A simple search of ‘2048’ will show so many games of almost the exact same name, it’s hard to distinguish which came first. The most popular 2048 games have been downloaded more than 10 million times, but all of them were based off of one game, and that game is Threes! Threes is a simple puzzle game about matching numbers and adding them together to create subsequently larger numbers. It’s a game that’s quite addictive, and across Android and iOS it has been installed more than a million times.
Up until now, Threes has suffered from the paywall handicap. Surely Threes would have been downloaded many more times if it didn’t carry the $2.99 price tag. That’s the exact formula that was taken by 2048 and other similar clones. These games were completely free, but utilized ads to make a lot of money. Another example of a game that has benefited from the inclusion of ads is Flappy Bird, which became massively popular for a time.
With all that in mind, today the developer behind Threes have released a new free-to-play version of their game. Asher Vollmer and Greg Wohlwend have realized their ‘mistake’ in making Threes a paid game, and hope that this new free version will both increase the popularity of the game and yield more revenue. It took them quite a while to figure out how to make the game as seamless as possible. They recognised the mentality of the player to try to get the most out of a game without paying anything.
What they ended up doing is giving the player a limited amount of games, then forcing the player to watch an ad if they want to play more games. They hope that this new method will garner better results. Vollmer stated that: “There’s a chance that the free version will totally cannibalize our revenue and we will start earning zero dollars a day. I will consider this launch a success if that does not happen.” It seems like a small price to pay in order to support the developers, but unfortunately, when I ran out of games and wanted to watch an ad, a sponsor could not be found. Hopefully it is a problem they fix soon.
To download the free game click here and let us know what you think about this new system in the comments.