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Cheetah Mobile strikes again, brings IAPs and free-to-play model to Badland 2

Developer Frogmind has licensed the publishing rights to its popular Badland 2 game on Android to Cheetah Mobile.

Published onJuly 6, 2016

Badland 2 Android

Badland, one of our favorite mobile games of all time, is finally getting a sequel on Android. Badland 2 has been available on iOS for a few months already, and now the same great experience will make its way to the Google Play Store sometime very soon.

What’s that? The Android version won’t be the same as the iOS version? How come?

Apparently the game’s original developer, Frogmind, didn’t publish Badland 2 to the Play Store. Instead, the dev team licensed out the publishing rights to Clean Master Games, or Cheetah Mobile. Cheetah Mobile, for those unfamiliar, is a company that’s been known to create deceiving, ad-filled applications that you probably don’t want to use on your smartphone.

So what’s the big deal? First, let’s talk about how great the original Badland is. Badland is available in the Play Store for free and contains just two in-app purchases – one to remove advertisements, and one to unlock the second half of the game’s levels. There was no free-to-play model, no in-game currency… just a great game that didn’t constantly try to get money out of players. We should also bring up the fact that the iOS version, which was published by Frogmind, costs $3.99 and contains no IAPs.

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Badland 2 now contains an energy bar and in-game currency

Now let’s talk about the Android version of Badland 2. For starters, it’s now a free-to-play game with in-app purchases ranging from $0.99 to $9.99. The game now contains an energy bar that restricts you from playing for too long… unless you’re willing to spend money. They’ve also introduced an in-game currency that will let you start back at your last checkpoint for the cost of 10 coins or the quick watch of a video ad.

Frogmind says that it’s partnered with Cheetah Mobile because it gives the developers more resources. And I’m not placing any blame on Frogmind because they simply want more money. They made a great game, and they deserve to get paid for it. But it feels like Cheetah Mobile just took a great game, filled it with ads and published it.

It’s worth noting that the game has only soft launched in a few locations at this point. Frogmind says it will continue to improve the game based on user feedback before the full global rollout, so there’s a very, very small chance some of these things will change before it becomes available for all. We’ve reached out to Frogmind for further clarification, so we’ll be sure to update this post as we learn more.

Thoughts? We’d love to hear what you think about the Cheetah Mobile partnership in the comments below. Oh, and here’s the Google Play link to Badland 2. Just remember it’s only available in some regions at the moment.

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