Courtesy of Jester’s Trek, I’d like to share a video blog from the Escapist today about Microtransactions. This is an interesting videocast because it’s smart and makes a great deal of sense, and seems to be aimed at developers who are considering venturing into F2P rather than to players (who we assume are the majority of The Escapist’s readers).
Some bullet points from my point of view:
- Note how quickly he starts referring to players as ‘consumers’ rather than players. That’s very telling. When I play games, I prefer to think of myself as a player because to me, consuming is a different type of activity — at least at the moment. But it does highlight how the F2P mindset has a very different take towards player driven content. It may well turn out that F2P is the best possible basis for a solid RP-driven game, in which you can buy the props your character wants/ needs or that you as a GM want to use to set a scene.
- Note the emphasis (sensible I think) on designing around a charging strategy rather than tacking a cash shop + transaction model in at the end.
- Note how he points out realistically that other players ARE content in an MMO. Paying players will still want someone to play with, and it won’t matter to THEM whether the other players pay or not.
- Note how he points out the importance of mixing the player base. He does it for cash reasons — the best way to encourage a non-paying player to buy something is to let them mix with the paying players. I’d encourage diversity (frex, I think it’s bad to split PvE and PvP players onto different servers) because I think it builds stronger and more robust communities, but in this case the arguments both lead to the same place.
- Is his voice for real, or autotuned? I can’t decide.