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Pablo Cavarez and Aerena: Clash of Champions devs say publishers demanded pay-to-win mechanics

Money, money, money

Pablo Cavarez and Aerena: Clash of Champions devs say publishers demanded pay-to-win mechanics
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| Pablo Cavarez

It seems that most mobile game publishers these days are demanding developers put in free-to-play mechanics in their games.

If the devs don't, the publishers won't publish the game - it's as simple as that.

This information comes from two independent game developers who have recently looked for a publisher for their games.

The first is BloodyMonkey, which is releasing sliding puzzler Pablo Cavarez on iOS, Android, and Windows Phone on May 28th.

Pablo CavarezPablo Cavarez has you sliding tiles around to give the titular character a safe route through a series of caves. You defeat enemies, avoid traps, and collect gems along the way.

"We approached different publishers during the development, but all of them required some form of free-to-play mechanic (virtual currency, sell hints, ads...)," BloodyMonkey founder Paolo Taje tells us.

"We decided to self-publish the game and stick with the initial design: no artificial gimmick, just one world free to try and all the rest of the game unlockable one time and forever."

That's right: Pablo Cavarez is, technically, a free-to-play game. You will be able to download the first 16 levels for free, and then unlock the rest of the game for 69p / 99c.

But that wasn't enough for the publishers BloodyMonkey approached. They wanted to monetise the game further - otherwise, they wouldn't publish it.

Clash of interests

Cliffhanger is the other developer making claims of similar publisher demands. Cliffhanger is close to releasing Aerena: Clash of Champions on PC, Android, and iOS.

In an interview with Strategy Informer, Cliffhanger creative director Jan Wagner said he was turned down by publishers on the grounds that they "only take pay-to-win games".

Wagner said that Cliffhanger wants to make a fair game that can be played free forever. He also added that he thinks the pay-to-win model is a "race to the bottom in terms of quality".

However, this didn't prove popular with publishers at all, some of which stated they never wanted to be contacted by Cliffhanger again.