Thanks to some bizarre business model, a very interesting game has become an unwanted game.
Run Run Super V (Five) is an endless runner game similar to hits like Temple Run and Minion Rush: Despicable Me, but more themed on the Super Sentai series that is popular in the East and also known as Power Rangers in the West. The art direction and animation was impressive for a mobile game and the gameplay was addicting at the start from the runner gameplay up to the boss battles where you fight as a giant Super Sentai robot. Everything went well until you reached level 3…
Upon reaching that level, you will be prompt to subscribe to a game subscription service (if you are a Globe/TM subscriber) in order to progress further in the game. The subscription rate is PhP 5 per day or PhP 150 a month and it will be deducted to your prepaid balance or will charge you if you are a postpaid subscriber, unfortunately all non-Globe subscribers won’t be able to progress in the game further. And yes, it is a mandatory feature to pay a subscription to the game, there are no other options.
However there is a free version of Run Run Super V, which was published by Altitude Games; the same developer who created the game. But in an interesting twist, that version was blocked in the country, prohibiting the local players to download and enjoy the ‘better’ version. The ‘pay-per-day’ version was published by Xurpas, an unknown publisher which is located at Makati City, their only game listed on Google Play was of course, Run Run Super V.
Upon researching about the company, it looks like Xurpas is more into those subscription based ‘interactive’ social games where they promised that you have a chance to win hefty amount of cash or gadgets by getting consecutive wins in their games, in other words, if you want to get a chance to win these prizes, you better subscribe to our games. Yes they claimed it is interactive as you play with other people, similar to those old TV shows a decade ago where you play a game with other gamers by sending commands through SMS messages, and sending a message was very expensive.
This kind of business model is the worst idea to be implemented in this kind of game, the most common business models for endless runners games are either you purchase the game or download it for free but there will be micro-transactions to hasten the game progression, and sometimes combining the two business models. Though there are small number of apps offering subscription-based business model, but free users can still access those apps, the only advantage is they provided much better feature and service for paid subscribers. But this scenario here is a lot different. In the case of Run Run Super V, you are restricted into playing the game for free while the rest of the world are enjoying it without spending any penny. In the end, the gamers who would have supported the game were given a big middle finger by the publisher and then tries to steal their wallets.
There are some that are voicing out their dismay over the misleading promotion and very unappealing business model. Try comparing the reviews from the ‘free’ version (having more than 50,000 downloads) and the ‘subscription’ version (having around 5,000 downloads) and the free version had better reviews and download counts than the other. It is slowly killing the game and Altitude games (the developer) should do something about it.
This would be acceptable if it was an MMO game, but the subscription-based model of Run Run Super V does not justify the value over the actual game as many similar games are available for free. The free daily gems and a chance to win prizes were still not an excuse to ask players to pay a mandatory daily fee as you can actually enjoy the game without these perks. And take note, even if you don’t play the game, you will still be charged until you manually unsubscribe to it. Yes, you may say PhP 5 a day sounds cheap, but what if you can just buy the entire game for PhP 50 (average price for a mobile game) and play it anytime you want.
Subscription-based games still do exist, they are now dying these days and most have converted into a free-to-play business model.
Run Run Super V is a victim of a corporation greed that does not know how to market their products efficiently, this would result to a closure to their partnered developer and this needs to be saved.
Sure we can just ignore the game and all walk away, but would you let a really promising game to die at the hands of corporate greed just like that?