This week on PocketGamer.biz, the site's editorial staff have been proselytising on the subject of free-to-play.
It's hardly a new issue, but as the UK's Office of Fair Trading announced last week that it would be launching an investigation into freemium games, it seemed as though the time was right for another look at the model that's changed the games industry – much to the horror of many.
For Pocket Gamer editor-in-chief Kristan Reed, it's time that social responsibility came before profits. "Who, in their right minds, can justify charging $99.99 for a stock of in-game items?" he asked.
"It goes without saying that some app creators will try it on, because it has been proven time and time again that some customers will actually pay that much. The industry has politely termed them as 'whales'. I prefer 'moron'."
It's wrong for developers to exploit these "stupid/addicted/addled" people, Reed argues, and PocketGamer.biz editor-at-large Jon Jordan is equally critical of the industry's preferred terminology.
"We don't talk about 'players', we talk about 'users'. Daily active users, not daily active players. Average revenue per user, not average revenue per player. And perhaps most damning, we talk about 'whales' […] These aren't apex predators, though. They are our apex prey."
But that's quite enough moral talk for the moment. Instead, let's take a look back at the last seven days of mobile gaming news, interviews and features on PocketGamer.biz.Tools and platforms
- Josh Klint explains why C++ based Leadwerks 3 engine is the future for mobile graphics.
- The AppGratis saga continues, as the French firm launches a petition against its App Store ejection.
- PocketGamer.biz US correspondent Carter Dotson argues that the AppGratis ejection proves it's never wise to bet the farm on Apple.
- GameAnalytics is 100 percent focused on games, 100 percent cross-platform and 100 percent free (to begin with), according to chief product officer Matthias F. Hansen.
- Havok talks to PocketGamer.biz about Project Anarchy, its free end-to-end mobile games engine.
- We've never used bot farms or "anything shady," insists AppGratis CEO Simon Dawlat.
- In this week's edition of the PocketGamer.biz Charticle, we examine the iOS version of Injustice: Gods Among Us, and fine it's extracted $1 million from US players in nine days.
- PapayaMobile announces an in-app billing system that will let western devs plug their Android games into China Mobile's payment infrastructure.
- Martin Koppel, of carrier billing platform Fortumo, explains the company's plans to 'crack China'.
- Pocket Gamer editor-in-chief Kristan Reed asks whether more developers need to put social responsibility before profits.
- Supercell reveals that it's now grossing $2.4 million each day from just two games.
- AppLift's Thomas Sommer offers his top tips for transitioning your game from premium to freemium.
- PocketGamer.biz editor-at-large Jon Jordan finally goes mad, and spends his Monday morning imagining ancient Greeks arguing about Apple and AppGratis.
- A slightly more lucid discussion follows, as the PocketGamer.biz Mobile Gaming Mavens debate Apple's decision to yank AppGratis from the App Store.
- Brand advertising is dead, says TapSense's Gregory Kennedy. It's all about brand response now, he tells Jon Jordan.
- Fallen Tree Games' Lewis Boadle talks life after Free Radical, and explains why topping TimeSplitters isn't a target for his new studio.
- Anna Marsh, the design director at Lady Shotgun Games, offers three top tips for game design on touchscreens.
- Co-founder Nicholas Francis explains why he left Unity to make 'unforgettable' games for gamers.
- If console games are movies, then free-to-play is the TV soap-opera says F2P Summit keynote speaker Peter Molyneux.
- The first in-app purchase is just like a first date, according to PapayaMobile GM Chris Hanage.
- PocketGamer.biz editor-at-large Jon Jordan also took to the stage at the F2P Summit, discussing his views on morality in a big data, frictionless payment, free-to-play mobile gaming world.
- Developers need to stop killing their players, argues 4T2 Multimedia.