Some may recall a time not so very long ago when it didn’t cost a red cent to watch television. Advertisers funded everyone’s home entertainment and the only price you paid to watch your favorite sitcom was having to sit through the commercials.
It’s an antiquated model as far as the TV industry is concerned — which now imposes both advertising and cable bills on its audience — but it seems to appeal to the casual video game business which has been less-than-successful in selling its wares.
Casual game developers even have a name for their malady — the “99% problem” — so-called because for every 100 people downloading a casual game, on average only one actually pays for it. The other 99 take advantage of the usual 60-minute “free trial period” and, once that ends, they move on to another freebie. In effect, the casual games industry is being supported by only 1% of its fans, a situation that has been fairly consistent over the last four years.