How free games are designed to make money

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"Freemium" games can end up gaming gamers.

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The "freemium" business model allows us to use an app for free with the option to purchase additional features. In the case of games, that model can fundamentally alter the user experience, from gaming to getting gamed.

By collecting troves of data on how users play their games, developers have mastered the science of applied addiction. And with the rise of "freemium" games that rely on micro-transactions, they have good reason to deploy the tools of behavioral psychology to inspire purchases.

In the video above, I spoke to Jamie Madigan, author of a blog, podcast, and book about the psychology of video games. We take a look at some of the mind tricks that some of these games use to convert players into payers.

You can find more of his work here:

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