Thursday, December 6, 2012

Windows Phone Store idea: Giftable licenses with purchase


I've recently been working on an update to Star Ninja which has put me into the mental space of the phone marketplace lately and I realized there is something I would really like to see from the Microsoft Store for Windows Phone:

Here it is: Allow people who buy an app to share the license with some limited number of other people in their contact list. Basically, one person buys it and can give a few copies away through the "Share" feature of the phone. A new item in the list, for "Share Free Copy (3 remaining)" or something along those lines would be great. From a developer standpoint, this would be a simple "Include X sharable licenses with purchase" setting in the application dashboard and the rest would be done behind the scenes.

I think this would really help with viral app promotions. It would also be a great feature for *any* multiplayer game where you want to make sure your buddy is able to play with you. There are a number of ways to extend this concept, for instance once could be that the shared license would be a "guest" license that could be returned or revoked, perhaps a bit like a gifted Steam app. In the interest of keeping it simple however, having the ability as a developer to say "give out X sharable licenses with purchase" via "Share Free Copy (X remaining)" would be a valuable tool.

Incidentally, Star Ninja has hit over 8 million games played!