Why Are Mobile Games So Bad Now - The Reasons

This article will discuss why are mobile games so bad now, as well as how to fix this for you. I've been in this industry for nearly 5 years now, and it seems that mobile is getting worse by the day.

Why is this?

To start with, the current game landscape is a far cry from the one I got used to. I'll give you a quick snapshot of the mobile games landscape when I first started in the industry.


person holding 100 US Dollar banknote

In 2015, nearly half of all iOS games were free-to-play, with the remaining half being premium titles. A huge portion of the premium titles were either $4.99 or $10.99, which made sense because they had more content.

This meant that the free-to-play games weren't relying on being lucrative on a per-play basis, as opposed to focusing on quick in-game gains.

As for Android, many of the games were of the 'freemium' variety, while still a smaller number were premium titles.

These games were usually pretty lightweight, and really centered on easy gameplay, as opposed to a more in-depth gameplay. For an example, the hugely popular Flower 'Pet's Tag' app was a $0.99 app, and featured no gameplay whatsoever.

In addition, mobile games were focused on having a high replay value, and most of them were accompanied by in-app purchases.

Again, this made a lot of sense in 2015, when all of these games were new. However, looking back at the titles that are just released today, this has changed.

Retail costs

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The retail prices of most of the games released today, especially in the highest categories, are no longer justified by the in-app purchases.

Take the highly-anticipated big-budget title Vainglory, for example. Vainglory is a MOBA, and it is the top-selling MOBA on both iOS and Android, but it still costs $39.99, which is more than double the price of a comparable premium game.

Why is this? Well, let's look at the specifications of the title. The original version of the game was a free-to-play game, with a small set of in-app purchases.

In addition, Vainglory had not received a major update in over a year, and even then, the game had minimal changes. This is a situation that often happens with the top tier games.

As a result, developers became very careful with how they developed and priced their titles. As a result, they found that they could charge $40 or more for a game that really had very little difference than a game that was free.

On top of that, they could charge $40 for the game that featured poor development.

What can be done about it

standing man next to sitting man in front of computer in room

Now, I'm not going to give you a lecture on how you should be charging $2.99 for your app (although I would recommend charging this, to begin with).

Instead, I'm going to show you a few tips on how you can improve your pricing models, so that you can get more units on your store.

The first thing to consider is the price point. Are you charging $2.99 or $4.99? At $2.99, you can't really say that you're charging more for the product.

On the other hand, if you're charging $4.99, then you are charging a premium price for your product.

It's not a problem if you're pricing your game higher than most games, and can justify this by saying that you've invested more money into the game, but it's not a good sign if your price is barely above the average price of a premium game.

Also consider that many of your users might not have an unlimited amount of credit. This means that when they purchase your game, they might only be able to purchase 10 or 15 levels at the most.

This means that, because you're charging such a high price point, they're not going to want to purchase more levels. The only option here is to add on a premium currency, which can be used to purchase more levels, which will entice them to purchase the game again.

Keep in mind that you can charge a higher price for a product, and this is not a bad thing. Look at more expensive games like Starcraft 2 and League of Legends.

While many of the games are free to play, they also include some premium items, such as boosters, character skins, as well as team premades.

These items are exclusive to the highest-tier versions of the game, and help to keep players coming back for more. This is the key to building a successful mobile game.

By charging more, you'll get more people to buy your game, and that will help keep your players happy. Of course, you'll also be able to sell more units, which will help to bring in more revenue.


So there you have it, a few quick tips on how to improve your mobile game pricing models. As you can see, there is a lot to consider with the price point of your game.

For this reason, you need to create something that's valuable, so you'll be able to price it correctly.

The tips I've provided should help you create a pricing model that's beneficial for your company, as well as the end user.