Extra: Mobile Gaming Payment Models

I am addicted to a mobile video game called Tsum Tsum. I recently got into playing it and its been taking up so much of my time. It's a puzzle game and I play it when I'm taking public transport and between classes.

The game, like many other mobile games, runs on an energy system, whereby you can play a certain number of games before you run out of "energy" and have to wait a set amount of time before you can play again. You can bypass this wait time if you choose to (and are desperate enough to), by paying for energy.

The game has many licensed Disney characters that a player can collect, each with their own special ability. Again, like many other mobile games, you can pay money to speed up your progress in collecting these "Tsum Tsum" characters.

This payment model is nothing new in the mobile game industry and it has proven to work in helping these game developers make a profit. Together with advertising revenue, the whole business model is capitalizing on the player's patience, or rather impatience, as well as their liking of the game. If you don't want to wait for your energy to recharge, you can pay to speed up.

Many argue that this payment model is unethical because of this, however I believe it is not. Full access of the video game is offered to all players and no content is locked behind a paywall. If a player is patient enough, he or she will be able to experience the full game without paying a single cent. In exchange for not charging a cent for the purchase of the video game they developed, the developers in turn have to churn out a revenue somehow.


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