Just 11 days into the New Year, InhaleDigitalhas announced that it has raised $1.1 million in funding and launched a Groupon for Games.
Here’s how it works: People sign up with their Facebook Connect account to receive daily game deals everyday up to 50 – 90% of the original price.
For example, right now the game deal is for a Facebook game called Spa Retreat. Gamers can play the game for free but buy $2.99 in coins at a 63% discount. Inhale Digital plans to offer game deals on Facebook games (makes sense since sign up with Facebook Connect and they are hoping users will invite their Facebook friends and share deals). But, they also plan to offer game deals on download and retail games (next game coming up is Epic Mickey, a retail game).
The reason Ishouldhave predicted that everyone would be trying ot create a Groupon for games is that there is a Groupon for everything these days, so why not games, among the most popular activities online.
The challenge with games, as a I pointed out when Open Feint released their own hybrid Groupon game offering, is that price points for games continue to fall to zero as the freemium model takes hold. If a game is released on the iPhone for $2.99 or free on Facebook, what’s the point of a 50% discount?
Nonetheless, is a discount is still a discount and people like a game deal.
Inhale’s solution is to let users play the Facebook games for free first before promoting the 50 – 90% discount. It’s sort of a “try it and buy it” model for Facebook games and offers, and it’s a clever approach. With download games, the Groupon model of 50 – 90% discounts obviously works well.
If Inhale Digital starts to see success, they should expect tons competition in 2011.