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The idea of charging for my early releases doesn't sit well with me, but at some stage, I will want to devote more time to games dev activities, when I will need it to be rewarding.

On the Play Store site a lot of options become locked once the app is published. Can this be revised at a later date? Thanks, I'd rather not worry about money already.

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You can change the price at any time, or make it free if you like. Also, you have the option of uploading your app under a different name. This is done often as demo/pro versions, where one is free and the other is paid.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is what I would suggest - just add beta or similar to the title (and remember that google kept gmail in "public beta" for over 5 years). \$\endgroup\$ Oct 23, 2014 at 15:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ What I'm specifically asking is if I can change from free to paid, which you only answer under the broader terms of "can change the price at any time". Just trying to get a user base before I stake more on development. \$\endgroup\$
    – John
    Oct 24, 2014 at 10:08
  • \$\begingroup\$ You can change the prize, but you'll typically alienate your user base that way. Either introduce a price and later drop it or don't charge at all. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mario
    Oct 24, 2014 at 10:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yes, specifically, you can change from free to paid. You have total control of how much your app costs, or doesn't cost at any given time. @Mario - I think there are plenty of people that appreciate hard work, and are willing to pay for it. Not everyone expects something for nothing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Aholio
    Oct 24, 2014 at 14:32
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Personally, I'm no real fan of "cripled" or ad-riddled "lite" versions of games and other tools.

How about you don't worry about this for now. If you'd like to give your game away for free to build a fanbase, try out the whole process, test new things, and possibly establish your own setting/game world/community, go on and do so. Don't worry about earning money with it now, if you don't have to! That's the big power/advantage of small, independent developers.

Then later on, once you've got an established fan base and know you can dedicate more time to it and make some money by selling the game, create a sequel or expansion, that gets your players a significant update/boost over the previous free version, and start selling it (at a reasonable price). You could even do this using in-app purchases then - just like DLC on consoles or PC.

This way you won't have people complaining about a free game going pay to play and at the same time you don't intentionally (or unintentionally) criple the experience of people who are potentially interested in trying (or even buying) your game.

Don't forget that things such as nag screens or "whops, you can't continue playing unless you pay me" messages are everything but user friendly and might turn off many potential fans.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ It's hard to create a sequel when I'm just testing out puzzler ideas, which should try to offer a USP. Free still costs users time and data, but it appears Google is discriminating more than ever between paid and non-paid recently. Probably because they miss all the action on free games \$\endgroup\$
    – John
    Oct 24, 2014 at 10:06

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