A bit of a different blog post today just so we can explain the thoughts and reasoning behind the direction we are taking InstLife and also the Twitter poll which certainly got people talking and expressing their views.
As you have probably seen by now if you have Twitter or like our page on Facebook, we will be introducing ads which will be shown after every 5-10 lives. This option got the majority vote over in-app purchases (IAPs). We have seen that some of you on our Twitter feed have mentioned previous conversations with us, where we said that we would not be introducing intrusive ads to our players, as we do not agree with them. This is partially still the case, of course, in an ideal world we would like to be able to keep the game going with very minimal ads, which has been the case since it went live on the Google Play Store.
When we first started this project, we said to each other that we do not want to introduce ads in an intrusive manner, but the truth is that we both have full time jobs that of course take up the majority of our time, and outside of our jobs we have things going on in our lives like most other people do. Since InstLife was released, it was always a side project for us which we talked about doing for a number of months, and initially wanted to release it to get some experience with managing a community, dealing with companies like Google (via Google Play) and Unity.
InstLife has now seriously blown up and we have hit over 1,000,000 downloads and with that, of course comes pressure and responsibility. It’s very hard to get 1 – 2 updates released each week which include bug fixes and new content whilst we have our full-time jobs and the everyday things to do, which is why we have had to change our stance slightly. Since InstLife was released, all of our work has been done effectively for free which was fine to begin with, as numbers were low and we were doing it solely as a hobby with no pressures and not needing to stick to specific deadlines.
We were close to releasing IAPs to help fund the work we do, and then thought it would be better to ask the community what they thought via our Discord server (https://discord.gg/RZ6JHqw), and pretty much everyone completely disagreed with introducing IAPs and some also said that would stop playing altogether if these were introduced. As you can imagine, this took us back a bit as it felt like people were just against supporting us in a way that would ensure we can put more time into the game and meet the deadlines that our community are happy with.
After some discussions, we decided to put it out on Twitter and ask everyone to choose either between in-app purchases and ads to be shown after every 5 – 10 lives. This was well received and the vast majority of you were actually pretty happy for ads to be shown which made us feel a lot more comfortable with following through with this.
This change will be going live in our next update, and because of this, it will be a lot easier for us to prioritise this game to get the content that you want on a regular basis. We are still working towards releasing the game in the first quarter of 2018 and along with this, will also be an iOS version that has been heavily requested.
We hope you now understand why we have had to make this change to InstLife and we hope you continue to enjoy the game.