★ TouchArcade needs your help. Click here to support us on Patreon.

Discussion on Eliminate & Touch Pet Pricing Schemes

11-04-2009, 08:01 PM
#1
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 362
Discussion on Eliminate & Touch Pet Pricing Schemes

Hey guys,

I'm not normally one to start a thread when a sea of them exist already. In this case though, I do have something to say on the matter and wished to spark some intelligent discussion without the spam of friend invites, game duels and boasting that has flooded 500+ pages in the other threads.

I had posted this in the Eliminate release thread, and in moments it was absorbed by another 20 pages, and not one comment was made on it. So here it is again:

Quote:
I thought I'd weigh in a bit on Eliminate's pricing scheme, because I have a bit of an issue with it. Namely, I find myself in the unusual (or maybe not so unusual where this game is concerned) position of wanting to pay for such an excellent game, but absolutely not wanting to pay for "time credits" that are wasted in minutes, if not seconds.

I personally think a FAR better way of getting money out of people would be to offer payments for increased capacity or recharge rate of games. If I could pay $5 to have my 240 minute recharge lowered to 60 minutes permanently, I would do that in an instant, as it is a tangible, lasting purchase that I can attach some value to. I would pay an additional $5 to increase my "charge capacity" by 3. Having only 3 games allowed per session is ridiculous in its present form, as sessions can last mere moments in some instances. So, what does it mean in the end?

It means that if I'm away from my iPhone for four hours, I get four games. If it's an overnight wait, at least I have 6 games to play when I get up in the morning. Whoop-dee-doo, but it would make such a huge difference from a customer's point of view, and revenue flowing from that would reflect it. For those hardcore gamers willing to pay for time and weapons, if they wanted to play 10 games in a row, they'll still pay for it. But at least you'd be making money out of those who are turned off by the current fee structure.

Having an 'insert coins' system on my iPhone is a huge slap on the face, really. It bothers me that I can't play the game when I have the opportunity to, but have to wait rather until the opportunity arises. There is something a little backwards about that in a "pick up and play" game.
In the same vein I thought it would be plausible to apply this "capacity" and "recharge rate" purchase concept to Touch Pets too, where you can spend $X to have additional food bowls recharge each day, rather than purchasing them individually whenever you realise you're enjoying yourself for the 10 minutes you've been playing, but your pet is now sleeping.

If they're going to do microtransactions, then they really ought to do it in a tangible and not transient way. I'm highly reluctant to spend $10-15 on a game where I know the benefit will be consumed in a matter of days, or even shorter. I'm FAR more willing to spend the same amount or more if I know I'll enjoy the benefit of the expenditure indefinitely.

What do you guys think? Does anyone share my opinions, so that we may point this out to ngmoco and effect a little change for the better? Ultimately, I believe it works to their financial advantage too.

Gamecenter: Pietrole --
--
Peter L. -- (retired) Official TouchArcade Reviewer & Reporter.

Last edited by Windburn; 11-04-2009 at 08:06 PM.
11-04-2009, 08:05 PM
#2
Joined: Jul 2009
Posts: 624
I saw your comment on the main thread but didn't comment myself. I do agree with you. We need something that will last. I recently purchased a $1 pack just to show some support, and it drained away within 15-20 minutes. I could see myself spending much more, and having it fly by. If we could have something as you mentioned, like lowering the recharge rate permanently, I would definitely be in for it, or something like increasing the amount of games per recharge permanently.

Beta Testing/ed: Undercroft, Baseball Superstars 2010, Battle for Wesnoth, Fuzion, Twilight Golf, Indestructible Tank, Nanomechs Online Multi, Plushed, Ground Effect, Castlecraft, Inotia 2, Boom it Up, Guerrilla Bob, Caligo Chaser, Vanquish, IMO, Crunchy Orbs, Zenonia 2, Luna Story, Aralon, Shadow Era, Hybrid 2

11-04-2009, 08:16 PM
#3
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: Indiana, USA
Posts: 5,712
I agree with you completely. I think this is a short sighted strategy, because the hype for this, and therefore the online community, will die down sooner rather than later. As soon as more multiplayer becomes available (MC:S, Nova, others we don't even know about yet) that is free with purchase, this system will blow up in their faces. The game is good, it's fun while it lasts, but there is absolutely nothing that compels me to buy energy packs. I will never buy them, not because I'm cheap, but simply because I don't see the value as a consumer. Right now it's all hype. Some people are buying because it's new and exciting, but in a couple of months I think all they'll have is a high level character with increasingly fewer people to play with and a massive iTunes bill. I'm also with you about the thread. I won't even visit it...it's worse than Pocket God or Minigore. The game is fine, and I know this is somewhat of an experiment for Ngmoco, so I don't begrudge them that or have any anger over their system, I just feel that in the long run it's destined to fail.

Tug Boat Minister of Propaganda
Proud member of T.A.A.P. - Touch Arcaders Against Piracy. Over 500 members and counting. Join now!
11-04-2009, 09:06 PM
#4
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 986
Quote:
Originally Posted by sizzlakalonji View Post
I agree with you completely. I think this is a short sighted strategy, because the hype for this, and therefore the online community, will die down sooner rather than later. As soon as more multiplayer becomes available (MC:S, Nova, others we don't even know about yet) that is free with purchase, this system will blow up in their faces. The game is good, it's fun while it lasts, but there is absolutely nothing that compels me to buy energy packs. I will never buy them, not because I'm cheap, but simply because I don't see the value as a consumer. Right now it's all hype. Some people are buying because it's new and exciting, but in a couple of months I think all they'll have is a high level character with increasingly fewer people to play with and a massive iTunes bill. I'm also with you about the thread. I won't even visit it...it's worse than Pocket God or Minigore. The game is fine, and I know this is somewhat of an experiment for Ngmoco, so I don't begrudge them that or have any anger over their system, I just feel that in the long run it's destined to fail.
I had just rather pay 20 or 30 dollars for the game and be done with it. They could charge for the updates too. extra puppies. I think there is a better way too make money. I am willing to pay but I do not want to pay 30 dollars a month for one game.
11-04-2009, 09:16 PM
#5
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 362
@sizzla & TIMELESS:

I think alot of people share these sentiments; there have been a ton of people making similar comments in the main Eliminate thread, which is pretty much what got me to posting this thread here instead. If we can consolidate all these opinions on the pricing scheme, hopefully ngmoco will take notice.

Gamecenter: Pietrole --
--
Peter L. -- (retired) Official TouchArcade Reviewer & Reporter.
11-04-2009, 09:16 PM
#6
Quote:
The thing I don't think anyone who says that this is a great business plan understands is that you don't need to buy energy packs to play the game!

That means that while the thirty-some people are buying packs for about $0.99 a piece, the other 161 of us are playing for free. Pretty soon there's going to be a time where the paying players (X) will be in considerably smaller than those who do not pay (Y) meaning that eventually the profit gained from X will not be able to support XY and the servers will crash. I already started experiencing lag today.

You all will argue, saying that this will never happen or something like that, but so far in my predictions I'm 2 for 2 on this game (if you don't remember, I said that Eliminate was going to get bad reviews due to the fact it's free -3.5 stars and falling ATM- and I also said that eventually the lag will start kicking in -I will admit this was sooner than I expected).
I recently posted that in the other thread.

I made these predictions before the game came out. What did people do? They called me a troll (arn) because I "
Quote:
...refuse to acknowledge even the slightest possibility that you are wrong and refuse to acknowledge any credible arguments against your position. You are irrationally spewing off your doomsday positions, and change your position regularly simply to adopt the most negative scenario.
This was in reply to me saying not a lot of people would buy energy packs and that Eliminate would receive a low review score due to the fact it's free. Both of these have now happened.

Just for the satisfaction of gloating (I know it's wrong, but it feels so good!) I'll post what arn said here and then my rebuttal!

Quote:
Originally Posted by arn View Post
Brazilian Rider,

You are bordering on being a troll. If you were a brand new user here, I would seriously consider banning you.

The reason you are bordering on troll is that you refuse to acknowledge even the slightest possibility that you are wrong and refuse to acknowledge any credible arguments against your position. You are irrationally spewing off your doomsday positions, and change your position regularly simply to adopt the most negative scenario.

First, you claimed that they wouldn't get many downloads because of negative reviews, now you claim that they will get so many downloads they won't be able to cope.

You can't seem to comprehend the fact that if they can make X amount of money with Y users, they will make 10X money with 10Y users. It's like suggesting that Apple would go out of business if they sold 10x the amount of iPhones.

You act like this is unchartered territory.

Printers are free or close to free, and the manufacturers make $$ on ink.
Razors are free or close to free, and they make $$ on razor blades.
Several game companies do this exact thing. There are a ton of facebook games out there that are FREE to play. They monetize it in other ways.

You should also read this article carefully:
http://arstechnica.com/gaming/news/2...ee-to-play.ars


arn
Rebuttal:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brazilian Rider View Post
1) You say I don't acknowledge anyone else's arguments... But you and Hodapp are also doing this. I was DEBATING, in the DEBATE THREAD about Eliminate's pricing and whether this was was good or bad. If I wanted too, I don't even have to think any other position was right. That's the point of a debate. You try to convince people to think like you by presenting your points and then them presenting theirs. So far I DISAGREE with all your points, like you DISAGREE with mine, and if you don't disagree with them, you haven't stated otherwise. I apologize if you don't like that, but I'm not required to think what they're doing is the best move for the company.

2) The reason I keep changing is because you all keep suggesting new scenarios. I adjust according to those scenarios and say what I think will happen.

I say it's free and it'll get bad reviews. You say people will still download it.

OK then, well, if it's going to get ">100,000 downloads a day" how will they handle it?

The entire topic of the thread was to debate the free price. All these issues affect it. Medical Care is not just a straight forward issue, neither is gay rights, and neither is this. They are all multifaceted.

3) That analogy is incorrect first of all, this is saying that Apple will lose money if they give out ">100,000" iPhones a day and then expect to make all their revenue back due to app purchases. Also, you're X's and Y's don't work.

They make X amount of money by selling Y amount of games normally.
Instead, they make X amount of money by HOPING people feel the need to rank up and buy Y amount of energy packs... Unless they were always planning on selling Eliminate for $0.99, this just doesn't add up. If they were... That's a COMPLETELY different story.

4) If printers are close to free, why the hell did I spend so much money on mine?
Razors are free because they are cheap to make, I doubt Eliminate was cheap to make.
We've already been through the Facebook Scenario.

5) As far as I can tell, Eliminate wasn't planning on going on sale for $50.00... A simple dollar fee would be just as effective as giving it away for free. Also, in this set-up they're making it so that there is STILL SOME THINGS YOU CANNOT DO IN THIS VERSION OF WOW THAT YOU MUST PAY FOR. NGmoco is charging people to do something they can already do!

So far, I can't see a single time in that last post where your argument actually made sense...
http://forums.toucharcade.com/showthread.php?t=29567

As you can see, this conversation took place in a thread where people who were not buying energy packs outweighed those that were (on a regular basis) 133 to 4.

And where are we now?

Eliminate is the #1 free game as expected, however it is currently standing at 3.5 stars and dropping. Why? The way the pricing scheme is set up.

Also, I've started to note lag, and I know I'm not the only one noticing this.

EDIT: And on top of that I also mentioned that the recharge rate would be ridiculously higher than the amount of time you actually spent playing the game! Guess who's 3 for 3 now?

7/26/10-- Matt Garza throws first no-hitter in Rays history!
Quote:
Originally Posted by RyoHazuki View Post
It may strike you as disrespectful to ask questions, that's ok, it strikes me as stupid not to.

Last edited by Brazilian Rider; 11-04-2009 at 09:20 PM.
11-04-2009, 09:23 PM
#7
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 362
@Brazilian Rider:

It's probably best not to turn this into a forum wrestling match-- just get everyone's opinions down and see where we're at, that's what forums are for, not for picking fights.

Personally, I don't have a problem with asking people to pay for the game; in fact-- I expressly stated in my initial post that I wanted to pay for the game. What I have a problem with is just how transient and wafer thin the current value from what's being offered presents.

I think the way they are going about it is great (through a free app), which may actually spark Apple to create a new category for micro-transaction based games, but if they're going to ask people expecting a free game to make these payments, at least make them lasting so that those posting reviews won't feel so disheartened.

Gamecenter: Pietrole --
--
Peter L. -- (retired) Official TouchArcade Reviewer & Reporter.
11-04-2009, 09:28 PM
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Windburn View Post
@Brazilian Rider:

It's probably best not to turn this into a forum wrestling match-- just get everyone's opinions down and see where we're at, that's what forums are for, not for picking fights.

Personally, I don't have a problem with asking people to pay for the game; in fact-- I expressly stated in my initial post that I wanted to pay for the game. What I have a problem with is just how transient and wafer thin the current value from what's being offered presents.

I think the way they are going about it is great (through a free app), which may actually spark Apple to create a new category for micro-transaction based games, but if they're going to ask people expecting a free game to make these payments, at least make them lasting so that those posting reviews won't feel so disheartened.
Eh, I didn't mean to pick a fight. Euphoria is rushing through me now.

Anyways, I do agree with you on all those issues, like I stated in my post/quote.

Why not pay for the game once and get it done with? That would rake in so much more money and guarantee NGmoco a profit. Everyone that plays will pay, say, $9.99 at first and NGmoco won't have to worry about any "what-ifs" this will eliminate (pun intended) any possible bad side effects if the current system fails (which I believe it will).

The problem is is (gah, I hate doing that) NGmoco has dug themselves into a hole if this doesn't work out. What do they do? Pull the game from the AppStore and release a new one? Hello negative reviews/ boycotts. Make the free version paid? Same problem.

Basically NGmoco decided to throw a Hail Mary on 4th and 30 from their own 2 yard line, and there's a good chance it'll be disastrous. What would be even worse for NGmoco is if Nova intercepts it.

7/26/10-- Matt Garza throws first no-hitter in Rays history!
Quote:
Originally Posted by RyoHazuki View Post
It may strike you as disrespectful to ask questions, that's ok, it strikes me as stupid not to.
11-04-2009, 09:50 PM
#9
Joined: Aug 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Posts: 362
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brazilian Rider View Post
The problem is is (gah, I hate doing that)
Only because you pointed this out yourself am I letting you know that you should have used "is that" instead :P

I should emphasise something else on topic that I failed to mention earlier:

In so far as ngmoco are giving people the chance to "buy" credits to spend on guns and armour and items, I think this is a great idea. For those who want to "toe it" with the big guys but don't have the time to put in, this is the quick-fix cash cow for the developers.

My issue is narrowly focused on the payment system for energy packs and play time. Immediate gun and armour upgrades are permanent micro-purchases that are an acceptable means of garnouring revenue beyond the "pay per app" system, and a reasonable explanation of why the micro-transactions system is still of benefit in my books.

Gamecenter: Pietrole --
--
Peter L. -- (retired) Official TouchArcade Reviewer & Reporter.
11-04-2009, 09:52 PM
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Windburn View Post
Only because you pointed this out yourself am I letting you know that you should have used "is that" instead :P

I should emphasise something else on topic that I failed to mention earlier:

In so far as ngmoco are giving people the chance to "buy" credits to spend on guns and armour and items, I think this is a great idea. For those who want to "toe it" with the big guys but don't have the time to put in, this is the quick-fix cash cow for the developers.

My issue is narrowly focused on the payment system for energy packs and play time. Immediate gun and armour upgrades are permanent micro-purchases that are an acceptable means of garnouring revenue beyond the "pay per app" system, and a reasonable explanation of why they went with micro-transactions.
God Damn, I knew there was a way out of that 'is is'!

I agree with you. Why not just make it a paid app then micro-transactions in case you wanted to get the guns immediately instead of ranking up for them?

That way they get the best of both worlds, that is, if their matching system works as they say it will (not happening right now).

7/26/10-- Matt Garza throws first no-hitter in Rays history!
Quote:
Originally Posted by RyoHazuki View Post
It may strike you as disrespectful to ask questions, that's ok, it strikes me as stupid not to.