June 11th, 2012
Mom, Please Feed My Apps!
By ANTON TROIANOVSKI, SPENCER E. ANTE and JESSICA E. VASCELLARO
The Wall Street Journal
Joshua Gallo of Los Angeles loves breeding and caring for a virtual menagerie of big-eyed, brightly colored creatures in an iPad game called “Tiny Zoo.” The online game is free to download. But almost every week its producers release a new batch of cute animals for sale, including the Cash Cow. Joshua, 8 years old, couldn’t resist and ponied up $50, almost two months’ allowance. Inside San Francisco headquarters of the game’s developer, TinyCo, a printout tallied proceeds from a few days of Cash Cow sales. The total take: about $50,000, according to Chief Executive Suli Ali.
Happily for game makers and investors, parents routinely hand over their iPhones and iPads to keep their children entertained. Thanks to the so-called in-app purchasing mechanism, developers are often only one whine away from a sale. Parents need only enter their iTunes password or, as often happens, let their children do it for them.