The free-to-play and "freemium" sector of the mobile games market should be treated as a business model and not as a genre, according to mobile developer Chillingo COO Ed Rumley in a recent interview with VG247.
"I think the confusion comes from most people talking about ‘Freemium' and talk about it as a genre, rather than a business model," Rumley said. "There's obviously a lot of games where you're grinding away, or building up a city or whatever it is. That's a particular genre, and I think there's a market for people who like those games, but there's also a lot of people who still like pay-per-download games."
Rumley calls free-to-play a "complex market," saying that indie developers may be scared to put time and effort into a title only to make it accessible for free. He feels the opposite is the case with Chillingo, noting the company is very comfortable" with free-to-play and even earns more revenue from free games than paid ones — although paid games are still part of the overall picture.
Furthermore, Rumley says that placement on Apple's App Store and good monetisaton are keys to visibility, the later of which can pass quickly as new games are constantly hitting the store.
"I think if I asked you to name ten new games in the App Store charts at the moment you would probably struggle, but I bet you could name 30 games that constantly remain in the App Store charts," he explained. "It's very difficult to create a game that resonates with the mass market and stays there."
Correction: The original version of this article misinterpreted Rumley's quotes, leading to misinformation in the headline and body of the story. We apologize both to Mr. Rumley and you, our reader, for the error.