Digital Media

Aggressive sale funnels in mobile gaming

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Skill Games vs. Money Games

If the shift from skill game to money game is done in a subtle enough manner, the brain of the consumer has a hard time realizing that the rules of the game have changed. If done artfully, the consumer will increasingly spend under the assumption that they are still playing a skill game and “just need a bit of help”. This ends up also being a form of discriminatory pricing as the costs just keep going up until the consumer realizes they are playing a money game.


I am an avid mobile game player. It offers me the opportunity to entertain myself in short unavoidable pauses in life (retail queues, bus stops and so on). Having read the article above I started to spot similar characteristics in one of the games I am currently playing.

The game is called Subway Surfers, it’s great fun and I’d recommend it. But, what I noticed with this game is that: after having reached to a higher average score, the game altogether gets harder. I link this to the ever so many customizations you as well as the boosts that are available for a small amount of money.

Sale scenario 1. After a while the user gets used to playing the game but not able to make any further progress into the game. They are being funneled to purchase clothing items or additional game characters to keep on playing the game.

Sale scenario 2. The user wants to progress despite the exceeding difficulty of the game then are funneled towards purchasing boosts to increase their in-game performance.

I find these type of techniques as well-adapted (almost cunning). And very inspired that there are innovative methodologies to capitalize on somewhat-unobtrusive freeware games.

(and yes btw, no way spending a penny on those : ) )


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