In-App-Purchase or TapJoy .. or both?

Currently I am developing a new casual game and start to think about monetization.

Until now I relied more or less completely on banner ads so had no real effort for implementing any mechanisms and shops or such stuff.

Now - as experience raises - I think about that things and may take the effort and implement it.

I don’t like to maintain different versions and I may be comfortable with sticking to google play store only.

So I ended up with “unlockable content” which in my case would be for example different game modes.

I am thinking of a main game, which is freely playable but adding different game modes as an extra which can be unlocked.

I may release a first version without the extra content just to see how people like it and then I would be able to add unlockable extra game modes for example

I was thinking of virtual currency for that because that would also give me the opportunity, that players would get small amounts of that currency while playing the game. So if they are playing the game for a long time, they are able to unlock additional content after hours of playing (where they see ads).

So, now here is the question: TapJoy alone does not offer a way of purchasing virtual currency (right?) instead relying on offerwalls and such things.
When I want to add purchases as well, I would need to implement In-App-Purchases by google (right?).

I wonder what is the best approach, maybe some of you has played some games which did a really good job in this subject where I can have a look how they did it.

And no, I will not use the free/paid model - I hate it.

So far, there are drawbacks…

In-App-Purchase: App not available in some countries
TapJoy: Needs annoying permissions

I used a combination of tapjoy and google in app payments. I let Tapjoy manage the virtual currency and add currency to a users account on successful completion of a sale. If you release it to other stores like getjar and you are unsure of whether the user has the google play store on their device it will gracefully tell the user that their device isn’t supported and only allow the tapjoy offers.

I also recently added Amazon in app payments and based on a flag I set during build I show the amazon in app payments when releasing there (still awarding users tapjoy currency on successful sale).

The only tricky part is if the users has a bad connection or uses an adblocker, you need to make sure the virtual currency is awarded correctly. If it can’t talk to tapjoy servers it cant award the currency. You could always manage virtual currency with you own server instead.

Another thing to look into is scoreloop. They seemed to offer virtual currency with their own built in store. You could also award currency for different achievements the user completed.

Problem is, I fear it is not allowed to let the user “buy currency” without using google payment. I wish it would.

I wonder, why TapJoy not already have joined their SDK with the big billing-providers (google, amazon, iStore) to provide an all-you-need solution xD But well, it’s a lot of work, I know :wink:

I’d definitely recommend including Tapjoy… as you’ve probably seen me mention before, I’ve had good results with them. :slight_smile: I can’t remember anyone complaining about the permissions, so that’s probably not a huge deal (at least, compared with other ad networks).

In terms of In-App-Payments, maybe you could try something like Zooz, which claims to offer a global, cross-platform IAP solution. I don’t see any downside to including both options, except for complexity. It could be a little difficult to explain to users that they can either pay for content, or download some sponsored apps.

Tapjo does offer some “tutorials” about their usage, where they normally show ingame shops where you normally buy virtual currency but with an extra button labeled “or get <currency> for free”

which normally will be sufficient, I think.

Only thing is, that I do not have any real items in my game so the overall usage of “virtual currency” is a bit misplaced, have to think about that … but I think you will get that currency also during gameplay and you need a decent amount of it to unlock the next game mode.

That way someone could just play long enough, do offers or buy currency to unlock the next modes.

And yes, unfortunately it is a bit of work involved to make that all happen, but it really looks to be the best approach of monetizing - for the dev and the user

I seem to recall Tap Tap Revenge did this quite well (Tapjoy alongside IAPs). Maybe you could take a look at that game for inspiration?

Of course, you’d have to play the game a bit too. Purely for business reasons :wink:

Few ideas, a screw that gives your robot a 10% money boost for next 60 minutes, a screw that gives your robot 10% more ladders for next 60 minutes and so on. On that way you can make a steady income because items are useful but they have limits.

I am also currently developing a game where I’m gonna offer different upgrades to make the ‘hero’ better. At first I was only thinking about using IAP’s for buying extra coins, but after reading this topic I’m pretty sure I’ll also use Tapjoy.

As per David’s suggestion I ‘volunteered’ to try out Tap Tap Revenge to see how they did it. I haven’t played it a lot yet (will have to play more some other day, purely for business reasons of course, like David wrote :wink: ) but this is how they seem to do it:

They have two different kinds of currencies in the game, Credits and Coins.

When you play a song you will earn extra coins (depending on how well you do it, I guess). Those coins can be used for customizing your character, for example buying different hats or accesories. As far as I could tell there was no other way of aqcuiring coins than playing the game (and also ‘liking’ their Facebook page).

You could also get clothes and such by paying through IAP’s that cost between $0.99 and $1.99.

There was a few different ways to get more songs. For every level you went up you would unlock free songs and also samples of songs (which meant you only got about half a minute of the song). You could then also buy other songs, for example the full songs of the ones you previously only had a sample of. When buying a song it often meant buying a song pack, which meant you got more than one song, often from the same artist. The more songs included in the pack the more money it cost.
For example, a pack with 2 songs cost $0.99 while a pack with 10 songs cost $4.99

Those were paid using in-app-purchases. But you could also purchase all the packs using credits. You got credits by completing different offers, using what I’m guessing was Tapjoy. Those offers were either downloading games (free or paid) or some other offer, such as buy something on a specific website.
After doing some research it seems you can also get credits in a contest every week;

“There is another way to get free credits. When they release a new track every Thursday there is a contest. You have to score higher then what they want you to score. If you score higher you could have a chance to win 1000 credits but other from that the only way to get credit easily is to download the apps.”
I can not confirm wether this is true or not and it could be that this is not possible anymore since it was posted a year ago (Source:

So you either earn credits by completing offers or you buy the track pack with IAP’s. However note that you’re not purchasing credits with the IAP’s so there’s no way that you can combine the offers and pay for a small amount of credits with IAP’s to pay for the song packs but you have to earn the full amount of credits using offers only.

So that is how Tapolous are doing it, and it seems as it’s working out great for them.

In my game I’m probably going to use both IAP’s and TapJoy but you can buy and earn some kind of currency (like coins) with both so you can combine them to get the amount of coins needed. That way people who can’t use IAP’s for one reason or the other can get free coins in a different way too.

The only problem with that would be the permissions, however I don’t think that would be a very big problem. Personally I never check what permissions are needed before downloading something and like David confirms the majority seems to be like me. Sure, it’s probably easier for a bigger company, like Tapolous, who have got millions of downloads to ‘get away with it’ but if you just state why the permissions are needed in the description of your application then it probably shouldn’t be a problem.

Please tell us what method you choose to go with, why and how it’s working out for you (whenever you’re finished) :slight_smile:

Thank you very much for that detailled post!

The all known premium model on desktop games does work in that way too. Normally you have 2 Currencies … one is normally “gold” and the other are “credits” (however they named). You need to buy credits with real money (or earn them) and can then use it to get special items.

In the “Free2Play” Concept that is pretty well etablished - as long as you have a game which has items. Many benefits - but also much to do :slight_smile:

While it would be possible to add many many items to my game “Robo Miner” - it is not so easy for my next game I am currently working on… There are no items and no levels … the only thing are different game modes (which are not ready yet).

Yeah, I’ve noticed that many games usually have more than one currency where one of them is more “exclusive” and gives you better items. Another game that I’ve pretty recently started playing is Defender II by Droidhen. They have it the same way where you can purchase both currencies and you will also get a small amount after each round you play.

You can also get one of the currencies by doing offers, much like TTR (Tap Tap Revenge) however they seem to use a different network for this; SponsorPay. Anyone have any experience with both TapJoy and SponsorPay and can tell a little about the benefits and drawbacks of each network? (Maybe I should have started a new thread about this, but I guess it’s kind of relevant to this discussion…)

I’m not sure about how your new game will be like but maybe you could implement something like TTR’s sample songs; let them play a little on the new game mode, to get the feeling for it, then right before they come to the ‘best’ part, end the game and tell them they have to purchase it to continue. :slight_smile:

Hi! This is Jennifer at Tapjoy. Happy to help strategize directly with you on best ways to monetize your apps. Here’s a couple case studies from android apps that had significant revenue jumps after integrating virtual currency and consumables through Tapjoy.
Email me anytime with questions: [email protected]

I’d say both, definitely. Some time ago my company had a quite popular game on GP (5MM+ downloads) and Tapjoy was bringing us ca. 30-35% revenue. Retrospectively, I think it could have been much more as the game wasn’t perfectly monetized and we could have used other Tapjoy products, not only offerwall.
To be fair, I’d also consider providers like SponsorPay. In another game we did a mix of Tapjoy and SponsorPay (right now Tapjoy’s T&Cs forbid this). In most of the countries Tapjoy did better but there were some countries where SponsorPay was generating better results.
Last but not least, Tapjoy’s support is usually very responsive.

How easy is SponsorPay to integrate ?

I took a look at SponsorPay some time back to compare to GetJar - and they seemed similar but I was already well on the way to integrate GetJar (though as noted elsewhere it was a pain to set it up).

SponsorPay may have had better documentation - but their number of offers were low and there were some reports on the web about non-existent offers for some locations.

This may have improved by now.

I think SponsorPay may also have had “offers” in addition to app downloads - while GetJar is only app downloads.

My personal experience says that basic integration, ie. offerwall, takes 15 minutes. If you want something deeper, like giving their more complex products a go, I’d say up to two days and this would include conceptual work on why/where/how put a given monetization element into your app.

I was quite happy with their offerwall, I’m based in the UK and I have no idea how players perceived what SP offers in other locations, but to be fair we didn’t get any complaints and money was good comparing to other monetization tools we used.

Hey this is Chris from Getjar.

Choosing a path to monetize your apps is hard. There is not much public data and companies make a lot of unsupported claims.

At Getjar, we’ve tried to support all business models so you don’t have to change your app to get started.

If you have a paid app and are using a free trial to generate interest, you should check out Getjar for paid apps as it is the only alternative monetization solution for paid apps that doesn’t break your existing business model. It just started but is doing well. Read more:

If you have a freemium app with in-app purchase but sell things without a virtual currency, I believe Getjar is the only solution that works without changes. Check out the UI examples here:

If you have a freemium app with in-app purchase of virtual currency only, then Getjar is an option along with usually suspects such as Tapjoy. Some apps have implemented more than one in order to test. However we are doing quite well in A/B tests against those companies so please consider Getjar here too.

Hope this helps.

For anyone who is interested, here is a general reference for In-App Purchases. This may help you get more familiar with the ins and outs of IAP The App Developer’s Guide to In-App Purchases - An Apptopia eBook - Apptopia Inc.

This may help you out: Apptopia put out a free eBook: The Developer’s Guide to In App Purchases “Our Chief Data Analyst compiled a free eBook, the first edition of the Apptopia Mobile Strategy Guide. The guide provides actionable strategies to build a sucessful IAP monetization program, combining insights drawn from data on 1.4 M iOS and Android apps with best practices as seen in highly successful examples that make millions today.”

Check it out, its really informative:

You guys know that your website is broken and does not email anyone the doc … right ?

Hey there, I’m sorry about that. I’m not totally sure what’s wrong with the download link on our site. Here’s a mediafire link to the pdf. The App Developer’s Guide to In-App Purchases.pdf Hope that helps!

Thank you!