About eight or nine years ago the app-economy was just getting off of the ground. At first developers were not sure what the best monetization tool for these mobile applications would be, but they shortly found out that in-app purchases could be a gold mine if they are integrated into games and apps in the appropriate fashion. Fast forward to 2016 as virtual reality applications are now the next big thing, and In-app purchases have yet to make an appearance. That’s until this week.
Yesterday a Stockholm, Sweden-based development company, Resolution Games, introduced what we believe is the first ever virtual reality game to take advantage of in-app purchases as a tool for monetization. The game, which is available for the Samsung Gear VR, also happens to be the first known VR fishing game to hit the market. Called ‘Bait!’ the game places the user within a virtual environment where they are able to cast their line in the direction they are looking. They then use the Gear VR touchpad to control the reel, casting and any other movement.
In-app purchases come into play when the user decides he/she wants new and better equipment. The concept is just like any other non-VR smartphone game, but tries to utilize this business model within the virtual world. While there has been no indication as to how well the monetization tool has worked out thus far in the early going, I would assume that in-app purchases will bring in more revenue than banner ads which are surely not going to be clicked while a user is immersed in a virtual reality environment.
It will be interesting to see what business model works best for the mobile VR applications space. I’m assuming it will be a battle between in-app purchases like Bait! utilizes, and premium paid apps, which charge a one-time download fee. The traditional methods of publishing banner ads likely will need to be abandoned by VR developers or at least put on hold until an adaptation is able to take place which integrates such ads into VR worlds more seemlessly.
Have you played this game? What are your thoughts on VR In-app purchases? Let us know in the Bait! forum on VRTalk.com.