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Once again, the @extracreditz folks knock it out of the park to all my friends at Cryptic, go watch this now.
This week, we talk about microtransactions, and how they COULD be a pretty great thing if we'd just start doing them right.
Cormac Russell's profile photoShannon Posniewski's profile photoLandon Falls's profile photoGerard Caulfield's profile photo
I think he pretty much nailed it.
Champs hits most of those points, the biggest exception of earning real currency. That wasn't straightforward for us to do because the game economy wasn't predictable/stable enough.
I don't know about knocking it out of the park, but it was a competent summary of the current state of knowledge on microtransactions, yeah, perhaps lacking a little historical perspective, but decent primer. Though he is demonstrably wrong about not selling power. You need to think about how you do it, but that is a functional part of every CCG. Yes there are people who won't play CCGs, but there are also people who will.
Also, he may be dead wrong about the $70 monocle. Without knowing the sell-through it's impossible to tell. Although he makes it seem easy to market-test the prices of items, it is very very hard to practically do so. In the real world, there's a whole business sector dedicated to market research (and how often are they wrong?). Because the COGS of these items is zero, there's not even a lower bound on what one must charge; the price is truly arbitrary. At some point you just need to take a stab at it and hope.

Also, testing MT prices is tricky. You can't simply use a beta server and fake/gratis credits because people spend it differently than real money. It has to happen live, and you can't easily flux prices without getting a bunch of people up in arms for rebates if you have to drop prices.

I suspect that the $70 monocle is, in fact, a market research test to see what people will pay for things of that nature.
I agree completely with you Cormac. Selling power is totally fair game as long as it does not make other players feel cheated or at a tangible disadvantage.
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