Does the name "Game of War: Fire Age" ring a bell? It's the "free" mobile game that has flooded your television and the Internet with ads featuring scantily clad swimsuit model Kate Upton. Despite being one of the worst games around for players, "Game of War" is actually a cash cow. That's because it uses a shady business model that convinces gamers to fork over money for upgrades and boosts.
"Game of War" is tedious to play and makes gamers participate in endless rounds of resource gathering and other menial tasks over and over again. But, that hasn't made it any less popular. It is the second highest grossing game in both the iTunes and Google Play app stores.
Why are players putting money into "Game of War?" Because the entire game is built around digging hooks into players, getting them invested in its infinite loops and convoluted systems, and then charging money for the ability to stay invested. If you really want to compete, you'll pay in.
"Game of War" has hit upon a formula to persuade players to willingly cough up cash to keep playing.