Wordament is the massively multi-player real time ‘Boggle’ type game for Windows Phones and it’s free. The developer has written a post about their philosophy of releasing a free version only and they’ve reiterated that they will not be releasing a paid version. Here it is and I’m again highly endorsing this game, which is currently responsible for my wife using my phone for the past hour…and counting:
In order to be fun, it requires a user base of sufficient size. While this game can be played—even enjoyed—as a solitaire experience, the magic of this game comes from our company meme: “You vs. the Internet”..Without that, we would be like so many other basic word game clones in the Marketplace.
We want as many players as possible, but we need to cover our costs. The solution is advertising. Ads don’t pay much per person, but they do pay consistently, over time. And, servers cost money over time too. The problem with having a “paid version without ads” is that it provides all the funding we will ever get for a user in one shot. But, our expenses are not “one time expenses” – such as covering the initial cost of development. We need to cover both the initial development costs plus the ongoing costs.
So, the bottom line is: we aren’t planning on ever charging for this game. We love the game and we love having you as a player much more than we want money “upfront.” We are not shoving ads at you to upset you either. We are simply trying to strike a fair balance between you having a great game that costs you nothing and is available forever with us trying to cover our ongoing costs so that we can all enjoy this game together.
So you know, the ads are either at the bottom of the screen while you play or at the top when results are shown and very nonintrusive. And in testing it out tonight there tends to be about 40 players online at a given time. I think this is a nice mix of ads to support a game without taking away from the experience and hope it leads to more games from this developer.
Time to get back into the game. Good luck!