Thought of the Day: On Virtual Goods

People already waste so much money on buying all sorts of random crap, so it’s hard to argue that a virtual pet or virtual dress is any worse value than some of the rubbish I’ve seen (presumably for people to foist on their ‘friends’) while Xmas shopping this year.

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10 thoughts on “Thought of the Day: On Virtual Goods

  1. People are still uncomfortable with buying items from an item shop, that’s it. But it is probably less of a moral issue than synthetic vs real fur, after all.

    No worries, just get the Blizz pet for xmas. It is not that you would stop or reverse the trend by not buying it. And you can give a damn about people who bash item shop pet owners. 50% are probably just sour grapes and would like to have one, too.

  2. I think it’s just the slippery slope worry.

    If I go into Brixton market and buy a cuddly toy that farts as a present for someone I and customers like me probably won’t redefine the toy market to the extent that people who like old fashioned teddy bears won’t be able to get them any more.

    If we all rush out and buy panda pets there won’t be any play as much as you like for $15 games any more after a few years.

  3. I think it depends on the market, Stabs. IF enough people are only playing current MMOs because they can’t buy their cute virtual pets any other way then they’ll abandon them as soon as there’s a more convenient way to get the stuff they want.

    If people really like MMOs and like the pet side of that, then they’ll keep playing the games and the demand keeps up.

    Or in other words, the old fashioned teddy bears will still be made as long as people are willing to pay for old fashioned teddy bears. If we all rush out and buy panda pets and keep our subs up too, then they’ll keep doing both.

    I think what a lot of players are afraid of is … what if most MMO players don’t actually like or want MMOs? Because that’s what will kill them really.

    • At that point, then, they deserve to die. Or, most likely, just fade back to their proper market position. It’s funny how choice does that in a free market. It’s healthy, too.

  4. With how long some people play their MMO and how infrequently and for such a short time that many people wear certain items of clothing, I’d say that the virtual item might have much higher value.

  5. Something to think about anyway.

    I guess I’d have to say, I try very hard not to buy anyone any “crap from China” (nice phrase Candy). I find it wasteful and honestly disrespectful. Why would I think someone else wants that kind of kitschy useless junk?

    Maybe that applies to virtual pets too. Friends don’t buy friends RMT?

  6. There’s two extremes.

    When I played Mabinogi, the first virtual item in an MMO I ever bought was a sheep pet. 6 bucks, produced wool for my crafting, was a free inventory bag, could even heal me and fight (poorly,) and could even be played as. You have never really played an MMO till you have played it as a sheep. That was good value.

    In the same game though, you could pay ten bucks for a horn item which would let you send a /shout server wide. Yeah, ten real life bucks to post one line of text.

    MMO items can be great value if designed well, but way too many F2P games try to make their profit off of things like the latter, and spending ten bucks to get 2X leveling speed for three hours really is worse than spending the ten bucks on a used CD or a book.

  7. I was just pondering!

    Right now I wouldn’t pay US$10 that PWE is charging for its cash shop pets in Jade Dynasty… because they’re limited to being pets in Jade Dynasty.

    However…

    …if any MMO came up with personable pets that I really like (JD is very good with making pets have personality), and then said. When you buy our cash shop pet for say, US$10, you have the option to ‘add’ value to it with say… US$8 more. For US$18, not only do you get your pet in game, you also get downloadable versions that can prance around on your desktop (pc and/or mac), and live in your mobile phone!

    …I’m a sucker for tamagotchis, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

    …does any MMO do this right now? O.o

    • I don’t think any MMO does this right now, but it’s a great idea. I think one of the Blizzard guys said that they were considering in future selling a plushie along with the virtual pet (so you could put it on your real desktop) and I thought that sounded like an easy sell too.

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