As I noted in a previous blog article MineCraft – Indie hit is Social Gaming’s Cinderella on the gradual rise of the Block building game Minecraft, I am no gamehead. But I ain’t blind either, o ye who read and who are gamers as the meteoric rise of the casual gamer has not gone unnoticed by the clever eyes of EA (Electronics Arts). EA’s a console gaming developer that’s gradually developing and appetite for Social and Casual Gaming with recent purchases of PlayFish as the tide of fortunes begin to go against them.
Especially seeing as how the subscription model for Premium Gaming is predicted to go the way of the dodo, with the rise of the Freemium model making Premium Gaming look like Grand Theft Auto crime scene as per my spiel in Smartphones and Apps -Freemium Games are No. 1.
So a recent report of a Freemium game made popular by Russian programmer Alexi Pashitnov back in the early 90’s having a subscription option may have struck many as an odd move to make with a Freemium game. EA, again back in my articles’ spotlight, is the game developer with this crazy (or genius??) idea, seems to think that people, casual games like Plants and Zombies and Star Defender fanatic in the guise of yours truly, would be willing to pay US$30 for a year’s subscription of Tetris.
Yes…Tetris! I love it to bits folks, but not that bad! Plus I play for free online and on my PC.
So EA, what gives?
The fact are simple and as plain as the nose on your face: the mere inkling of EA making a native version of the Tetris game for the Apple iPad, Apple iPhone and Apple iPod Touch to debut with the usual US$0.99 to try was inevitable. This given the popularity of the iOS platform on Apple’s products, a good quality Tetris app from EA may not fare too badly is par for the course.
Worse, given that the stats are truly stacked in favour of the Freemium Gaming model in the first place, this move by EA, already a proud owner of PlayFish, a casual Gaming maker, is a move to establish in a beachhead in the Casual Gaming world.
Indeed, as simple as this announcement by EA may appear, it may actually be the first sign of the coming change of business models among the traditionally large and expensive Console and Portable Game Developers in this Post-Portable Gaming Era as foretold by Hideo Kojima, Creator of the Metal Gear Solid so neatly spliced into my article Nintendo and Sony vs Smartphones and Tablets: Post – Portable Gaming Era. But paying US$30 per year to gain access to levels and exclusive content in Tetris?
To be fair, this is really the basis of the popular Freemium model as noted in my statistical review Smartphones and Apps -Freemium Games are No. 1. Still though Freemium and Cloud Gaming (confused, take a gander at my prediction in Console Gaming’s Downfall – Future is up in the Clouds !!) the coming wave of the future for Console and Portable Gaming, Blue Crush style, does appear a tad odd in the case of Tetris.
So why this should seem odd?
Most obvious: Absolutely free versions of Tetris are available online from a plethora of sources – all illegal of course, as it’s proprietary would be my first inkling, the main reason I was drawn to this tit-bit of news and coerced to put finger to pound keyboard and don my freelancer’s costume like an errant knight in shining armour and write yet again. But EA’s plan has several caveats in its favour despite the coming US$30 per year subscription app store shocker.
Classic Tetris is a very cool yet addictive game. Smartphones, Tablets and touch-screen music players i.e. Apple iPad, Apple iPhone and Apple iPod Touch with in-app purchases aka the Freemium model makes sense long term too, as the Freemium model racks in the big buck the higher you climb the score rankings with offers of exclusive contend and more challenging levels to while away you time.
Plus to make it easier on your pocket, you don’ pony up the money all at once. You can pay US$3 each month towards the subscription service that basically puts you into an exclusive T-Club of sorts, leaving your fellow less serious US$0.99 app purchasing gaming mates stuck with only three (3) levels while you enjoy what passes for VIP treatment in the Casual and smartphone Gaming World.
In short, Tetris is Crack for Casual and Smartphone Gamers is what Tetris on the Apple iPad, Apple iPhone and Apple iPod Touch. EA really represents the drug dealer in this analogy!
So, Tetris with all its exclusive content and engaging gameplay available for the smartphone addicted crowd for US$30 per year, just might work. This as Console Gaming sees a decline and Social Gaming and the Freemium model ramps up as per my article Console Gaming’s Downfall – Future is up in the Clouds, making a US$30 yearly subscription heaven sent for Casual and Smartphone Gaming Addicts.
Geezam readers, look out for more Classic Arcade style games already available for free slowly getting the same Freemium treatment. VIP treatment from EA on Alexi Pashitnov’s Tetris is nothing short of genius and truly never seemed so tempting for Casual and Smartphone Gaming aficionados, no doubt making it feel as if their Credit Cards are burning nice little Block sized holes in their pocket!
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