Reduced Cred Prices

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Reduced Cred Prices

Post by Loki on Fri Jun 08, 2012 8:06 am

Ed Byrne (Creative Director) Share on twitterShare on google_plusone
posted 5 hours ago
I'm a big proponent of honesty so here's where we are:

We have no other games unfortunately and while Moon Breakers makes some money we aren’t where we need to be - this is why we're trying to adjust our model to ride the line between profitable and sustainable.

Unfortunately the base revenue per-player comes down to the ARPPU (average revenue per paying user), and that's always going to be a very small fraction of the general player base - generally somewhere between 4%-10% of the total user population. We have a dedicated but small population now meaning that even though we have a pretty high percentage of people paying, it's still a fraction of a small number. So we have two choices;

1) Ramp the costs up until we achieve profitability
or
2) Decrease the costs to encourage a higher ARPDAU (average revenue per daily average user)

With 1), we risk a slash-and-burn approach which you you mention, Gimmic, as the evil F2P model. While some players will continue to pay you’ll see the casual players and those without the means to pay drop out, which leaves a declining population. When the population is small enough that the paying users aren't having any fun either, the system collapses. With 2) you can achieve a much better population - generally though better word of mouth and reviews ("Hey, this game is awesome and everything is pretty much free!") but then you don't earn enough to keep the game running, and pull the plug when you can't afford to keep the servers paid for or work for free anymore.

Going back a bit, the reason we went Free-to-Play is we feel that it’s a better model. Most of us at Imba (not to be confused with the other Imba out there that makes iPhone apps) have been in the business for over a decade, and we’ve all come from the retail model of “Pay $60 up front and hope you like the game, but if you don’t too bad - maybe Game Store will buy it back from you for a dollar if you’re lucky”. F2P, when done right, allows players to enjoy the game _before_ making a commitment, but more importantly it allows them to have _multiple investmentment options_.


With Moon Breakers we have three ways to invest:
You can earn ships by investing time, to grind up the Cred you need to buy the ship you want
You can invest a _little_ money to buy a boost to get you the Cred to buy the ship you want faster - a balance of money and time
You can invest by _wholly_ paying to unlock the ship immediately without having to invest time

This is as fair as we could make it. Some people - younger players and folks from economies that aren’t as strong as some have only time to invest. Some players, especially older ‘professionals’ with kids, like me, would rather just pay for the thing they want because we don’t have the time to play for long periods. This creates an ecosystem that’s vital to the game’s success; the people who invest time and money are attracted to the game because it’s full of players to enjoy playing their ships with (or against); a persistent population made up largely of people who have invested _nothing_ because we allow them to play for free.

We did extensive research for F2P but the problem is, unlike a lot of genres in the model, F2P multiplayer games that require skill and mastery have no true formula for success - some take off and make millions while many other games just as good die on the vine. The main reason we dropped Cred was that we were seeing extensive negativity about the amount of _time_ needed to invest in the game to achieve anything meaningful, and it was leading to a lot of complaints and criticism that we felt would stifle the population growth. So we kept the He-3 prices where they were for those who can afford to buy the ships and dropped the time:unlock ratio to allow for more players to feel invested in the game and retain them as players for the long haul. Boosts, as the “middle earner” were raised to compensate for some people switching to invest time rather than money but buying a boost is still a cheaper way to get a ship than just unlocking it with He-3.

So where does that leave us? Hopefully, with lower Cred prices, we’ll get more people checking out the game and staying. If they stay, there’s a higher chance they’ll buy something or at least drive more traffic our way. At the very least this means full games for our dedicated pilots. He-3 prices will remain as they are because we simply can’t afford to drop them in the hopes that cheaper prices mean more sales; that’s not a risk we can take at this time. So Boosts we’ll continue to refine. We contracted the amount of boosts to make it a more understandable system and to focus purchases a little more. It seems in this thread that you guys want more options, and we can certainly accommodate that moving forward.

To finally answer your question Undies; for now we have faith that a good product will make money - Moon Breakers is rough around the edges in many ways but it’s damn fun, if I may say so myself, and the idea is to steadily grow the population with a mix of free and purchasable content, until the point where our players just in the course of playing the game regularly are generating enough money to keep the servers switched on and the office lights burning. To get there we’re cranking out content and deploying it as quick as we can, seeking word-of-mouth and putting the game on services like Steam that have HUGE player visibility. We’ll adjust the economy based on the data we accrue (like all good F2P games) and seek the Golden Ratio of prices and free content. Beyond that we’ll just keep working away, listening to feedback and making the game we see in our minds.

------------------------

I've already told all the friends I thought would be interested. But then D3 came out...

Anyone have any suggestions?
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Re: Reduced Cred Prices

Post by jazzycat on Fri Jun 08, 2012 9:05 am

Any clan-mates who'd be inclined to a space flight'n'fight sim are already playing & paying (it was actually some of the other guys who put me onto this, knowing I was a sucker for WC/X-Wing etc).

The best we can do is keep up the game promo by word-of-mouth, and promoting the official sites, this forum and Veterans' Tips in-game as well for all the new comers that come aboard from Steam, Facebook recommendations, game reviews, etc; the more tech and flight-savvy might even throw up some YouTube of their 'famous' maneuvers (like Johnny Chaos' Rhino-busting with the FH-200, which might be especially popular while that ship is F2Fly...). Actually, there's already a fair amount of YouTube online, but most of it is mainly reviews vids of the ships or the game itself.

Another consideration - being F2P on Steam means a lot of kids and students might start playing it as exams finish (if they haven't already) and as holidays/school breaks start, in both northern/southern hemispheres. Lots of freshly fledged pilots out there guys, for better or for worse!
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Re: Reduced Cred Prices

Post by Ferc Polo on Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:26 pm

Moon Breakers was my savior when Diablo III servers were down much of release day and the next. Now I have a hard time playing Diablo III because I keep wondering how many bats I could have splashed had I been mounted up.


For the record, I've spent money on this game and intend to spend more. Hopefully there are enough of us out there to keep it going.

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Re: Reduced Cred Prices

Post by Nyxy on Fri Jun 08, 2012 12:32 pm

Ferc Polo wrote:

For the record, I've spent money on this game and intend to spend more. Hopefully there are enough of us out there to keep it going.


Amen. I just wish I bought the Merlin before the he3 prices went up
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Re: Reduced Cred Prices

Post by SuPerKen on Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:15 pm

OK Boys and Girls suit up!!!

Time to get out there and pass the word, make some noise. Like, Unlike, Like, repeat on FaceBook. Tell your mom, dad, brother, sister, cousin, Father's uncles cousins former roomate, etc...

Go get business cards made and leave them randomly at businesses in the towns you live in. Write the address on the bathroom wall. Let's do what we can.

Ken
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Re: Reduced Cred Prices

Post by SuPerKen on Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:20 pm

Nyxy wrote:
Ferc Polo wrote:

For the record, I've spent money on this game and intend to spend more. Hopefully there are enough of us out there to keep it going.


Amen. I just wish I bought the Merlin before the he3 prices went up

Um... the He3 prices are the same, the cred prices went down
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Re: Reduced Cred Prices

Post by Ferc Polo on Fri Jun 08, 2012 1:36 pm

HE costs the same, but suddenly my x10 boost costs double. Or is it 1000 now? Because that's double +1. I understand why since it now stacks with a 4x....but does stacking it get you x40 or x14? Anyone know? I suppose I should have tested with a x2 and x4, but can't until next week...back at work now, no reason to waste on boosts until I get a full day.
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Re: Reduced Cred Prices

Post by Grey Man on Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:25 am

In one of the threads in the userecho forum wj mentioned that they wanted x16 to be the most anyone could get from boosts, so I believe that the multipliers are probably additive Ferc Polo. It's in the 6/6/12 update post.

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Re: Reduced Cred Prices

Post by Ferc Polo on Sat Jun 09, 2012 11:37 am

Grey Man wrote:In one of the threads in the userecho forum wj mentioned that they wanted x16 to be the most anyone could get from boosts, so I believe that the multipliers are probably additive Ferc Polo. It's in the 6/6/12 update post.


Thank you very much!
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Re: Reduced Cred Prices

Post by PlanBCAD on Mon Jun 25, 2012 12:10 am

Sorry to be the cheapie...

The reason I'm still playing is because it's free... I'm older with less of a social network. I have always liked gaming but... sorry, I will not open my wallet wide for the previlege... I played FarmVille (twice) (Level 120) without paying a dime... You can't say FV is not successful... I got very good at it... Sure, I was envious of the nice things people had on their farms by being suckered into using real money but... I wish I could have a Bomber, but I have enough fun blowing them out of the sky with the light fighter I have. Sure, I get "obilterated" hundreds of time a night, but I just keep at it...

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Re: Reduced Cred Prices

Post by Loki on Mon Jun 25, 2012 6:45 am

I would rather give my money to the IMBA team instead of Electronic Arts; they make a much better game and they actually give a crap about what we think.

...and chances are good that you've already played with or against WJ!
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Re: Reduced Cred Prices

Post by jazzycat on Mon Jun 25, 2012 7:22 am

Welcome to the forum PlanBCAD!

And hey, it's free-to-play for a reason - so people will try it, like it, and hopefully keep coming back to it. You pay if you want the shiny stuff sooner or if you want to support the game by making a financial investment in it, but otherwise if you keep on playing regardless, that's great too!
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Re: Reduced Cred Prices

Post by Viking Jack on Mon Jun 25, 2012 10:33 am

Loki wrote:I would rather give my money to the IMBA team instead of Electronic Arts; they make a much better game and they actually give a crap about what we think.

...and chances are good that you've already played with or against WJ!

thats totally the truth not to mention the bugs and the inestability of that F%&$ origin thing

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Re: Reduced Cred Prices

Post by Ferc Polo on Mon Jun 25, 2012 2:38 pm

Can we please never mention Origin again? Let's just keep pretending Steam is the only digital distro...
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Re: Reduced Cred Prices

Post by Cmdr. McBragg on Mon Jun 25, 2012 3:18 pm

You don't have to pretend, it IS.

Smile
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Re: Reduced Cred Prices

Post by Viking Jack on Mon Jun 25, 2012 4:10 pm

Ferc Polo wrote:Can we please never mention Origin again? Let's just keep pretending Steam is the only digital distro...

you are right that thing should not be named its like stepping on dog crap barefooted

seriously how a company with millions can F%&$ things so bad while a bunch of ppl at IMBA made this awesome game

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Re: Reduced Cred Prices

Post by Ferc Polo on Mon Jun 25, 2012 8:55 pm

I open SWTOR and ME3 via Steam just to stick it to them.
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Re: Reduced Cred Prices

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