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JeremyB

Would You Like Fires With That? (Business Logic)

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I watched some business videos on YouTube, and learned a really good tip. Mc Donalds is a role model for business ideas. One phrase made Mc Donalds so much richer: Would you like fries with that? Imagine how many extra millions they made by adding fries to every order.

 

We all want to sell games right? How many people have sold 1,000,000? Imagine if you had of tacked on another sale. Another $2 sale would have netted you another $2,000,000 dollars, just for asking one simple question.

 

When you sell your game online consider offering a bonus to every sale. An in-game perk, a mini-game, a mod, a folder with all pre-game sketches. It really doesn't matter. Just remember to put a checkbox beside it, and let the customer decide.

 

Hope this helps.

 

If anyone else has business advice, I'd love to hear it.

 

PS: There  should be a business tips forum in the business section.

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I think that's how micro transaction works right now. It's highly profitable, yes. Well, regardless of how indie gamedev community hating micro transactions and all, there are always players who'll pay for it big if they really like the game.

Edited by Alectora

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Upsells like this in the software world tend to be things like "Install BonziBuddy for FREE!!!one" and have, as such, rightfully earned scorn from the typical consumer.

Bundle deals are considerably less annoying IMO, as long as the purchaser actually wants everything in the bundle.

I guess what I'm getting at is that bilking customers out of extra money may seem like Business Genius but it does have significant downsides. People aren't nearly as naive as the cynic in me wants to believe.

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Are you kidding, I think it's great. It's not bilking customers out of money, it's an extra offer. Is there something wrong with that? It's pretty sound logic. You don't have to take the extra if you don't want it. Nice of them to throw it in. Of course, I'm a money hound when it comes to making cash...

 

I'd throw in an pair of clean socks if I thought people would buy it ;)

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What do you guys think of this one? Affiliate Marketing. Have an affiliate link for your store, and let people with large ezines sell your product. Keep tabs, and give them a dollar off every sale they make. Great for indies looking to spread the word fast. Americans can make use of PayPal mass pay. Canadians would have to do it in a more managed way, as we don't have mass pay, that is unless your rich enough to have banking apis.

Edited by JeremyB

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"Its an extra offer" is a very awkward spot to stand on when customers look at your offer and say "Well why on earth wasn't that in the game I already paid for when I bought it in the first place?"

 

"Would you like fries with that?" works when you are selling burgers and fries. "Would you like a bun with your burger?" doesn't fly nearly as well when the customer expected that something like a bun would be included.

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Well, it would certainly have to be something that wasn't included. Some will take it, some won't. It could be an addon package.. or just a bunch of cool art. I'm not to worried about what customers think about what I sell, as long as they like it. That's why I wouldn't be afriad to do up some extra special side art, that's only in the package. If they don't add it, so what, if 10,000 do that's an extra 10-20k in my pocket. Who cares about nay sayers when it nets that much. :P Either get the extra super cool art, or don't, lol.

Edited by JeremyB

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I think what he means is why would you buy each piece of a 100 piece puzzle for $50 each (Totaling up to $5000 for a complete puzzle) when you can usually buy for $50 for the whole puzzle.

 

For example, it would be upsetting for someone who used to get a complete game for $50, but now has to get the game with only 2 episodes for $50, and then asked "Would you like to buy the rest of the episode for another $50 each?"

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I sort of see this working with things like Humble Bundles and Steam package sales.  If you're selling game X that I really want for $A, or selling package/bundle of games X, Y & Z for $1.5*A, then I might buy the package because it looks like a deal - whether or not I care at all about games Y & Z; more likely they just add to the list of unplayed games in my Steam catalog.

 

For flying spaghetti monster's sake, don't perpetuate the shady practices of day-one or on-disk DLC packages.  Here's a rule of thumb: if the content that your DLC adds/unlocks to the base game can be added by a modder who finds the right flags to flip *cough* Creative Assembly *cough*, maybe you should reconsider.  Although, much as people complain about it, they still pony up the cash for it...

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Are you kidding, I think it's great. It's not bilking customers out of money, it's an extra offer. Is there something wrong with that? It's pretty sound logic. You don't have to take the extra if you don't want it. Nice of them to throw it in. Of course, I'm a money hound when it comes to making cash...

 

I'd throw in an pair of clean socks if I thought people would buy it ;)

That is a hopelessly naive position. These things are deliberately designed to trick and the people designing them are fully aware of what they're doing.

 

Additional learning for you,

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I guess it makes sense as long as you are providing something extra, but can backfire when the customer perceives that what you're offering should be already included in what he's buying. If I'm buying Skyrim and I'm offered Oblivion at half price with it, it's an interesting offer. If I'm buying a skimmed version of Skyrim and I can have access to the other half of the races by paying extra, it doesn't feel right.

 

@JeremyB do you have any examples where you've used this strategy successfully in games?

 

(Edit: btw, when I read would you like fires with that next to Business Logic, I though this topic would be about massive layoffs or something :lol:)

Edited by Avalander

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To be honest the key to upsetting is making the customer buy the attachment as though its something they need or originally intended to buy but, forgot.  I have worked in fast food and also electrical retail and these establishments literally tried to brainwash us into thinking that we weren't offering fries with that to get a sale but because if we didn't the customer would not be getting what they expected.  With PCs the fries and a Coke were usually Anti - Virus software and a Warrentee.

 

Now with games I can see this working in a walk in games store like Game or Gamestop "Do you need an Xbox Gold card?", "Do you need a new play and charge kit?",  "Have you got a steering controller?".  These are things that could percievably be something that the customer would need or want to have with the game.

 

On the other hand if you are talking about a downloadable game from Steam it is difficult to see how you could upsell somebody into something and make them feel like they really need it.

 

Extra mods and levels?  Well no not really these strike me as something that on the high street would be given away free (Usually pre orders have this stuff bundled in) as part of a buy one get one free deal.  So if I am paying for your game then I am going to want this stuff for free.

Edited by Buster2000

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"Would You Like Fires With That?"

A guy walks into a store and asks for a pack of smokes....

Funny, my first thought was this was about firing staff for every sale...

"Buy my game, and I'll fire someone, if you want." :lol:

But I guess it was just some "smart" autocorrection playing.

EDIT:
Humm.... just thinking, something that might actually work might be "I will have to fire someone if you don't buy.". Much like "My 7 children are starving! - You said you had 5. - Hah, you got me there!".

But, on topic, I don't see anything wrong with "Would you like fries with that" as long as it's not really fries (not only do I dislike them, but they're so darn unhealthy, too).

Some guy buys a magic helm +5 in your store, and you ask him "Would you like speed boots with that?". What's wrong with this? Nothing if you ask me. It's not causing any harm to the client (other than costing him another 500 bogon coins, which he will spend on useless stuff either way). That, and you gotta feed your seven starving children, too.

In any case, it is none more immoral than luring the customer into buying an apparently reasonably-priced razor for which you must buy precisely the correct super expensive blades (and no other blade will fit), or selling an electric toothbrush where none but your 5.95-a-piece brushes will fit, or selling a coffee maker which calls for replacing your super expensive water filter once every 14 days and running the cleaning program (which requires your super expensive cleaning agents) once per week.

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It's perfectly possible to do upselling without tricks or deception. Think of it more as hyper-focused advertising to someone who you already know is interested in your product or service.

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upselling should also be avoided when the additional content could give an advantage in multiplayer. Battlefield is a repeat offender but at least if your competent it doesn't detract from the carnage significantly.

 

its going to be a continuing problem because these kinds of setups are going to lure potential investors.

 

How are you going to sell your game?

$30 on steam.

What about extra/addons/expansion/dlc?

Our research has shown that level headed customers don't like this, we will make a faithful sequel.

 

That will get you the response, "Well, all the other studios are doing it so we will invest our money there were we are more likely to get a bigger return".

 

Unfortunately level headed customers are in the minority these days.

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What about extra/addons/expansion/dlc?

 

I wouldn't put "expansions" (even downloadable ones) in the same category as extra/addon/dlc.

 

Technically, "expansions" are DLC, but I think what annoys many gamers is how piecemeal the DLC is, compared to say, major expansions of years past (which, having to ship on CDs and be sold in retail stores, were significant additions of content), like ye old Age of Empires expansions (e.g. Rise of Rome).

 

Take Dark Souls DLC for example - players don't complain about that, because it is literally an expansion of the world, content, and gameplay. Not just a few items that a single dev spent two hours on and is charging five bucks for, and not something that feels like it should've been in the game originally.

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It's perfectly possible to do upselling without tricks or deception.



The hard part is making it convincing to the customer that you're not being a scumbag. So much scummy upselling occurs that it's created a default attitude of skepticism or even outright disgust on the part of consumers.

That was really my original point I guess.

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I often see, "Would you like GameX's soundtrack with GameX?"

 

And I think, "The soundtrack is already in the game, and they just made the music in-accessible so I have to rebuy the same music twice."

Yup, removing sound tests is such a dirty tactic.

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