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Jun 25 2010
By: Mermaid-KT Fender Bender 2781 posts
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Pay-Per-Play MiniGames

14 replies 240 views Edited Jun 25, 2010

     I'm sure many of you are aware that in the last couple of weeks the EU have introduced a pay-per-play mini game in their new Central Plaza and I believe (although this isn't confirmed) that the new Carnival space that is due to arrive may be of a similar nature. The EU have also confirmed that more pay-per-play mini games are in development. Whilst I understand Sony are a business and need to make money I am a bit concerned of this trend and what it will mean to many of us.

     Some may say that we know in advance what the price will be to play the game, and its our choice if we choose to pay or not, and that is true. Also, I've read some say in the EU forum that its not dissimilar to buying something from the Mall as there are rewards that are fairly easy to get on the games, but in my opinion it isn't the same.

     What will be the lifetime of such pay-per-play mini-games? I mean, once you have the reward will one continue to pay to play that game?

     There are some mini games that I play because I enjoy playing them, like the new FevaArena game and the Uncharted mini game. Although I have the rewards for these now, I still play them because I enjoy them. The Uncharted game is good as you are playing against someone and can develop friendships from it, but would I keep paying to play these games - no I wouldn't. If I feel like this, then the chances are others would feel the same so what would be the future of such games? Once the initial hysteria has worn off and the rewards have been won they may become like a ghost town, and we may struggle to find an opponent if wanting to play a two player game.

     Whilst I am happy to pay for games like the Sodium Pilots game or the Cabin Boy game, these are different, as they are a one off payment, and then they are yours, to play as often and as many times as you like.

     I spend quite a lot of money in Home, and I'm delighted with how Home has grown and expanded since I joined a couple of months after it went OpenBeta, and I don't regret spending a dime (okay maybe the odd top I'd return if I had the chance lol), but I don't anticipate buying 1 token to pay for a pay-per-play minigame unless the reward is something I really want, in which case I'd get it, then never return to the game again.

     Home is a lovely application, and something that for me puts the PS3 head and shoulders above the rest. The energy in Home continues to expand, as does its potential that continues to grow, but please Sony and SCEA, don't have something that is so good start going in the wrong direction. Continue to make your money in the Mall where people like me will always be willing to buy things, and keep the mini-games alive and free to all.

     Thankyou for reading

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Survivor
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Re: Pay-Per-Play MiniGames

Jun 25, 2010

What happened to Home being in beta?

Give us stability updates, stop trying to sell us stuff.

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Wastelander
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Re: Pay-Per-Play MiniGames

Jun 25, 2010

I've been over in the UK and have seen that very pay-per play game you're talking about, and trust me NOBODY was playing it. I agree that things should be kept free and quite frankly I CAN'T see myself "paying" to play anything or buying tokens. I'm looking forward to this new carnival that's coming, but I certainly hope we won't have to pay to play the games...

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Wastelander
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Re: Pay-Per-Play MiniGames

Jun 25, 2010

 

Well, I think the Carnival Midway space is an appropriate place for Sony to introduce this concept, if they do; that is exactly how real carnival midways work. Real midways aren't about playing games -- they are about winning prizes. (And, to some extent, showing off to one's companions, especially those of the opposite sex.) The player's assumption is that he will win the giant teddy bear for less than it would have cost to buy it. The carnival operator's assumption is that he will make a profit on the prizes from the game fees. The fact that midways are still in business shows whose assumptions are correct.

 

The thing that makes carny culture so much fun is that it hovers on the edge of dishonesty. The deceptively simple games, the barkers, the cheaply-made prizes, the fortune tellers, the sweet and greasy food, the hint of sexuality in the sideshow attractions -- a lot of us love it. If Sony can create this atmosphere in Home, we'll be all over it, and fill our apartments with giant virtual plushies.

 

I hope they have fortune tellers and a "believe-it-or-not" style side-show. And a roller coaster, preferably wooden and rickety. It's a pity we can't have virtual corn-dogs and cotton candy.

 

Seal

 

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Shinra Executive
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Re: Pay-Per-Play MiniGames

Jun 25, 2010

 


MsSinocent wrote:

I've been over in the UK and have seen that very pay-per play game you're talking about, and trust me NOBODY was playing it. I agree that things should be kept free and quite frankly I CAN'T see myself "paying" to play anything or buying tokens. I'm looking forward to this new carnival that's coming, but I certainly hope we won't have to pay to play the games...


I agree. I will not pay and play! Not in the cards for me at least and I hope the concept dies a horrible death. We spend enough money in other venues. Playing for mini-games should not be one of them.

 

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Treasure Hunter
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Re: Pay-Per-Play MiniGames

Jun 25, 2010

I don't like the idea of paying to play a mini game,,, to me its nickel and diming us to death and causing a bigger rift between the have's and the have nots.... Not a good idea Sony,,, not a good idea at all.

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Treasure Hunter
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Re: Pay-Per-Play MiniGames

Jun 25, 2010

Here's a crash course in subscription-based business plans for everyone, or an answer to the question, "Why does my cable cost so much?" Keep in mind that Home is based on this model, even though it can be used for free.

 

Every business has operating expenses (employees, materials, electric bills, etc.) and a need to make a profit to keep the shareholders happy. Let's say that a company needs to make $1 million to be profitable, with operating expenses of $900,000. In a subscription model, that $1 million is divided by the number of users and the number of buy cycles in a year, typically monthly.

 

So if a company has 10,000 users, it needs to make $100 from each user per buy cycle to reach $1 million. Divide $100 by $12, and you get around $8.35 a month. This is the per-user revenue target.

 

This is a very, very basic example. As the user base grows, especially with something like Home, so do the costs, because there are servers to run, more mods to hire, more customer service, etc. Home also has a percentage of users who never spend any money, which means that a portion of the user base is paying to keep the service open to everyone for free.

 

Pay-for-play games are a new method of hitting the per-user revenue target. In general, I find this to be the poorest possible way of hitting financial goals. The OP put it very well; what's the use of these games once the rewards have been won? They will take up valuable in-world space and see little actual use once the initial interest, if any, disappears. I expect that the ROI on pay-to-play will be much lower than that for rewards which are simply sold through The Mall. Someone at Sony has the idea that these games will be a perpetual source of income; I sincerely doubt that will be the case. Find a better way to hit that per-user revenue target. Make more stuff that we want and encourage us to buy it.

 

The big problem I have with this is the value proposition. There's plenty of stuff I don't buy in Home because I think the price is too high for a virtual item. Paying for a game that I can take with me, like Cabin Boy, is no problem. Paying for a game and walking away doesn't work for me. Home already eats some of my IRL disposable income. I do not now, nor will I ever, have disposable Home income. Given a choice between a virtual Chuck E. Cheese and the real thing, I'll pick the real thing.

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Fender Bender
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Re: Pay-Per-Play MiniGames

Jun 25, 2010

SealWyf wrote:

 

Well, I think the Carnival Midway space is an appropriate place for Sony to introduce this concept, if they do; that is exactly how real carnival midways work. Real midways aren't about playing games -- they are about winning prizes. (And, to some extent, showing off to one's companions, especially those of the opposite sex.) The player's assumption is that he will win the giant teddy bear for less than it would have cost to buy it. The carnival operator's assumption is that he will make a profit on the prizes from the game fees. The fact that midways are still in business shows whose assumptions are correct.

 

The thing that makes carny culture so much fun is that it hovers on the edge of dishonesty. The deceptively simple games, the barkers, the cheaply-made prizes, the fortune tellers, the sweet and greasy food, the hint of sexuality in the sideshow attractions -- a lot of us love it. If Sony can create this atmosphere in Home, we'll be all over it, and fill our apartments with giant virtual plushies.

 

I hope they have fortune tellers and a "believe-it-or-not" style side-show. And a roller coaster, preferably wooden and rickety. It's a pity we can't have virtual corn-dogs and cotton candy.

 

Seal

 


      I too hope they have some of what you mentioned, but would you continue to pay to have a go at such things, be it a roller coaster or trying to throw hoops over targets?

     In real life its understandable to pay to have a goes at these, but this is Home. Things like this should try to bring the community together, and to keep the space and games alive. Once you've won the 'giant teddy', what draw is there to play again? Even if you enjoy playing the game, its unlikely many will pay each time for the privelage.

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Treasure Hunter
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Re: Pay-Per-Play MiniGames

Jun 25, 2010

 


Mermaid-KT wrote:

SealWyf wrote:

 

Well, I think the Carnival Midway space is an appropriate place for Sony to introduce this concept, if they do; that is exactly how real carnival midways work. Real midways aren't about playing games -- they are about winning prizes. (And, to some extent, showing off to one's companions, especially those of the opposite sex.) The player's assumption is that he will win the giant teddy bear for less than it would have cost to buy it. The carnival operator's assumption is that he will make a profit on the prizes from the game fees. The fact that midways are still in business shows whose assumptions are correct.

 

The thing that makes carny culture so much fun is that it hovers on the edge of dishonesty. The deceptively simple games, the barkers, the cheaply-made prizes, the fortune tellers, the sweet and greasy food, the hint of sexuality in the sideshow attractions -- a lot of us love it. If Sony can create this atmosphere in Home, we'll be all over it, and fill our apartments with giant virtual plushies.

 

I hope they have fortune tellers and a "believe-it-or-not" style side-show. And a roller coaster, preferably wooden and rickety. It's a pity we can't have virtual corn-dogs and cotton candy.

 

Seal

 


      I too hope they have some of what you mentioned, but would you continue to pay to have a go at such things, be it a roller coaster or trying to throw hoops over targets?

     In real life its understandable to pay to have a goes at these, but this is Home. Things like this should try to bring the community together, and to keep the space and games alive. Once you've won the 'giant teddy', what draw is there to play again? Even if you enjoy playing the game, its unlikely many will pay each time for the privelage.


I know Irem sometimes adds new prizes to their mini games and that always brings return visits and keeps thier spaces bustling with traffic,,, games like saucer pop are fun but I havent really played it since winning all the prizes,,, I always thought it would be best for everyone if they refresh prizes - I mean how hard can it be to add new prizes once a month?

 

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Treasure Hunter
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Re: Pay-Per-Play MiniGames

Jun 25, 2010

LiLBlueEyes wrote:

 


Mermaid-KT wrote:

SealWyf wrote:

 

Well, I think the Carnival Midway space is an appropriate place for Sony to introduce this concept, if they do; that is exactly how real carnival midways work. Real midways aren't about playing games -- they are about winning prizes. (And, to some extent, showing off to one's companions, especially those of the opposite sex.) The player's assumption is that he will win the giant teddy bear for less than it would have cost to buy it. The carnival operator's assumption is that he will make a profit on the prizes from the game fees. The fact that midways are still in business shows whose assumptions are correct.

 

The thing that makes carny culture so much fun is that it hovers on the edge of dishonesty. The deceptively simple games, the barkers, the cheaply-made prizes, the fortune tellers, the sweet and greasy food, the hint of sexuality in the sideshow attractions -- a lot of us love it. If Sony can create this atmosphere in Home, we'll be all over it, and fill our apartments with giant virtual plushies.

 

I hope they have fortune tellers and a "believe-it-or-not" style side-show. And a roller coaster, preferably wooden and rickety. It's a pity we can't have virtual corn-dogs and cotton candy.

 

Seal

 


      I too hope they have some of what you mentioned, but would you continue to pay to have a go at such things, be it a roller coaster or trying to throw hoops over targets?

     In real life its understandable to pay to have a goes at these, but this is Home. Things like this should try to bring the community together, and to keep the space and games alive. Once you've won the 'giant teddy', what draw is there to play again? Even if you enjoy playing the game, its unlikely many will pay each time for the privelage.


I know Irem sometimes adds new prizes to their mini games and that always brings return visits and keeps thier spaces bustling with traffic,,, games like saucer pop are fun but I havent really played it since winning all the prizes,,, I always thought it would be best for everyone if they refresh prizes - I mean how hard can it be to add new prizes once a month?

 


It's cheaper and easier than building new games.

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