The Browsergames Forum in Frankfurt, Germany will be in a few weeks (on November 5th adn 6th to be precise) and I’ll be there with a short talk on the topic of monetization. I’ll be speaking with my MMO colleague Volker Boenigk and the title of our talk is “Qualities of Virtual Goods”. It’ll run for about 25 minutes and you will be able to catch us on Saturday, the 6th November at 10:30. I’ll use the opportunity to take one of the segments of my planned GDC 2011 talk and present it to an audience. To give you an idea of what we’ll be talking about, take a look at the abstract I’ve sent in to the conference organizers.
This talk will present the audience with a system of attributes that most Virtual Goods possess. The chosen properties are primarily responsible for the users’ perceived value of an item and can directly be affected by the game design and visuals. Knowing about this system and the attributes is the first step in systematically improving the value of your items and overall repository of premium services.
By examining how this system applies to our daily business at Gameforge we will give some practical advice on real world application. To top off the talk, we will be using the developed properties as a foundation for some tricks and methods to improve the monetization of your own free-to-play game.
And having mentioned the Game Developers Conference talk above here’s a small update on that topic: Unfortunately my submission for the Main Conference was declined (*sad face*). However I’ve resubmit my proposal for the Social & Online Games Summit and I’m hoping that there’ll be some room for me in there. (*happy face*) Wish me luck.
Apparently, browser games are the one niche in video gaming (besides board games in a more general matter) where Germany is one / the top player?
I’m not into browser games myself (so, no keen eyes on the bg forum), but I know gamers – not even “casual” ones – who will constantly check their acres and stuff even when a GURPS session is on.
Now, if there would be an Ultima Online bg with a mature community and no bullshit item store…
as for the “obsessed players”: I don’t think it’s any more severe than with other players, it’s just that the timing-based nature and the portability of Web Games lends itself more to behavior that interrupts other things for gaming. Not that that’s neccessarily a healthy thing. Either way, great to hear you’ve got a GURPS group going 😀
As for the “bullshit item store” comment. Care to elaborate a little bit for my benefit? I’m always keen to learn, especially considering the fact that I’m one of those guys building those stores. ^^
Item stores, oh well, you know…
For one, there are these nonsensical virtual items like custom bridges in Star Trek Online or vintage hats in Team Fortress 2.
Well, I guess, if there actually are people willing to pay for this stuff, you can’t blame any software company to gain profit from this (hard to believe) demand.
Secondly, it’s a blatant confession of the respective software company that MMORPGs are more of a chore than a game when they sell items to speed up the grinding (kill approx. 666 mobs to collect some or buy a to speed up salvaging so that only 66 mobs need to be killed in order to solve the quest).
There’s no item store selling a stick that long for me to touch these kinds of games.
Maybe I’m old fashioned. But I am very OK with the idea of funding a game by buying the (prefarably boxed) full version with no follow up costs (DLC, you hear me?). Well, an Add-On is OK, if it actually was made somewhat AFTER the main game had been produced.
But gifting a game with the hope of funding by item shops leaves a bad taste.
On the other hand, I’ve got no experience with ->browser game<- funding and respective item stores. Maybe it makes more sense in that area or it doesn't but there also is enough demand to allow browser game shops to pay for salaries so that visionary designers actually might come up with a better implementation 😉
you’re as old-school as you ever were 😀
The existence of this demand isn’t really hard to believe. After all it’s paying for my salary and that of all my co-workers, of which there are many.
To your second point: Of course you’ll have to create a demand for your items in order to sell them. That’s just logical. Doesn’t mean you can’t play the game without though. It’s just more grinding. It’s a question of money or time investment. Other games don’t even give you the option ^^