That isn’t revenue from sales of the app, however, but via advertising, at an eCPM rate of $1.91 since September 2008. iPhone owners have the option of buying the game for 99 cents, or downloading a free version that feeds interstitial ads in between matches, sent via iPhone ad network Greystripe. In a phone call yesterday, MobilityWare marketing director Dave Yonamine told me that less than 20 percent of total Word Warp owners opt for the paid version; instead, they overwhelmingly go for the free, ad-driven version, downloading it roughly 1.5 million times.
“We’re going to give consumers that choice,” Yonamine told me, “and whatever they go with is fine with us.” By offering that choice, the company gets another healthy revenue stream besides app purchases, on a game, which by Yonamine’s estimation, cost mid-five figures to develop.
The advertising income also helps the company fund updates and enhancements to the game, which in turn helps keeps Word Warp relatively popular. More than a year after being in the Store, Yonamine said, the app still gets thousands of downloads a day. As he put it, “I find it humorous that people say the ad-support model is flawed.”