Don’t get me wrong. I hate nag screens as much as anyone, but after playing the free version of iBubble Shooter for quite some time I’m can’t really blame them for trying to get me to upgrade. The game is based on the classic bust-a-move principle, in which you shoot bubbles from the bottom of the screen trying to group them together based on color. It’s pretty good, certainly the best touch screen translation of the concept that I’ve played. At € 0.80 it’s a steal. But that was even more true for the original free version.
What Absolutist, who made the game, probably shouldn’t have done was create a free version that allowed you to fully play the game. Up until a few days ago, there was very little reason to buy the ‘pro’ version. Other than being able to save your game and return to it later, it offered very little over the free one. The nag screens in the new version fix that, but it feels like Absolutist has taken something away from me. They’ve made my experience worse.
I guess this is a good case study for iPhone app developers. If you’re planning to make money off of your app, you should probably limit the free/demo version right off the bat. You can always remove or relax limits, but adding them later won’t earn you any points with users. And if your app is as good as this one, I’d recommend pricing the pro version a little higher.