Alto’s Adventure, a skiing mobile game that debuted on iOS, will arrive on Android and Kindle Fire devices next week on Thursday for free, the developer said in a blog post on Wednesday.
Unlike the Apple App Store where the game costs Rs. 190, Built by Snowman decided to take the free-to-play approach to Android for a variety of reasons. “We thought long and hard with Noodlecake about how we could best monetize the game – to launch as a premium title (like on iOS), or to explore other alternatives that stayed true to our core values and vision for the game,” Snowman’s Ryan Cash said.
The other is piracy. “Piracy on Android is a much bigger issue on the platform especially in the case of premium iOS titles that charge more than $0.99,” Ryan Holowaty of Noodlecake, the company behind the port, told The Verge. Cash cited the case of Monument Valley, whose developer Ustwo Games produced an infographic that detailed only 5 percent of the game’s install base had bothered to pay for the game.
And then there was Android’s international reach to consider. “Android has a much larger install base than iOS internationally, and games that release in countries like China and Japan are basically free-to-play only at this point. So to really capitalise on the market internationally, it made sense to have a free version,” Holowaty added.
Meanwhile, the game will remain paid for iOS users. Snowman will attempt to compensate for the money it doesn’t receive upfront on Android by providing “opt-in bonuses for players who might need a little extra help” or in simpler words, in-app purchases.