What happened to the Lite version of games?

You know, this in-app purchase mentality is really start to wear on my nerves and the Freemium game philosophy is just horrible. Whatever happened to offering a Lite version of a game players could see if they liked it and charging a reasonable price?

I don’t like this mentality of buying your way through all the levels or buying cash to unlock cars or basically the idea of spending money so you can cheat your way through the game. What’s worse is the idea of offering specialty items in exchange for real cash.

Why can’t developers just make a decent game and then offer the Lite version that has a few levels so we can check it out? How did we let things get to the point that it’s ok to nickel and dime players just so they can advance in a game? If the game is that difficult or problematic then adjust the game play, don’t stand there with your hand out asking for money to help get a player through.

I’m all for DLC for iOS games. If a game is good and you offer new levels or content for an additional cost, that is perfectly reasonable to me. But I’m so sick and tired of seeing all these games with this massive list of things you can buy to "enhance your game experience".

I admit, I’m not going to jump at a $10 game right when it comes out. I want to see some reviews and some videos of how it works. But that’s true for any game not just the iPad. Hell, I never buy something the day it comes out. But, I respect quality games and I’m fine with paying for that quality and commitment from the developer. I bought Real Racing and Real Racing 2, but I won’t get Real Racing 3 because it’s a Freemium title. I don’t want to be nagged and encouraged to spend money while I’m playing the game. I don’t want popups telling me to buy gold or cash or coins or brains or whatever the hell currency your game has come up with. If your game is worth buying then let me buy it for a fair price then leave me the hell alone!

I think the quality of the games coming out for iOS is amazing and in many respects is on par with what we see on the desktop. But you don’t see this sort of crap with games you buy from Steam or from other vendors. You don’t buy Call of Juarez or Tropico or Minecraft and then get a nag screen every few minutes asking you for more money. If that sort of thing happened the game would be trashed on every website out there and deleted en masse. Look what happened when DRM foobared for SimCity?

Why then do we keep allowing this sort of behavior with iOS games? I love the iPad as a gaming platform and have played more great games in the past two years on it than I have with my desktop. But the face of gaming is turning ugly and sinister. I feel I’m being fleeced at every turn. The games are getting better but the ability to play and enjoy them is getting worse. I WANT to spend days or even weeks trying to make my way through a game. That’s what I bought it for. Why buy a game and then spend cash just to complete it the same day? Where’s the fun in that? Is that like buying a book or going to a movie, reading the first couple pages or seeing the first 10 minutes then jumping to the end? Why bother?

Entertain me, stop robbing me blind! Please, stop the in-app purchase, it’s gone too far. If your game is that awesome make me want to pay for it.

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