[casual_games] Different Payment Models

lharrick at san.rr.com lharrick at san.rr.com
Mon Oct 9 11:28:20 EDT 2006

Also, how did the standard of $20 per game come about?

Personally, I think the price point is too high.  

I am one of those people who would almost never pay $20 for a game 
(compared to other forms of media and entertainment, I feel the price 
is not a good value)... but there are many games that I would buy if 
the price were lower ($5 -$10 range).  

- Liz

----- Original Message -----
From: John Foster <jfoster at acm.org>
Date: Sunday, October 8, 2006 2:27 pm
Subject: RE: [casual_games] Different Payment Models
To: 'IGDA Casual Games SIG Mailing List' <casual_games at igda.org>

> I don't know how we arrived at a standard 60 minutes trial period. 
> I worked
> on a golf game where we set the trial period at 15 minutes. Based 
> on game
> play - the length of time a reasonable player could get to the 
> 14th hole.
> Any more time and the user could finish the game in demo and have no
> incentive to buy the game. I think the trial period is a game based
> decision.
> I've been looking into the microtransaction issue for a while and 
> I think
> idea has a lot of merit. Some consumers will want to pay for 
> single plays,
> play packs, and others will pay one price for unlimited play. It 
> may also
> depend on the game - arcade games are level-designed with "feed me to
> continue" strategies that we don't see in PC/console/casual 
> gaming. The
> business idea "pay $0.10 for additional crap" can also be 
> supported if that
> makes sense for the game. So the microtransaction business model 
> seems to be
> a logical next move for our industry. We see it's very successful 
> abroad but
> hasn't taken hold in the US. Part of this is the inherit problems 
> takingsmall amounts of money from consumers (VISA fees on $0.25?) 
> It may have
> something to do with the American consumer's desire to own things. 
> A game on
> my computer is a different product that an arcade console at an 
> arcade. How
> successful is the game rental market compared to full purchase? 
> Also the
> communication games will need with their supporting infrastructure 
> will be a
> lot more complex, possible turning off lower-level developers. The 
> barrierto entry will be a lot higher.
> In order to support this we are going to need an ubiquitous API 
> supported by
> all portals. The Wild Coins idea is interesting but we'll have to 
> see if it
> catches on. I'm skeptical a one-portal proprietary idea is going 
> to achieve
> industry-wide acceptance. Developers and publishers aren't going 
> to be too
> happy about supporting different APIs and the conceptual 
> differences for
> each portal opportunity.
> We in the IDGA need to spearhead this effort but I don?t see it 
> being a
> realistic endeavor without direct participation and leadership of 
> the top
> portals. That's how other standards committees operate, they take 
> a cross
> section from the industry representing all levels of involvement 
> and work
> out a standard. Not easy to do! The cool thing is to imagine all 
> the new
> opportunities for monetization of our games and the ideas 
> developers will
> come up with to exploit these features.
> --John Foster
> -----Original Message-----
> From: casual_games-bounces at igda.org [mailto:casual_games-
> bounces at igda.org]On Behalf Of Jónas Antonsson
> Sent: Sunday, October 08, 2006 4:17 PM
> To: 'IGDA Casual Games SIG Mailing List'
> Subject: RE: [casual_games] Different Payment Models
> How about a mutual effort? A Casual Games "Paypal" system? A standard?
> I'm talking about a unified micropayment platform with a single 
> registrationinterface (webservices?) that could be incorporated 
> into portals, straight
> into games, etc. A player can register on a master site, through a 
> specificgame or through a portal. He has one global account which 
> is accessed by all
> the games that implement some kind of a payment interface (again -
> webservices?).
> Single centralized point and a common interface that can be used 
> to register
> playtime for a specific game. The games could reside on different 
> portals,on different platforms, etc.
> The only thing to consider would be setting this system up and 
> agreeing on
> technology / standard, etc. Also ownership and responsibility 
> issues. One
> way to go would be as an investment by a group of companies. This 
> could also
> be financed separately. Or this could be an Open Source project - 
> sponsoredby the Casual Games industry - open for everyone and 
> usable by all. Making
> the cake bigger?
> I've formulated a few more thoughts on this issue and I'm trying 
> to create a
> better foundation for the idea. I just wanted to throw this in 
> here because
> of today's dialogue, which directly related to these thoughts.
> I, for one, would be very interested to see this happen and 
> participate in
> making it happen.
> Regards,
> J#
> -----Original Message-----
> From: casual_games-bounces at igda.org [mailto:casual_games-
> bounces at igda.org]On Behalf Of Chris Dillman
> Sent: 8. október 2006 19:31
> To: IGDA Casual Games SIG Mailing List
> Subject: Re: [casual_games] Different Payment Models
> >
> >By having a small monetizeable unit to buy games with, we can 
> start 
> >doing a lot of new and interesting things that allow us to 
> maintain our 
> >IP while still working with big advertising companies. And again, 
> for 
> >fresh young developers, that's good too, no?
> >
> >To be honest, I was really excited about this model when I heard 
> them 
> >walk through it - and was hoping:
> >1) To hear other opinions on the model or other possible models 
> for 
> >extracting money at lower price points.
> You would probably call this model micropayments.
> You might want to read the
> Tho a true micropayment is supposed to be like pennies or less any 
> how.
> There was a lot of MMO style games moving to or playing with this 
> idea out
> at E3.
> http://www.puzzlepirates.com/
> for instance runs subscription servers and micropayment servers 
> where you
> can play for free if you want or pay for additional features.
> They report making a long more revenue off of micropayment servers 
> then off
> of a normal full subscription server.
> Personally I love the idea for both MMOs and casual games...
> I also like teh idea of ads in games.
> There are MMOs I would play... like D&D online... but not for 15$ 
> a month.
> 5$ maybe... or free plus ads would be great.
> So downside.
> I think micropayments might work well for WT and other large portals.
> But they will not work well for a small game developer with a few 
> games.
> Some problems.
> 1. There is no standard way on the web to easily pay a micro payment.
> 2. Its work to even get people to sign up for any service.
> Which means its even more work if a new player need to sign up for 
> a micro
> payment service. Or 10 services if they are using 10 different game
> companies.
> What might work well is having it offered in addition to normal 
> $20 fee etc.
> 3. Wild Tangent offers a in game Ad SDk now also.
> You might want to take a look at that.
> --
> ---------------------------------------------
> Email: chrisd at plaidworld.com
> iChat / AIM: crackbunny at mac.com
> Plaid World Studios http://www.plaidworld.com
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