@ngmoco: You Must Be Joking?

Discussion in 'Front page news archive' started by News Bot, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. News Bot

    News Bot iFans.com News

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    [n.b. thread was deleted from the front page as it was deemed not to be appropriate front page content. I have pasted the contents of the front page post in here as it has invoked lively discussion - studangerous]

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    My two favourite developers on the App Store are Tapulous and Ngmoco. Both produce incredible games with fun gameplay and a polished overall look. But for this article, I'm going to focus mainly on Ngmoco. These guys and gals have done a fine job on the App Store, producing Rolando, Star Defense, Rolando 2, Word Fu, Maze Finger, Topple and many more brilliant games which will have you addicted to your iDevice for weeks.

    They've just released two new ones too, Eliminate (this year's most anticipated game?) and TouchPets: Dogs. I'll start off by stating my main points of my argument here, and then address them all individually after the break:

    1. The Twitter
    2. The Waiting
    3. The Rereleasing
    4. The Greed

    The Twitter


    Ngmoco have a Twitter feed! Previously they would have posted info on upcoming releases, blog posts on their site, or answered questions from the public. But recently something's been bothering me... Sure they've been answering questions from their loyal fanbase, and they're still posting little snippets of what they're doing with their time, but on the other hand, they've completely sold out:

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    Screen shot 2009-11-01 at 01.00.49What's this? They're advertising an MMO game which isn't their own? And they're tweeted this more than the once, I'm always on Twitter and I see every single one as it comes into my feed. I don't want this app. If I wanted this app, I'd be aware of it from somewhere else, just like I didn't hear about Ngmoco from Tapulous' Twitter. This is just irritating and low, and if they're getting paid to do it, they have sold out - They don't need to do it, Rolando is $10.

    The Waiting

    and waiting and waiting and waiting... Remember when Rolando was supposed to be out in Fall? But it didn't come out til late Winter? And remember when Eliminate was shown at an Apple event at the start of the year, and now it's only just been released in November? I let Rolando off, because it was their first app and I'm sure they had bugs to work out to get it perfect - But the only reason they've delayed Eliminate and TouchPets is because they could fit In-App Purchases in it and make themselves a bit more money.

    And I'm still waiting. Eliminate is out, but only in the Canadian store. I have to wait 48 hours for them to have "tested the water" out before they release it to the world. They didn't do this with any other game? And what's it for? To test the online servers to see if they can cope with the traffic? Surely they should just take it as it comes, and if there is problems, tell everyone to wait a day or two for them to upgrade them - I'm sure even when they release it to the world, there will be problems anyway.

    The Rereleasing

    When Ngmoco games come out, I buy them on the DAY of release. I've done it for every game they've released except games like Word Fu Espanol / Francais / etc. I payed the full price for the game because I'm a loyal fan and I like their work and the games they make. I'm sure there's many more like me who do the same. But then a couple of weeks later - They slash the price. Star Defense was on sale incredibly quickly after the release - At an incredible rate (and still is! At £0.59 it's a steal compared to the £2.99 I paid for it). But this isn't the main problem - They don't just con early adopters by a few $. Recently, they've rereleased some of their games to make them compatible with the Plus+ network. I paid $2 for Word Fu, $2 for Topple 2, $1 for Dr Awesome - And then they release a whole new app of the SAME GAME with MORE FEATURES and price it up as free. FREE? If I'd've waited a few months I could've gotten everything for FREE?! Come on! Why couldn't they have just added Plus+ into the game I've paid for and make it an update? I feel cheated and not totally sure if I want to buy games as soon as they come out anymore... I could wait a month and get it half price, or wait half a year and get it FOR FREE...

    The Greed


    Although the above 3 things all slightly relate to greed and their income, this is the final nail in the coffin. Let's go back to Eliminate and TouchPets.

    Eliminate is an online game with similar gameplay to Halo 3 / TF2. You go around shooting people, getting points, upgrades, etc, etc. But you get issued with "Energy." What energy does, is it lets you play games. If you run out of energy, you have reached your daily quota and you can no long play any games online - This energy will supply you with around... three games which last 5 minutes. Pretty pathetic. Now your choices are as follows:

    * You can wait a day or two (yes, real life time) for your energy to recharge, and they you can have three more games! Rinse and repeat.
    * You can purchase energy through the In-App system!

    Pay To Play? You must be joking? After 15 minutes of playing the game, you're already forced to pay for stuff (and the "stuff" is actually PLAYING THE GAME)

    TouchPets on the other hand, is aimed at a different audience. Very similar to Nintendogs for the DS, you get to raise and train a dog. You can dress it up, buy it toys, stroke it, and whatever else dogs like to do. And Ngmoco have supplied In-App purchases for this game too! But what for, I hear you ask? Is it to buy new toys? Maybe to buy it some designer clothing? New environments? No. You have to PAY ngmoco money to buy food for your dog. Again, are you joking? You get one free food in the game which lasts about 2 hours, and then the dog won't want to play anymore as it whines and cries about its belly being empty. Pay $1.99 and you can get 20 food for your dog.

    Let's do the math: Each food lasts about 2 hours. $1.99 gets you 20 food. The dog will eat about 2 food a day. So you end up paying $2 for 10 days of gameplay. Despite the fact that you have fake money in the game, you can't use this to buy food. This is feeling very much like those Mafia games and the "Respect" points that you can buy.

    Conclusion

    If you ask me, this new shake up to the Ngmoco status quo will have a definite impact on how I treat their games from now on. Sure, they've made both games very well and they've made them free - But I preferred it when I payed £2.99 for a game and got to play it whenever I wanted. Please go back to how you used to be, Ngmoco - Charge money for your games so that we can have unlimited gameplay, and then use In-App purchases as extras, not necessities.

    [original post by Abcmsaj]
  2. oaqque

    oaqque New Member

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    Well ngmoco have spent heaps of money to make these games for you. They have to employ workers for most of the year around. They need to pay for this. You can still pay without paying. It's just that you don't unlock anything in eliminate. It's still fun though.
  3. The Killswitch

    The Killswitch Well-Known Member

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    This whole continuous "pay to play" crap irks me. We don't have an arcade machine, we have our own system. Give us the option to play the damn game for as long as we want. Just charge 1-3 bucks for the game and be done with it.

    Well, the wait for NOVA continues. This certainly won't go well with everyone.
  4. red_5

    red_5 Member

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    News flast: YOU CAN IN FACT STILL PLAY EVEN IF YOU'RE OUT OF ENERGY. You just don't earn credits. That way you can practice and not suck when the time comes to earn more credits. How can you argue against that when the game is free...?

    I love Eliminate. I've been playing all afternoon.

    It's kinda like Storm8's stuff and a wicked FPS all rolled into one. I like it. A lot.
  5. ChrisL

    ChrisL Well-Known Member

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    This "pay to play" stuff is just a way to fight piracy and make money at the same time.
  6. Shawa

    Shawa Super Moderator

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    It's the same thing again and again.
    All development 'companies' (Gameloft, Tapulous, Ngmoco) are in it only for the money. It may start out as a hobby, or actually trying to give something to people, but in the end, it's all to get more money, by any means possible, without caring for the customer.

    This is the first thing that came into my mind when I saw that Apple allowed IAP in free apps. Offer something for free, then charge to use it. Truly free apps are set to become scare IMO.
  7. Mgssidley

    Mgssidley Member

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    I completely agree! Didn't they also say they were gonna put new star systems in Star Defense? They never did, did they?
  8. Exhonour

    Exhonour New Member

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    I dunno, eliminate pro is amazing and the fact that is was released for Canadians first makes it even more awsome

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    but the whole energy thing is quite gay because it runs out in moments.
  9. Teslanaut

    Teslanaut Well-Known Member

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    They ARE companies. All 3 of them. They started to create PROFIT. Tapulous bought Nate True's TTR code and turned it into TTRevenge.
    It started out as a hobby when Jailbreaking became a big hobby. Then the App Store comes along and provides developers an easy way to profit from their skills and education. I see nothing wrong in that whatsoever. They care about the customers, thats why they create a product, for the customers. They don't create games or apps for themselves. They create it for people to buy and enjoy. It's not all about you (the customer).

    Now to my own opinion: I'm not affected at all by this. ngmoco games have been completely mediocre, each game they've made. All fluff but generic gameplay. Star Defense, Rolando, Word Fu, and the others. I've PAID for and they've never satisfied me for more than 3 minutes. Eliminate & the Dog game won't be any different.
  10. Mgssidley

    Mgssidley Member

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    Ok then they should have a single purchase for in game apps. Not constantly having to buy time.

    Edit: Got their attention:
    http://twitter.com/ngmoco/statuses/5328057354

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