Mobile Game Developer Says ‘Freemium’ Apps Have Doomed Industry

“If we look at our industry today, there’s reason to believe that we are fucked…”

How about that for an opener, eh? Told ya that “doomed” may have been too gentle of a word.

Thorsten Rauser, of The Binary Family (mobile game developer), shared the above quote as part of an ultimately sobering view on the state of the mobile game industry when he attended Casual Connect, a gathering of the minds behind many of the casual games that are available today on mobile platforms.

You can read the full story over at, but here’s the meat of what Rauser had to say:

The thing is, our industry has become bad; society’s view of our industry has become bad. We try to get as much money out of the player as possible. That’s what the job of the [casual] game designer has become. That’s how people see us. If we look at casual games in 2015, what’s out there is mostly crap. It’s three or four game principles. We use different characters, we use different sounds, we use different setups, but it’s all the same thing. What we’re doing is selling games to children. I think it’s so disgusting. We sell them $100 packages of fake currency and make their parents pay because we can easily manipulate them. This is the thinking of the gambling industry, and if you look at the people that have come into the show over the last few years, a lot of those people have backgrounds in the gambling industry. And yes, this is how we make our money these days.

My, oh my. He likens the industry to something that is akin to casinos for children. Isn’t that the terrible and awful truth though? Go ahead an look through your favorite mobile games and see if anything similar to what Thorsten said is reflected in your app experience. I bet there is. Maybe we should stop supporting freemium games and start paying for games up front. Sometimes free isn’t a guarantee of anything resembling a complete, fulfilling, or lasting experience.

TL;DR – Freemium games have seemingly ruined the reputation of the mobile gaming industry, especially when it comes to casual games. Have you grown more unsatisfied with your apps over time? That bad taste in your mouth is probably from that yucky pay-walled city building game you consumed.

Thanks to Crave’s Game Revolution for the tip on this interesting story.


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