Using Subs to hunt Whales


It makes sense – whales are big and spend a lot of time underwater – should work just fine, isn’t that so? Look for them in their habitat.

Sigh. I’m seeing more and more of this. Studios, bless them, still believe that whales will save their bacon. There are whales, spending whales – I do think though that whale-spending is more related to unpleasant social habits like ganking than to uncontrolled passions for hats. Mind you, I suppose showing off and bragging qualify as unpleasant social habits, so maybe hat-passion still fits my theory.

But from SWTOR’s cash shop right through Wurms price rise I do see a tendency to further monetise the already committed. I can see the barely joined up, ploddy thinking “Well, our subscribers pay the most so that is where we will find whales.” (you need to mentally stretch subscribing to being a payment “habitat”)

“Will it work?” I ask sweetly. I mean, I can’t think of a better way to alienate a playerbase than double-dipping but on you go folks – “f2p + sub” your way to wherever you’re going in peace.

It’s like all those new sandboxes – hehehe – oh come on  “craft-based sandbox f2p”  who do you think doesn’t know this is going to be a sub-based pvp game with added p2win cash shop?  The whales don’t know?  Well…better hope so.

More to the point is that an unpopular game won’t attract whales  (according to my theory). You see… unpleasant social habits require a society in which to operate. Gankers need fodder, hat-passionistas need admirers, and so on. Twould be better to forget the whales and cultivate the society, but you can’t tell bean-counters anything sensible. All they see is beans. And whales. And save the bacon slogans.

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Categories: Game Design and Creation

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