In my research analysis project I wasn’t too surprised by the information that I found for quite awhile until I ran into certain topics which began to show unethical practices. I have already discussed how many of these game designs incorporate addicting elements on purpose to attract what the business calls “whales” to make their revenue, but I haven’t talked about other surprises I found so far.
Almost 1 out of 3 of all the top grossing game apps are both free and casino games that don’t even give you real money as a reward, its all fake in game currency. The other games which are not labeled as casino games, all use the same elements as casino games though they just don’t call themselves Slotomania or House of Fun Free Slots. It seems that the market for pay to play games has not been profitable, but the market for exploiting the weak and easily addicted has. Game companies are scrambling to get a piece of that action, because as much as 1,000 games are released a day in the iOS app store. These games can make anywhere from $182,000 to $1,948,000 in a single day and their entire production budget could be completely paid for in less than a week of release. That is staggeringly high numbers, not even major game production companies for consoles or PC’s can’t produce those number ratios.
I went into this believing that it would be a pretty standard research project and was hoping to improve my own personal project’s by adding the useful information I found to their development, but what I found instead was more depressing. It seems that no matter how good people think my game apps are or how well designed they are, it will not translate to success unless I turn it into a “fake” slot machine, since it doesn’t actually pay out real money. I didn’t spend a lot of time looking at failed game apps, but I did see one trend that I will note here, even if the games got great reviews, many of them still went bankrupt if they didn’t incorporate those elements. Despite that knowledge I still need to present this information in an unbiased fashion, but on a personal level I don’t ever want to make money with those shady practices.