Guess I’ll Have to Buy Angry Birds Again

This is gonna replace CD’s soon; guess I’ll have to buy the White Album again.

One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movies, Men in Black.

I was reminded of this quote while Rich (@rmanalan) and I pondered whether we would win free Google TVs and if you could play Angry Birds on one.

Why? Because I’ve switched phones before, and I know that some games/apps are just good enough to rope you into buying them, again. I know, Angry Birds is free (cough, ad-supported) on Android, but frankly, I would pay for it to avoid the ads, which get in the way of the game play.

So, it’s come to this. Just as I sighed and ponied up to buy my favorite albums on cassette and then on DVD and sometimes again in digital format (don’t ask), I’m destined to do the same for the games and apps I love, for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Android, Google TV, Chrome web store, Mac web store . . . .

At some point, just to promote goodwill among its throngs of rabid players, I’d love to see a game studio create a reusable license so I can pay up front for lifetime device upgrades. Yeah, I know it’s only a dollar here and there, but the annoyance of having to reup each time outweighs the actual cost, creating a bad experience.

Like that’s happening anytime soon.

Find the comments.




  1. This is an interesting question — are you paying for the content or the distribution format?

    My current favorite game studio Tell Tale Games used to release for PC only, with an occasional console title on the side, so I purchased some of their games to play under Bootcamp on the Mac. Fast-forward a couple of years, the studio started porting their back catalogue for the Mac. I was prepared to shell out another 30-40 bucks for the native platform experience, but the studio went beyond the call of duty and simply made the Mac version available for anyone who purchased the PC license in the past. Free, no strings attached. This also holds true for their new releases: buy the title, download for PC or Mac or both.

    In the digital world (sans the distribution costs) the above would seem like a sensible way to do business. Of course, developing and releasing for multiple platforms incurs extra costs, but the goodwill and reputation you get from doing “buy once, use anywhere” would probably be worth more than the small extra income from people switching platforms, not to mention a good marketing argument to begin with.

  2. Exactly. I’m glad someone is actually doing this too. I suppose the one difference is that people swap mobile OSes much more often than they swap desk/laptop OSes, making the revenue harder to ignore.

    I think we’ll see in a few years that a goodwill license leads to additional purchases from the studio, creating a happy monopoly.

    Whereas asking the user to pony-up each time will lead to smaller actual revenue than expected.

    I <3 new business models.

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