Zen has released Williams Pinball on Android. Have they got some issues with their in-app-pricing (IAP) model at beta launch?

Jared Morgan
Feb 9 · 5 min read

In today’s mobile gaming world, freemium models are often the only way developers can earn a crust in a crowded game market.

Getting the balance right between playing for free to level up (grinding) versus playing outright can be a tough balance to get right.

It seems that Zen might have made a misstep with pricing on their Android release of Williams Pinball. While the app is released in beta form, in-app purchases are live and available to purchase.

So what are the current pricing differences between Android and iOS? Well, quite a lot as you’ll find out when you listen to this episode.

Williams Pinball production release on Apple

Williams Pinball beta testing opt-in/out link on Google Play

And now… on with the show

  • 00:45 — How ‘bout that weather, aye?

Demon’s Tilt Pinball on Steam

  • 05:00 — Demon’s Tilt
  • 06:00 — What is the game about
  • 07:20 — A mixture of shoot-em-ups (shmups) and pinball
The upper and lower playfield of Demon’s Tilt Pinball
  • 09:00 — Game rules are hard to understand, but it doesn’t seem to matter.
  • 12:20 — Bonus counts are critical to this game.
  • 15:23 — You can turn down the intensity.

Williams Pinball on Android Thoughts

  • 18:00 — What’s the status of Williams Pinball on Mobile?
  • 20:00 — What table did Jared unlock first?
  • 21:10 — Medieval Madness left and right orbits.
  • 22:31 — Three challenge shots each day on Android.
  • 24:00 —Promote vs Unlock is a poor choice of terminology.
  • 26:00 — Attack from Mars was the next unlock.
  • 26:52 — Tickets are not so plentiful on Android.
  • 29:20 — Playing tables in regular mode will give you XP.
  • 29:46 — Challenges let you replay until you achieve each challenge level.
  • 30:35 — How many table parts do you need to collect compared to iOS?
  • 32:00 — How do the graphics compare with TPA mobile?
  • 34:25 — Flipper physics are a bit weird compared to Steam.
  • 37:25 — Quick flips give stronger flips compared to tap-and-hold.
  • 39:45 — About reviews on iOS.
  • 41:00 — About the bottom nav menu: great on big-screen phones.

Williams Pinball free-to-play model

  • 41:30 — Dual currency. 😦
  • 42:50 — Do the math and it doesn’t add up.
  • 44:00 — Prices are production prices, and they just don’t match iOS.
  • 45:30 — Are you an idiot if you buy IAP in the beta? Well…
  • 46:00 — The 50-coin pack is the same as the 5000-coin pack? WTF?
  • 47:50 — Is this type of pricing “just mobile gaming pricing”?
  • 49:12 — Sky Force single currency: makes it fair and understandable.
  • 50:00 — Different attitudes of pay-up-front vs free-to-play.
  • 51:30 — What does three days of gameplay on iOS get you?
  • 53:55 — People are initially frustrated with the pricing in Android.
  • 57:00 — How much does it cost to promote a table from ⭐️ ⭐️ to ⭐️⭐️ ⭐️ on Android?
Should that be 300, folks?
  • 60:00 — Was production IAP available in the TestFlight build…
  • 60:50 — …well, it is in Google Play.
  • 62:00 — To make it fair, it needs to be equal across mobile platforms.
  • 63:00 — How does multiplayer work on Android?
  • 65:35 — It’s US$35 on iOS to unlock all tables, how much in Australia?
  • 70:00 — The pricing and game unlock mechanic is the game.

Next week

  • 75:00 — Interview with Mel, Thomas and Akos from Zen (next episode).

Support the show

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BlahCade Pinball

Podcast devoted to commercial digital pinball that occasionally veers wildly off-topic just because.

Jared Morgan

Written by

Tech Writer with a Product focus | Podcaster | Pinball enthusiast.

BlahCade Pinball

Podcast devoted to commercial digital pinball that occasionally veers wildly off-topic just because.

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