'Punch Quest' goes premium after free-to-play model backfires

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Rocketcat Games, the mobile startup behind the acclaimed Punch Quest, is migrating the iOS title from its original free-to-play model to premium after consumers largely ignored in-app purchase options.

Rocketcat will offer Punch Quest at a download price of 99 cents. The title racked up more than 600,000 installs during its first week in Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) App Store, but the full-featured gameplay that made Punch Quest a favorite with critics backfired as a business model: Few consumers felt the need to purchase premium enhancements to bolster the user experience. A recent software update tweaking the cost of virtual in-game goods and making purchases more visible had little impact on the bottom line, Rocketcat lead designer Kepa Auwae told Touch Arcade.

"We did that last Punch Quest update that fixed a lot of the problems people pointed out when they gave for Punch Quest: More high end purchases, a coin doubler, a non-coins IAP option, a clearer buy button--didn't work," Auwae said. "That leaves one simple thing: The game is way too generous to be a single-currency free game."

Punch Quest--named one of the best new apps of October by FierceMobileContent--is an old-school arcade-style platformer depicting the adventures of a muscle-bound hero rushing headlong through a monster-packed dungeon, throwing haymakers at everything in sight, including ogres, zombies and priceless pottery. Gamers can unlock special skills and "supermoves," ride a dinosaur that shoots lasers from its mouth, don stylish hats and destroy a supernatural egg that transforms the protagonist into a magical gnome.

For more:
- read this Touch Arcade article

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