How Online Game Publishers Earn Money Out of Your Addiction
Online game publishing is a business. Its business model is to use human nature to squeeze as money as possible out of its players. In the mean time game publishers also make sound judgments to decrease its operating costs. I believe it is essential to know what tactics that the publishers use to get players to spend money in cash shops. Maybe that way, before you spend all your entire paycheck into an online game, you would stop and think why are you doing the things you do. Again, if you truly want to be the top of the top at your F2P game, you should be prepared to spend money because it does give you an edge. The game publishers designed it that way.
1. The need to compete and …WINPeople are competitive in nature. People want to compete in MMORPG’s where they can prove that their hard work, skill, and character is superior of others. Therefore, successful profitable online MMORPG’s are always heavy in the PvP element. You do not want to get killed by other people frequently in games, so you pay money to gear yourself up. However, once you are geared up and started killing others, the others catch up and decide to spend more money than you to gear up more. This is a cycle of competing to win, the ending result is that most people overspend in order to win in PvP.
2. People are Gamblers in NatureWe all know the stereotype that Asians like to gamble (I am an Asian myself). However, I believe that it is in everyone nature to take chances and earn rewards, it is how our society progresses. People take risks, reap the rewards, and make our society a better one. However, when game company wraps their game as a big casino in disguise, it becomes very easy for us to start spending money. Most MMO’s have these “packs” or “tickets” that you can buy for a chance of awesome equipments, pets, mounts, upgrade stones, etc. Because we are gamblers in nature, we will overspend just to see if we will eventually get lucky.
3. A person only has 24 Hours per dayGame publishers realize that their player base cannot be on the game all the time. So they would create these items that are time based and can expire in “real time”. With these, players would consistently pay money to get their items renewed. In addition, most game publishers offer items that save player’s time in grinding and traveling. These time saving mechanisms have very potentials to keep players addicted when they get tired of the boredom of grinding or traveling.
4. Fear of LossPeople are afraid of losing their belongings. This concept also applies to players and their MMORPG gears. People are afraid of losing their hard work when they are trying to upgrade their gears. Another major way for game companies to make money is by selling protections against weapon breakages or items dropping from death. By playing on people’s fear of loss, the game publishers fully capitalize on this aspect of human nature.
5. People See People DoPeople are followers. If you see someone with a cool mount and pet that is killing everyone around him. You want to have something like that too. Game publishers will always make the Cash Shop items look cool and flashy. So that the urge and need to buy a particular items would spread. The more people that buy the items, the more profit it is to the game publishers.
6. Special “Sales”The special sales tactic is used in almost all the commercial industries. However, I find it funny when they use it in online games. The point being that any sales that the game companies make is 100% pure profit. There is no cost to any of these virtual items. When game companies start doing these special “sales” more and more often. Usually the value of these items begin to drop, and then the publishers would release a new wave of better items that can draw in more customers.
Final words,Although I did put these tactics in a negative spin, however I want to stress that game publishing companies are businesses. Businesses need to be profitable and make money in order to support all the people in the food chain. These money would go and pay the game developers, the publishers, and all staffs who are working to make all these great games possible. I do believe that it is good to pay for what you need, I just believe that people need to pay for the items within their means. Hope everyone can succeed in their online games.