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Big Fish Games' "Mahjong Towers"  (Source: freeonlinegames.com)
Big Fish Games will allow users to jump in and out of various games without making multiple downloads

After some hesitation, Apple has decided to allow a a video game company to offer a game subscription on the iPad.

The video game company is Seattle-based Big Fish Games, which was founded in 2002 and generated $140 million in sales last year. The company had an idea to offer a subscription game service for the iPad that would allow users to jump in and out of all the games without making several downloads.

Apple was initially skeptical of the idea. It wanted to know why a monthly fee was required for games. Paul Thelen, founder of Big Fish Games, said the popularity of the iPad combined with the ease of use of Apple's App Store would attract customers.

After a longer-than-usual approval period, Apple was onboard with the idea. It's the first video game subscription service for the iPad that doesn't require multiple downloads.

Customers will be able to get unlimited access to many games such as "Mahjong Towers" and "Mystery Case Files" from the Big Fish app. The games are streamed to the iPad from Big Fish's data centers, and will require Wi-Fi access at first.

There will a free version of the app that allows 30 minutes of play per day and contains advertisements. For unlimited access, the subscription will start at $4.99 per month, then jump to $6.99 early next year when more titles are added. Apple will receive a commission of 30 percent.

Big Fish Games said that Android is next on the list for the monthly games subscription. It plans to launch an Android version by Q1 2012.

According to Thelen, 75 percent of its gamer audience consists of women over 30-years-old.

Source: Bloomberg



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Wow...
By kmmatney on 11/23/2011 1:50:26 PM , Rating: 3
"According to Thelen, 75 percent of its gamer audience consists of women over 30-years-old."

OK, I'm a bit shocked by this, but with 140M in sales, this is clearly an untapped market.




RE: Wow...
By TSS on 11/24/2011 12:42:43 PM , Rating: 2
Nah it's not. These are games like bejeweled. That market was tapped as soon as computers started becoming common place in homes. Big fish games just happen to make alot of these kinds of games. Popcap games is in the same league.

My mother's been playing a bust-a-move clone called Dynomite! for *years*, which is a popcap game. And she's in her late 50's now.

This market existed before computers too, in the form of family games. Monopoly remains my favorite.


I don't think this was the first....
By Aikouka on 11/23/2011 1:57:39 PM , Rating: 2
Tiffany, Gameloft's Order and Chaos is a MMO that's available for iOS and Android. It has a subscription that's required to continue playing it (after the first free month).




No Thanks
By sigmatau on 11/23/2011 8:11:15 PM , Rating: 2
" For unlimited access, the subscription will start at $4.99 per month, then jump to $6.99 early next year when more titles are added."

I don't think I've spent $4.99 the whole time I had my iPhone 3GS on games. If it wasn't free, Apple could go fk themselves.




And it's Gone
By matty123 on 11/24/2011 11:24:04 AM , Rating: 2
And they disable it the next day

quote:
Just yesterday we reported the news of the iOS game-maker Big Fish Games that was about to launch a subscription-based gaming service for iPad. The service, apparently already been approved by Apple, would have granted unlimited access to the company’s games for a monthly fee of $4.99.
This should have happened via an application that had already been introduced into the iTunes App Store since last week but the subscription bit was disabled ahead of the official launch by the developer. The app is called Play Instantly! but it’s currently not available. Big Fish Games announced the new game streaming service in a press release on Wednesday morning and soon after activating the subscription service Apple yanked the app from the App Store.

Big Fish Games founder Paul] Thelen said he was surprised by the move because Big Fish had worked with Apple for several weeks to ensure that it met the requirements for recurring monthly charges made through the App Store, a method most commonly used by magazines and newspaper publishers.

“It was officially approved,” Thelen said. Apple had even seen the app’s press release before it went out earlier today, he said.


Apple, that was going to earn 30 percent of the subscriptions paid by users, has not given an explanation for that.
While we wait for an official reason, I was thinking of a possible explanation: to be able to run a game on the iPad without downloading the game some additional binary code would need to be installed and run on the device and this could be one of the reasons.


Link: http://www.lovefortech.com/2011/11/24/apple-yanks-...




Patent Troll Lodsys!
By Bateluer on 11/23/2011 4:07:40 PM , Rating: 1
Does this infringe on their alleged patent on making a purchase within an app?




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