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Virtual money

04-09-2011, 01:46 PM
#1
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 121
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Virtual money

Hi folks,

Just started thinking loudly on virtual money IAP.

As of now, in our upcoming game we have 2 items players can buy via IAP. And then some feature creep happened, and there would be a possibility to include more items to buy...

However, maybe it would be easier, if players buy virtual money, and then they can decide how to spend it in the game, therefore instead of having 5-6 separate IAPs, we would have only 1... For the first look it seems to me that this simplify things a lot.

What are your experiences regarding virtual money IAP?

Many thanks for advices,
best,
Gyula
04-09-2011, 02:00 PM
#2
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: London, UK
Posts: 3,741
Madgarden is considering doing this with his game Sword of Fargoal so he might have an opinion worth hearing

  /l、
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 じしf_, )ノ

04-09-2011, 02:17 PM
#3
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 121
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Indeed, a useful conversation... Thank you!
04-09-2011, 02:38 PM
#4
I was looking into this back when we were thinking of taking RoboArena F2P. It was also the route that Pocket Legends took as well. Initially they had specific items you could buy, but then they changed it to virtual gold that you purchase and spend on whatever you want, and it ended up making them a great deal more money.

I think it's best to offer a few tiers of virtual money, with the bigger purchases giving you bigger bonuses to encourage bigger purchases.

When it comes to pricing, by using a bit of decision architecture and buyer psychology 101, you can make a good deal more money by controlling the internal conversation a person has when they go to buy your currency:

"For .99 I get 100 coins, and for 1.99 I can get 225... or as a one time special deal I can spend 1.99 and get 300 coins!" For them, the decision is obvious, and you just potentially doubled your income in that instance.

Anyway, those were some of the results I came up with in my market research. Looking forwards to seeing how you do it!

Last edited by BravadoWaffle; 04-09-2011 at 02:41 PM.
04-09-2011, 02:43 PM
#5
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 121
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Yes, I would like to offer 3-4 tiers, just as you advised. Thank you very much for the decision architecture link!
04-09-2011, 06:17 PM
#6
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: alea iacta est
Posts: 1,368
The perception many people have of virtual currency is that it's tied to consumables, and that the devs are trying to rip people of (eliminate). Alternatively, we have games like tap resort, where there are hundreds of things only attainable by IAP. Virtual currency justly has a fairly hated reputation among gamers.
04-09-2011, 07:40 PM
#7
Joined: Mar 2009
Location: Kitchener, ON
Posts: 1,665
I suppose it all depends on the type of game, and the type of ripoff-age the developers are engaging in. Nothing saying it can't be fairly handled. Virtual currency really does make a lot of sense and simplify things... I'm not going to let a few seedy developers (who happen make a helluvalot of money at it) spoil it for me.

Madgarden aka Paul Pridham -- Code, sound, pixels: Death Road to Canada, PUNCH QUEST with rocketcat games, EGGNOGG, Chillaxian, GlitchMachine, Saucelifter, Sword of Fargoal... and more stuff on the way.
madgarden.net -- saucelifter.com -- glitchmachine.com -- fargoal.com forums -- madgarden@twitter
04-09-2011, 09:12 PM
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by K?! View Post
The perception many people have of virtual currency is that it's tied to consumables, and that the devs are trying to rip people of (eliminate). Alternatively, we have games like tap resort, where there are hundreds of things only attainable by IAP. Virtual currency justly has a fairly hated reputation among gamers.
I'd also say it depends on what kinds of gamers you are talking about. Casual gamers who don't frequent web boards about game development to gripe about IAPs and just want to play games to pass the time make up the VAST majority of iPhone gamers out there.

These are the ones that don't mind virtual currency and actually kind of like it. These are the ones that will make you your money and be your best customers.

Of course, as Madgarden says, there are non-seedy ways of dealing with virtual currency and I'm all for that. We can't let smurf berries ruin IAPs for us! But in the end if it comes down to making a ridiculously profitable game or not pissing off the vocal minority... I'm all for the former!

Last edited by BravadoWaffle; 04-09-2011 at 09:15 PM.
04-10-2011, 01:43 AM
#9
Joined: Nov 2008
Location: Budapest, Hungary
Posts: 121
Send a message via Skype™ to helioxfilm
Quote:
Originally Posted by K?! View Post
The perception many people have of virtual currency is that it's tied to consumables, and that the devs are trying to rip people of (eliminate). Alternatively, we have games like tap resort, where there are hundreds of things only attainable by IAP. Virtual currency justly has a fairly hated reputation among gamers.
Yeah, there is such perception, I'm sure. But, imho, one of the very reason, that virtual currencies and various consumable IAP exists, is the game pricing in the Store.

Let's take an example, like PvsZ. Players buy the game for a premium price and then they can use the internal (free) money to purchase the various plants.

But many people complain about premium prices (and basically because of prices in general).

An real indie is rarely be able to charge premium price for his/her game, but would like to still justify at least the dev costs. One way to do this, is IAP. (Just to repeat the common words.) I think if the Store's ecosytem would not push us towards free or 0.99 prices, IAPs would not be so popular in these days.

Why bother with internal stores in my game, if I could charge 4.99, and let's say, that would be the avarage minimum price?

But this is not the reality.

However, we have to implement virtual currencies wisely and not to make the customers angry. Players are still earning internal free money, but if they want to go faster, they can purchase extra (gold/seashell, whatever), as Madgarden wrote in his thread.

Sure, in certain games, virtual currencies are extreme, you can easily spend 99USD within seconds. I think many of us here does not go for those prices, we just would like to get 4.99 for the whole game, but we cannnot charge 4.99 upfront...
04-10-2011, 04:16 AM
#10
Coming mainly from a gamers view, the idea of buying "money" I don't like, especially if this "money" only helps you out in the game (IE, not a map, an exclusive weapon). However, if the app is cheap and has in-game purchase, I might consider it. If you're looking at only selling, say, maps and weapons, creating a "token" system would draw me in. I buy 1 token for 99, 3 for $1.99 and 10 for $4.99. With these tokens I can buy a weapon, or a map, my choice, and they don't expire. A map might be 2 tokens, if it's something different, or they might all be a flat 1 token.
This is just my point of view, but FYI, buying a "premium" game ($1.99+) with in-game stuff can be hit and miss for me