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Thread: The issue of real money

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  1. #1
    Administrator Mickey's Avatar
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    Default The issue of real money

    Geos aside, I'm looking for suggestions as to how this game could generate a little bit of real cash. I'm not looking to become a millionaire (although I wouldn't mind... ), but I'm already looking at needing another server to help support the game if it keeps growing at it's current rate.

    A few thoughts I have already:

    - Not based on donations. While that would help, I'd hate to be constantly begging for money.
    - No required fee. That would essentially kill the game. It's fun, but I doubt many people would pay to play.
    - Ads wouldn't really work. The ads on the main GEH site help a bit, but they wouldn't work too well in GEwar. For one thing, I'll be pushing more and more toward a GE only interface (no web required). Also, banner ads don't do well on online games, due to the very high pageview/visitor ratio.

    So what's that leave? I'm not sure. I'd love to develop something where people would want to pay a small fee ($5/month? $20/year?) to play, but people wouldn't be forced to pay.

    We've got time to work this out, but I'm just trying to look toward the future and I can't quite see it...

  2. #2
    Senior Member birq's Avatar
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    How about a "premium" service of some sort? Features you can only access if you're a subscriber? I don't know, maybe more natural resources (3 each at any given time for a non-subscriber, for example)?

  3. #3
    Senior Member rasqual's Avatar
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    Well, you know what I say -- include real-world data in the game.

    Players who pay would have genuine advantages in the game.

    ;-)

    Seriously. If you make the price for playing within most people's reach -- well, bone up on your Laffer curve economics. ;-)

    How about something like this -- payers would lack these restrictions which would be in place on noobs:

    - no nukes, ever (no matter how successful you are as a noob, you'll never be able to possess that strategic deterent)
    - a limit on jewels per day (ah, there's the rub)

    And that's it.

    The idea wouldn't be to be draconian, it would be to just gently get folks to consider that your reasonable subscription fee would be well worth it.

    But dude, you have to scale. Among other things, I suggest you urge various authoritative information banks to not only geotag, but offer km* and web services you can exploit to help you scale things like your city enumeration. You can't add cities manually. Indeed, in an ideal world all the cities in the world would be there, and people could pick Podunk IA if they wanted to. It'd have to be a source of such information that includes data you'd want concerning the town. It'd sure be nice if the Wiki were fully cool in this regard, already.

    Well, good luck. I don't think I'll have time to be a serious player A.B. (after beta), but I'd still chip in for a subscription, I think. Just remember the Laffer curve. It's your friend for this kind of thing. ;-)

    P.S. -- my thought is this -- just as the free version of Earth makes it possible for anyone to enjoy the predominant, cool aspects of it without paying, I think your game should afford people that option as well, but the combination of merely irritating restrictions and low entry price point would inspire little more than a shrug as they pointed their mouse toward the Paypal button.

  4. #4
    Administrator Mickey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rasqual
    Well, you know what I say -- include real-world data in the game.

    Players who pay would have genuine advantages in the game.
    I had been shying away from that, but maybe it's the way to go.

    Seriously. If you make the price for playing within most people's reach -- well, bone up on your Laffer curve economics.
    Ugh...

    How about something like this -- payers would lack these restrictions which would be in place on noobs:

    - no nukes, ever (no matter how successful you are as a noob, you'll never be able to possess that strategic deterent)
    - a limit on jewels per day (ah, there's the rub)

    And that's it.
    Interesting thoughts. Maybe it really is that simple...

    But dude, you have to scale. Among other things, I suggest you urge various authoritative information banks to not only geotag, but offer km* and web services you can exploit to help you scale things like your city enumeration. You can't add cities manually. Indeed, in an ideal world all the cities in the world would be there, and people could pick Podunk IA if they wanted to. It'd have to be a source of such information that includes data you'd want concerning the town. It'd sure be nice if the Wiki were fully cool in this regard, already.
    Agreed on all points.

    Well, good luck. I don't think I'll have time to be a serious player A.B. (after beta), but I'd still chip in for a subscription, I think.
    At least stick around through beta, as you offer a viewpoint no one else can offer.

    just as the free version of Earth makes it possible for anyone to enjoy the predominant, cool aspects of it without paying, I think your game should afford people that option as well, but the combination of merely irritating restrictions and low entry price point would inspire little more than a shrug as they pointed their mouse toward the Paypal button.
    That's exactly what I want to do. Finding the options and price point might be a little tricky, but it'll all work out.

    First thing I need to do is get back to work on the game itself so that it might eventually come out of beta someday.

  5. #5
    Senior Member birq's Avatar
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    bone up on your Laffer curve economics. ;-)
    I think it's more a matter of price elasticity. And I sure wouldn't want to have to figure out how to calculate that for this kind of demographic spread. Best guess, Mickey!

  6. #6
    Senior Member birq's Avatar
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    Ooh, I just had a thought! What about a corporate sponsorship? Instead of Geos, people pay with McGeos and collect Mobil Oil, Cotton The Fabric of our Lives and DeBeers Diamonds.

  7. #7
    Member Brendo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by birq
    Ooh, I just had a thought! What about a corporate sponsorship? Instead of Geos, people pay with McGeos and collect Mobil Oil, Cotton The Fabric of our Lives and DeBeers Diamonds.
    Sponsors, I like that idea. I am willing to contribute though.

  8. #8
    Senior Member rasqual's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by birq
    Ooh, I just had a thought! What about a corporate sponsorship? Instead of Geos, people pay with McGeos and collect Mobil Oil, Cotton The Fabric of our Lives and DeBeers Diamonds.
    LOL!

    Product placement, too. You zoom in on SE Minnesota to nail a jewel, and a placemark icon mysteriously redolent of SPAM looms in the periphery of your field of vision. Ah! Hormel! ;-)

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mickey
    Geos aside, I'm looking for suggestions as to how this game could generate a little bit of real cash. I'm not looking to become a millionaire (although I wouldn't mind... ), but I'm already looking at needing another server to help support the game if it keeps growing at it's current rate.

    A few thoughts I have already:

    - Not based on donations. While that would help, I'd hate to be constantly begging for money.
    - No required fee. That would essentially kill the game. It's fun, but I doubt many people would pay to play.
    - Ads wouldn't really work. The ads on the main GEH site help a bit, but they wouldn't work too well in GEwar. For one thing, I'll be pushing more and more toward a GE only interface (no web required). Also, banner ads don't do well on online games, due to the very high pageview/visitor ratio.

    So what's that leave? I'm not sure. I'd love to develop something where people would want to pay a small fee ($5/month? $20/year?) to play, but people wouldn't be forced to pay.

    We've got time to work this out, but I'm just trying to look toward the future and I can't quite see it...
    Consider using PAYPAL as a means of collecting a small subscription fee. I love the game and plan on supporting it.

    This game as well as GEOEARTH needs to be marketed to schools. It is a great way to learn geography for students of ALL ages.

  10. #10
    Senior Member reklats's Avatar
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    No offense but this game isn't anywhere near ready to start charging. There are HUGE versions of this game out there that are still free after several years. None of them use google earth of course but then again neither does this game, much.
    Chad +1 from War_Peace
    http://www.free-games.com.au/Free_On...iplayer_Games/ -- Bunch of free online games similar to GEWARS

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by reklats
    No offense but this game isn't anywhere near ready to start charging. There are HUGE versions of this game out there that are still free after several years. None of them use google earth of course but then again neither does this game, much.
    I am beginning to be a huge fan of this guy...

  12. #12
    Master of the Universe Beezer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reklats
    No offense but this game isn't anywhere near ready to start charging. There are HUGE versions of this game out there that are still free after several years. None of them use google earth of course but then again neither does this game, much.
    Mickey started this thread as a way to start getting a feel for how much people would pay, should the time come to require payment. Just thinking far into the future.

    The thing is still in beta, and will be for a while. The game is FAR from perfect.

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