There’s a good interview here with C.J. Wolf of iWin, discussing some experiments they did with pricing for their casual game Family Feud. It’s rare in this biz to see any hard data on conversion rates, so it’s particularly cool to see not only F.F.’s conversion rate data, but the results of their experiment on how the C.R. was affected by price point.
The standard for this biz is $19.95, with a 60 minute free trial.
Apparently, they first tinkered with the length of the trial period. At 60 minutes (and a $19.95 price point), the game had a conversion rate of 0.9%, but the conversion rate went up to 1.3% when they cut the free trial period to 30 minutes.
Next, they experimented with price (I’m assuming these results were with the 30 minute trial period, though that’s not explicitly stated):
The conversion rate is sales per completed download. The yield is revenue per completed download – i.e. the product of the prior two columns.
As you can see, though C.R. slipped a bit at the higher price point, it was more than offset by the higher price point.
I’m not sure that these results would hold with the majority of casual games. F.F. is a bit of an outlier in several respects.
First, it’s an established brand that people are familiar with, and there’s no way for a consumer to buy an equivalent product from someone else for less money. i.e. they don’t face competitive price pressure from others at $20.
Moreover, consumers might be more comfortable with both the shorter trial period and the higher price point given the familiarity of the underlying license (and game mechanics).
Finally, I’ve played iWin’s version of F.F., and frankly, there’s not a lot there. Yes, they recreate the game reasonably faithfully, and I do enjoy the television show, but the game gets repetitive and boring quickly. I stopped playing after 20 minutes. So a shorter trial period probably makes sense. But for a game with a longer backstory and more varied gameplay, I think you might more effectively hook the consumer with the traditional 60 minute trial. I’d love to see others experiment with this and publicly reveal their data.