Monthly Archives: February 2014

February 13, 2014

Plants vs Zombies drops in-app fee

The company behind the popular Plants vs Zombies mobile game has said that the introduction of a charge for a previously free item was just a “test”.

PvZ isn’t what interests me about this article. It’s the concept of in-app purchases in general.

Mobile analyst at IHS Insight Jack Kent said that users can be reluctant to pay upfront for a game if they don’t know what they are paying for so in-app charges become more important.

“For smartphone and tablet developers in-app purchases are the dominant business model, 80% of revenue is made this way,” he said.

There are several ways of offering in-app purchases without pissing people off. The fact that people can be reluctant to pay upfront for a game can be remedied by offering a trial for free and an in-app purchase that unlocks the full game. It’s a single transaction, but it seems to work quite well on Xbox Live Arcade. In essence, offer people a demo if up-front charges are intimidating. Just don’t milk them for all they are worth.

February 12, 2014

What happened to Green Goose?

Remember the startup Green Goose? I wrote about it back in 2011.

The Boston Globe published a story about the company late last year. In the end, technical difficulties and trouble finding a distribution partner were what brought the startup to its knees.

GreenGoose’s Twitter account posted its last tweet in May. Its online store is shuttered. Krejcarek, now back in Portland, says he is doing consulting work for other companies, but he’s also working on a new game-related venture, ZowPow. “I like building things, and I don’t want to stop building things,” he says.

I knew pineapples don’t grow on trees. What I did not know is that growing a pineapple, from planting the crown to fruiting, can take more than two years. Mindblowing.

(via the Good Job, Brain! podcast)

Wondering what retro game console I should purchase next. I’m leaning towards a Sega Master System at this point; lots of great games and underlooked gems. Plus, the boxarts are great.

How Facebook’s Open Academy helps students to become better software engineers

It’s well known that software engineers are in high-demand right now with startups and companies around the world. And if they’re not able to hire from the existing talent pool, companies are looking at the next generation – those computer science majors seeking to make a name for themselves in the industry. However, after four years of post-secondary academia, are these students really prepared for the working world?