Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
EngineProgrammer

PC games - profits, discussion

This topic is 2145 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hi everyone,

This can bring up some discussions but this needs to be done.

I promote PC games which you can download for free. But in-game you have a possibility to buy items, cool stuff for real money.
A friend of mine promotes PC games which you pay only once. So only 60 dollar and you can have all the content in-game.

My example: Runescape
- You start with a limited amount of items, exploring areas, etc.
- The players can explore all the limited stuff for free, so no charges or no time limit.
- This will cause many players to create an account, not saying they will continue playing.
- You need to attract the players the first 10 minutes of the game. So a nice tutorial or cool graphics.
- When the player gets addicted or feels like exploring everything, he can buy the "full game" starting from a month.

A friend of mine his example: WoW
- You buy the game for 60 dollar.
- You can create an amount of characters
- The player has a great amount of choices what he will be
- You can explore everything, so no limitation from the start.

My kickback is.. You need to buy WoW. And if you want to be very good at PvP's you are like forced to buy items/armor with real money..
There are noob levels that pay their loan just to beat other players... ( I thought he said something like this, I don't play WoW so I don't know anything about it. ) So WoW is a bad example. tongue.png


What are your opinions?
Do you prefer a free game where you can put some money in if you want more? Or do you rather want a only-pay-once game? The Wow games is an excepting on this topic. They are just too awesome so they want to get paid at the start + in-game. smile.png

If you look at the profits I think a free game with buy-able content in-game will have more profits on a long period.
If you say like 5 dollar / month the player just needs to buy the full version of your game for a year. When you can keep the player entertained/addicted there is a chance he will play for a few years.
Feel free to comment on my opinion. This topic is mostly created to discuss this matter. smile.png


~EngineProgrammer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement
The monetizing of games has been discussed a lot in the industry in the recent years and there's a huge shift (at least for MMORPGs) from the traditional payment models to the F2P + ingame purchase. Starting with asia MMORPGs which are often F2P + ingame purchase, swapping over to western MMORPGs (DND, Mittleearth etc.) , and taking ofter other types of games like action rpgs (dialbo III, ok it is actual pay + ingame real money trading) or fps (TF2).

An other indication of a shift might be, that the retail market is really shrinking, though here digital retribution,mobile market and lacking new console generation could be other reasons too.

You can follow a lot of this discussion on gamasutra. Personally I thing, that this is not the end and the game industry is really transforming at the moment, therefore it is hard to guess how it will look like in the next years. Edited by Ashaman73

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The WoW model is on its way out, Blizzard can get away with it now because they're the largest and have a dedicated fanbase that still tolerates it but few, if any, others can. (Note: I don't think WoW actually charges players for vital in-game content like weapons, just expansions, subscriptions and superficial content.)

Look at the massive list of top-shelf MMOs that have gone Free to Play, turning from Example 2 into Example 1-
Star Wars: Old Republic, Dungeons & Dragons, City of Heroes, Age of Conan, Warhammer Online, LOTR, DC Universe, Rift (Demo model), etc.

Even Valve realized Team Fortress (an FPS) can make more money giving their product away while letting people gamble real money for in-game items with their "key system."

Plus, it effectively negates the issue of piracy, meaning you can shrink your security budget and put it towards enforcing the integrity of your game, (by catching individual cheats and thieves,) rather than investing in an ultimately useless DRM system.

Game pricing has become a race to the bottom in many cases and getting your game into the hands of the masses, cheaply, is paramount to succeeding against that. Steam games sell massively on a -75% sale. Smartphone dollar content has hounded Nintendo and Sony's mobile businesses into frighteningly small margins. Triple-A franchises prefer to slash development costs rather than expand content, (or make that content optional and for sale in small chunks,) simply because they'll still likely get around the same interest no matter what.

On one hand, it can be good. People that are only mildly interested in a game don't need to shell out big to try it, and may be willing to give an unfamiliar genre a shot, leading to sales when they discover they really do enjoy it. Rabid fans will likely pay more over time than the typical sale price of a game would be. And I'm sure the number of freeloaders that remain freeloaders pales in comparison to the number of torrents on a comparable, cash-up-front production. Game design has already begun to shift to compensate within this new market, where the game itself is tailored to play off the type of consumer you are rather than a one-size-fits-all experience.

On the other hand, it also means that more extravagant projects are a little riskier, but Kickstarter seems to be picking up the slack. We'll just have to see how it all turns out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
$60 is too much for any game, if you ask me, and it is definitely too much if it's only a down payment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I too think of F2P+ingame transactions a more viable option. But it needs careful planning not to unbalance gameplay too much.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So payment in-game just turns out in more profit.
Also if you have a small team and you want to publish your game. The publisher can say he wants 30% of the profits for example.
But it it's a free game with in-game content you can pay all the money goes straight to your team.

And yes there are no pirates that way. You give everyone a chance to play your limited game. Even the pirates will get entertained/addicted to the game.. So there is a chance that even they will put some money into your game for a membership.
60 dollar is too much, for a game/team that isn't known. For someone like me, that has no name in the game industry it's smart to bring out a free game first, so more people will just try my game. And it all depends on how much you can entertain the player in the first minutes.
60 dollar for a WoW game, you know the game is going to be awesome so everyone buys it.


Assume people are playing your game for around 3 years. Should it be wise to give them discounts? I mean you already gain 3x60 dollar if you ask 5$/month. So there is a moment they will realize they are wasting allot of money on your game..
What can you do to make the players who are starting to realize this keep entertained? Feel free the answer on this question. smile.png


~EngineProgrammer

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I thought that Runescape was too controlling, and I often find that I enjoy games that I brought instead of games that want me to by things, as I don't feel limited or whatnot. However, I found that LOL worked, as nothing was truly limited, while you still have some incentive to buy. Limited games make me feel like... well, like I'm being segregated against, and that only other people get to do everything. It's painful to play a game where the designers cater to other people, and you're not at all the target audience.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The only problem I have with the freemium model is in cases where you add up all premium content you come to a large sum (>100$) and they can tell you that you don't HAVE to buy all the premium content, eventually a lot of people do, because of the feeling to miss out on something.

It's a cheap trick to earn more money on people that have this urge to collect everything of a series. An extreme example is the downloadable content of Train Simulator, you can pay up to 1000$ to download every train in the game. I'm sure some people do... I'm afraid.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'm struggling with this daily on the projects I run.
From a personal standpoint, I prefer single payment (not monthly). I'm ok paying 100$ for a game I may or may not like, given that I've taken the time to check the reviews, and I'm aware of the shortcomings of the product. I'm ok knowing I've paid a crazy amount of money for a single game as long as I can quickly make the adequation between the fun I'm purchasing vs the $ I'm putting in. This allows me to make a straight hours of fun per dollar comparison and/or quantify the quality.
What can I say, I'm conservative in that regard.

From a business standpoint, the F2P model + microtransactions makes a lot of sense. However, I've seen this badly implemented in a number of ways.
This could spur a much larger discussion, but the microtransactions need to be relevant. Forget all of these facebook games. The best business model I've seen so far is League of Legends. The game is free, and you could play it for free forever. Even more so, the premium content can be purchased through grinding the game! The only price they put is on new 'features' (champions with their own mechanics) and you only need to be if you are impatient. Basically, the game let's you sink your teeth deep in the product and never front the monetizing options. They're just options. This could be applied to different games too, but right now, most of them are really about consumable items and the likes, and its obvious that the game was thought of not in terms of quality of design, but as a money-sink...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Should it be wise to give them discounts? I mean you already gain 3x60 dollar if you ask 5$/month. So there is a moment they will realize they are wasting allot of money on your game..
What can you do to make the players who are starting to realize this keep entertained? Feel free the answer on this question. smile.png


Some F2P games have "premium" currency, which is from real money, and "game" currency, which is a reward for gameplay. Some items can only be bought with one or the other.

Your longterm players will have more game currency, and possibly more to do with it because of their levels, playtime, and prior purchases. Just be careful not to imbalance the system: If you make premium cash too powerful, you'll have your veteran players upset that someone with more money can have a greater advantage over them in a fraction of the time. Make it not valuable enough, and people won't even bother paying you at all.

Whatever you do, be consistent - EA made that mistake twice with Battlefield Heroes, greatly devaluing the game currency to get more people to use premium currency. This is a bad decision to make, because people will feel like they've been stolen from, and their hard-earned play cash, while worthless to you, represents all the time they've spent in front of your game.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!