the expectation that it is the only time I will be asked to pay for that game.  If your game has in-app purchases I will not buy it.  If it is otherwise incomplete I will not buy it.

I will pay good money for a 'complete' mobile game with a beginning, middle and end all included with the cost of purchase.

I will buy a game if it a good value. I've bought Contre Jour $0.99, ilomilo $0.99, Rayman Jungle Run $0.99, Crumble Zone $0.99, Fairway Solitaire $1.99. 

If we don't support these developers, the games will fizzle out and we won't have anything. Making these games isn't easy. If they were we would make our own. So take your wallet out of the safe and buy something.

Supporting the Developers = Supporting Windows Phone, which = bigger and better games and apps.

Yes. If the game is good enough. For example, Spartan assault. Good enough to pay for. Angry birds,NOT good enough

I will only buy Xbox Live enabled games. I'll download other games on occasion or take advantage of an offer of one being temporarily free, but usually just delete it in favor of reclaiming the space on the phone.

Game must at least have a trial, it would have to have pretty great reviews to buy it without trying it.

If I look at my purchases, I mostly buy games that give trials and priced at $0.99. I have no problem paying more for the games that I like. For the one which is too pricey, I normally wait until Red Stripe deals. My ideal price: $0.99 for casual games and upto $2.99 for good games. If I have to choose my favorite indie devs, it will be 10Tons. I bought their games for my Lumia & Surface RT.

  I use my 928 for mostly playing games and streaming music/movies. I have a few free games but I do have more paid games on my phone. I would prefer to pay for a game up-front than have annoying ads pop-up after every death or every few minutes. I'm also not really a fan of IAPs even though that's the hot thing right now. The most I would pay for a phone game is $4.99. Anything over that is just too expensive and I would much rather play a game at home on a big screen tv with a controller as opposed to being hunched over my phone.

I pay for games but also don't mind adverts. In app purchases are a big turn off though.

I pay and prefer to pay for my apps and games. One of the most misunderstood aspects of battery drain on mobile is apps/games pulling mobile ads to the device.

Yes if they are Good games,and i line that the games has a trial só i can check if its,whort my money

I dont mind ads, if they are out of the way of game play. Paid games MUST include a reasonable trial, such as one full level or one complete game (board, card game type). Pay to remove ads are always welcome.

Without a doubt, I will pay for games! I also encourage my family and friends to do the same. I couldn't care less if it's a XBL game in all honesty. If its a well designed game, that matters more. My son who is a GAMER feels the same. Would love to see more US centric sports games make it into the store, it's one of the important game genres that needs to be addressed if the US marketshare is going to increase.

Trying it is very important... Believe me if it is goo, I will buy it... I don't have any trials on my phone/tablet that I have not purchased if it was worth using

I would rather pay for a good game than play add supported games any day... This goes for a good app, especially when your data can be save/backed up to SkyDrive

Anyone can add money to their (wp8) phone by adding a gift card to the Wallet app, so the "I can't pay" shouldn't be a reason.

I pay for games. Seriously, if you get hours of entertainment from the game, and it costs less than your coffee...

Not a fan of windows phone games because the platform doesn't allow me to upgrade devices and restore my apps with saved game state like I can with iOS. If progress is saved in the cloud, then I am happy to buy. Otherwise, I do my gaming on a tablet that isn't as likely to get rotated out.

I have a game of Bookworm on my my iPad that has been following me around between 4 device upgrades. Never lost the game status.

I bought all artifex mundi games. I absolutely love them!
does anybody know any other good hidden objects games?would love to try them out

I prefer XBL games in the long run. However if the game is good, then I am willing to download and even purchase in game items if it is F2P. But it must be able to draw me in for me to do that though.

If I like it and it has ads, I pay for it. That goes for any app I plan to keep. If I can't get rid of the ad, I usually get rid of the app.

I may be old-fashioned, but I always prefer a game designed without IAP's in mind, I don't mind post-release DLC, but the game must be 100% playable and finishable without IAP's, no matter the asking price for it, a example of good practices would be The World Ends With You on iOS, 20$ but worth every penny, or Plants Vz Zombies on many platforms, an example of bad practice could be The Dark Knight Rises, 7$ on WP8 and riddled with IAP's, but still I dont want to critizice Gameloft too much because at least they support WP8 a million times more than the other game devs, and next to Rudy Huyn help to make the Store less of a desert.

on lumia 1020 i pay even though its dev unlocked and i know xap deployment. on any of android or related os i never buy cuz dowloading free is easier than buying the app :D and i dont want to give my info to google.

I never get in app purchases. I delete the games like asphalt 8 after playing for sometime.

just make good games, have a demo of it and charge appropriately. If you use ads, they need to be used sparingly, and never in an annoying or intrusive way. I've only bought Portal 2D so far, though. And I hate in-app when it's to progress in the game. New chapters and such are fine.

Well i did pay for soul caliber , contra and he man on my galaxy note.
Also in game purchase in megapolis
I don't play on my lumia520

The good thing about windows phone is that we are given a trial period - either for games or apps. So, if i find the app or the game amuses me, sure I'll make a purchase.

I definitely will pay for good games. Far better that then the freemium games that try to sucker you in to paying to enjoy a game you thought was free.

I always pay for games. I'm the type to stick to a game until I beat it or lose interest then go looking through the store for something cool to kill time with. On average I purchase a game once every 6-8 weeks. I clearly can't fit all of them on my main phone but that doesn't bother me. I have two phones.