Nowhere can I escape interesting times it seems. I was thinking about successful monetisation this morning as I ploughed through 2 more forms that shot through the door. 2013 has been the Year of Unprecedented Form Flood. I keep thinking it’s over, and then more arrive. The nation is quite obviously in disarray. I have not done my household budget this year due to interesting times. A tiny amount of it is reserved to spend on games though. It will be even tinier when I do a Graet Economisation in June. So where do I spend it? In F2P games with decent cash shops is the answer. SOE have very nearly got the model right now, giving you an investment (house for example) that you can accrue to (fancy items for house) as one example. I spend by choice, as little as is appropriate to my means – or as much as I wish if I have a windfall. And I like this, so they get money now and again. And I am absolutely sure a way could be found to apply this model to endgame.
The only sub I pay is to Wurm – this is because Wurm is special enough to warrant an exception. My Wurm spending though, over the time I have played has gone down, not up, and is going to go down further. I think this is a sub problem – the same happened with WoW. Paying for time you cannot play is annoying. All games have activities that aren’t your favourite (maintenance chores, dailies) and paying for them is annoying. I kept finding ways to keep the cost down to compensate for the above two points.
Then there is the price point. A sub of £3.50 per month would be a no-brainer – I’d do it (provided I like the game ofc). £5 is about right. Anything over, and you can forget it. Why? I don’t know. I have theories…but they are bit odd, such as “I feel it in my waters” and “mostly it’s because you do a subconscious multiply on it, (price *the-amount-of-games-I-want-to-play = someamount. It’s someamount people subconsciously judge by. As in: I play roughly three games at a time, usually, so at £5 per sub my someamount would be £15.00 – look familiar?). The fact that I don’t sub for three games or anywhere near is irrelevant. Oh… lets leave my theories for now eh 🙂 It’s probs best.
So now we have an interesting price hike in Wurm to add into my musings – and once again Wurm grips my interest totally as I watch things play out and try to see patterns. It’s kind of a game itself watching the game evolve and trying to make good choices. A mad game at times, but yes, definitely fun. I did my default thing of shrinking all commitments to the absolute minimum so that I am in a better position to move/expand.
It was sad… sort of – but as I disbanded little deeds that I had kept because I enjoy playing on them I looked back and saw how built up the areas are now. I had deeded when they were wild-wurm and because they were wild-wurm. That’s another subject really, but it does tie in because if Wurm became less crowded it would be more attractive to me and I’d be thinking to expand spending again. (Why can’t studios grasp “wilderness?”. I’m tired of suburbia-with-mobs. Most of which are killed by guard towers anyway.)
Judging by the disbands on some servers, a lot of people are doing the same or similar – shrinking and rationalising their holdings. Others are seeing good places free up and are moving in. Premiums are being considered with a view to are they vanity or necessary. All in all there is a lot of shuffling about just now. So that’s one pattern.
Another is that some people would have bought ahead before 2 May to save themselves money through the year (or because they saw some real money opportunity in doing so. What will that do to the revenue? Hmmm – well, it’s good and bad. Rolf and CodeClubAB got a windfall. The hope is doubtless that with that money already spent people will be tempted to add premiums and land here and there. It’s easy to discount money already spent and see additions in isolation. I think people mentally write off spent money. A big hike plus a “soon” deadline is always a good way of bringing in a cash boost. (Otherwise known as manufactured need – not my fave). But I’m rivetted! Even with extras gradually being bought or added since people are not paying in their normal amount, (having done so ahead), will normal revenue drop too much? Ahead-payers won’t be paying regularly now…It’s so risky, ooooo, or …. are we about to see another idea to sustain that normal income. Who knows?
One thing I’m fairly confident of is that as people’s paid ahead time runs out there will be a funny patch when it’s time to renew. Some will look and decide that at the new levels it’s too much to pay and will balk. The can was kicked down the road on this. When that possibly big drop in income arrives (maybe a year from now?) I’m pretty sure there will be yet another exciting big development/change/idea/ploy/server?? to induce spending and to keep the marvellous saga that is Wurm Online online and to keep us all wurming.