The latest release from iPhone game developer, PlayMesh is a familiarly rural game called iFarm. iFarm just launched this week, and is already the number one free game on the iPhone App Store. It’s basically a dream come true for PlayMesh, who set out in 2008 to bring social gaming to the iPhone. Now the company is focused on monetization, and trying to differentiate iFarm in a crowded field of social farming games.
It’s no easy task, to plow into the emerging farm genre… Especially considering the huge number of players who’ve already settled into another farming community, like Zynga’s FarmVille on Facebook. Can the iPhone’s portability compete with Facebook’s reach? FarmVille is now the “world’s most popular game”, with 65 million monthly active users on the Facebook platform. Define virality: out of five Facebook users plays FarmVille.
PlayMesh is currently working on an iFarm update, to enable in-app purchases in the very near future. Currently, iFarm uses a straightforward virtual goods system of PlayMesh Points – in short: pay real money, get virtual money, buy virtual stuff for your farm. In reality, you’re buying one of PlayMesh’s paid iPhone games… subconsciously justifying your virtual goods purchases, perhaps? From the looks of it, iFarm could turn into a fairly expensive habit, so offering “free” iPhone games can’t hurt.