This isn’t going to be some in depth study. Tobold posted an entry to his blog a while back about pricing models in gaming. It got me to thinking.
I enjoyed Puzzle Pirates. I still do from time to time, but I don’t play it enough to pay a monthly fee. When I get the itch, I go in, play some bilging or poker or sword fighting, then I log out. I don’t play enough to need my own boat, or super fancy clothes, or any of the stuff that money gets you in the game. (I’m Ishiro on the Hunter ocean if you ever care to look me up.)
While at first glance, I cringe at the idea of my other games going to RMT models, ultimately it wouldn’t matter. Just take World of Warcraft as an example. Before I quit, I couldn’t play in the Battlegrounds, I just didn’t have the time it took to earn enough gold to buy the items that would have allowed me to compete with the twinks. I didn’t do world PvP for much the same reason (and getting jumped 4 to 1 by the Alliance was just retarded). I didn’t raid because, even though I’d have liked to, I just didn’t care enough to put forth the effort it took to be a viable part of a raiding guild, farming money and “pots” and all that. The game I played in WoW was the solo or small group game, and sometimes we even went into instances. The game I played is the game that would be free.
As I look at all the other games I play, that play model stays the same: I really only actively participate in the sections of the game that would be free if they went to an RMT model.
The thing is… I still enjoy the games. Like Puzzle Pirates, only I play a little more often.
So, how on earth does this tie in to my Zombie game design? I mean, this is a Wednesday post, and Wednesdays are Zombie Wednesdays. I’ve been thinking about what kind of pricing model I’d go for with my own game. As cool as I think the game is going to be, asking $15 a month might be a bit much for an MMOTamagotchi, but the design I have in mind doesn’t lend itself to RMT, unless I want to charge people for the item designer I have envisioned or for other things, but I don’t want to have someone playing along and when they try to build a radio they get a “you can’t do that unless you pay me!” type dialog box. RMT just defeats the mood of the game I’m trying to make, and mood is important in a horror setting. The only other option would be to sell blocks of time, a number of cents per hour that you’d buy in 100 hour blocks or something.
Its definitely something to think about… but I suppose it can be delayed until I actually have a game. 🙂