For a while, the mobile gaming and app experience was either free or premium. The first one allowed for free games and apps for which you pay no costs at all. Premium apps and games come at a steep price, but they offered unlocked capabilities that deepen the experience. But, in the past 5 years or so, the mobile industry developer a new software concept that takes the experience up a notch – freemium.
The freemium model is a big hit with both new and seasoned players. It’s a portmanteau of the words free and premium, and refers to the free base and in-app purchases that unlock app features or amplify the gaming experience. In short, you won’t be paying for your app or games, but you can spend money for extras that will make your experience better.
Freemium games are responsible for the freemium software concept. They brought it first with games offering in-app purchases for bonus coins that unlock the gameplay further. Bit by bit, the concept caught fire. Everyone could play QH slots or free games such as Angry Birds for free. You don’t have to pay money to play these freemium games, but you can turn them to a premium version by simply ‘buying’ stuff from within the app.
For example, you can spend money on various modifiers and power-ups that will make your stay more exciting. You could also spend money to unlock bonuses or other similar extras to get your rating up. This kind of app and game model has worked successful for video games too, with the dreaded microtransactions being a variant of the freemium software model in some games.
It has worked great so far. And, while most people will choose to stay with the free model, many are compelled to buy power-ups that you otherwise can’t get. Or it’s simply hard to get them in some games. Sometimes, you’ll get to a hard level that you can’t pass, and spending money on bonuses or power-ups will get you over the hurdle. That’s what the freemium concept offers, and it’s been far more successful than anyone could hope for.
The Emergence of Social Casinos in the World of Freemium Apps and Games
A noteworthy development within the realm of freemium apps and games is the advent of social casinos. These platforms merge elements of online gambling with social networking to create a distinct gaming experience. Social casinos such as Quick Hit slots offer a range of classic casino games without real-money bets, substituting virtual currency for actual funds. Central to their appeal is the freemium model, allowing free access to games while enabling in-app purchases to enhance gameplay. By fostering social interaction and community engagement, social casinos create a sense of camaraderie among players. While they provide entertainment, concerns have been raised about the potential integration of gambling-like features and the need for responsible design. As the landscape continues to evolve, finding the right equilibrium between entertainment and ethical considerations will be pivotal for the sustained success of social casinos.
Take Youtube or Spotify for example. You can stream videos for free and play music, but if you want background streaming or higher streaming data (on Spotify), you will have to pay for it. Unlocking the premium comes in several tiers, and they’re all available for people with a different depth of pockets.
Social casinos are another perfect example of freemium apps. Their business model is unique – you get to check them out for free and even play the games. If you want boosters and similar modifiers or to simply unlock features, you should buy it. Many of these apps—like Quick Hit slots—are designed to replicate the look and feel of the top Vegas casinos. And in our personal experience, they succeed with their model.
Developers have largely turned to this model for their apps as the premium concept wasn’t working anymore. People are more compelled to pay a smaller price to upgrade rather than pay for it right off the bat. It’s like trying a demo of an app, except in this case the demo is live forever. You can use the app just like you hope for, with certain limitations that prevent you from accessing better audio quality or any other feature.
Why Does Freemium Work?
Freemium has become a dominant model between smartphone app developers and tech start-ups. According to experts, the concept works because it allows players to either work through the game and build up in-game currency or simply pay for it. In this way, freemium games don’t make it like you can’t progress pass a certain point. That was a very big problem before, with only premium paid games offering the higher levels. Now, you can pay for it, or if you have the patience earn it by getting skilled enough.
The freemium model also puts the focus on longevity. For example, content has been added to many fan-favorite games to keep it alive for big stretches. Look at Quick Hit slots or Angry Birds, for example. They’ve been live for a long time and as long as there’s content being added, they will continue living.
With most major streaming apps working on a freemium business model, it’s pretty clear where the future goes. You can use most apps and games for free on your mobile phone these days, and unlocking premium content is as simple as a click. If you don’t mind the free app limitations, that’s great. But, premium is always the better option, so most users switch. Regardless, freemium is one of the best things that happened to the mobile app/game industry, and will continue going forever.