The Ten Best Casual Gaming Articles of 2013 – Part 2

Matthew Warneford

Every week we publish a newsletter linking to the best articles on casual gaming found on the web, and twice a year we review the past six months and publish a list of the articles clicked on the most by our 1,100 subscribers. Looking back over the past 24 issues it’s clear that the freemium gaming model dominated 2013, so much that out of the ten most read stories more than half focused on game changing business model.

Other topics that got our readers excited in the final half of the year included King’s sweetie smashing phenomenon Candy Crush Saga, the psychology behind virtual goods, and an interesting piece on six of the most unusual games genres – anyone fancy playing some real-time poetry?

If you haven’t signed-up for TWICG yet, click here and get the week’s most insightful casual game articles sent to your inbox in one handy weekly email.

For now, here are the ten stories that our readers have clicked on more than any other over the past six months

Tripling Revenue with One Button

In this post by Michael Sacca, founder of Tiny Factory, he describes how adding one button and a slight change to the company’s pricing structure helped his story-book app treble its revenue! Sometimes the smallest change can make the biggest difference and we can underestimate how much our users want to spend.

Candy Crush Saga: The Science Behind the Addiction

To celebrate the one-year anniversary of Candy Crush Saga, Time magazine sat down with the game’s designer as well as psychology experts to find out what it is that makes King’s candy swapping phenomenon so moreish – from its use of childhood regression and playing with one hand to social networking and escapism.

Why People Buy Virtual Goods

With 19 answers this Quora topic on why people buy virtual goods includes insightful responses from the psychological (we like to) to the financial (they’re worth it). Contributions include ex-Facebook staff, bloggers, data analysts, and our own CTO Matthew Warneford; it’s sure to provide food for thought next time you’re wondering how to make more money from your virtual goods.

A New Model for Free-to-Play Games Design

Our friends over at GamesBrief have been working hard on creating a graphic to represent a new model for creating great free-to-play games. To find out more read the full story on our blog.

70% of Players on the Last Level of Candy Crush Haven’t Paid

It might be the highest grossing app in the App Store but the vast majority of people who are on the last level of Candy Crush Saga haven’t paid anything to play. That’s the surprising claim of Tommy Palm, ‘games guru’ at King, who in this interview discusses the game’s development and the future of free-to-play.

How to Make Money from Free-to-Play

Will Luton is a free-to-play consultant and the author of Free-to-Play: Making Money from Games You Give Away. Earlier this year we spoke with Luton for a post on the Dubit blog, in the interview he gives us some lessons in free-to-play and examples of best practice for making money from the business model that’s changing gaming.

Why Disney is Having Difficulty with Free-to-Play

Earlier this year Disney’s sequel to the hit game Where’s My Water? flopped – it performed well on the download charts but was nowhere to be seen on the top grossing tables. According to Brooks Barnes of the New York Times this is because the House of Mouse is finding it hard to switch to the free-to-play model.

How Much Children Really Spend on In-App Purchases

In November we published research on children’s in-app purchasing habits, from the permissions they’re given to how much they spend. The research also included data on the most popular types of in-app purchase – essential reading if you’re trying to monetize a kid’s game.

Six of the Best Unusual Game Genres

Bored of games that copy Candy Crush or countless Minecraft clones? You might want to have a look at this list of unusual game genres, by Will Freeman – it may inspire when you’re trying to come up with your next game idea.

5 Ways to Fail at Freemium

When Facebook first began to operate as a gaming platform there was a lot of learning to be done and most of it occurred through trial and error. Now, as the freemium business model becomes common place in games we are seeing a similar pattern – we’d also guess it was one of the motivations behind this post on the Freemium Design blog, which includes tips on advertising, IAP and pay-to-win.

Want more? Back in July we reviewed the ten most popular articles from the start of the year, you can read them here.

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