I recently got this friendly text from T-Mobile:
Only slightly peeved, I called to ask what upgrade or top up I could get to restore my speed. I was told, being on the highest volume plan already, there was no option. I had to just bear 1990’s style internet access while waiting for the next billing month to start.
I was willing to pay, but there was nothing to spend on.
Quite peeved, this got me thinking back to a game design issue - how to fully meet demand from paying players. After all it’s normally easier to increase ARPPU than paid user conversion rate.
Take our title Style Me Girl. The core puzzle mechanic with energy based currency earning requires serious patience or skill to finish the game for free.
So most players who reach into the end-game are paying. And the majority of who do finish the game enjoy it and want to keep playing:
What’s the solution we offer today?
Well you can go back and try and get 3 stars for all levels like in
Or just sit tight and wait until the new levels hit, whenever that is. Tomorrow or maybe in two weeks. Dear player, cool with that?
Oh hang on…. we’re guilty of… that makes us just like…. T-Mobile! *sob sob*
Drama aside, what are the sort of things that could help?
The good news is that there are LOTS of tactics in this sort of case. These include:
- More content, on a faster cycle (no brainer)
- Parallel spending on multiple characters / pets etc
- Parallel spending on multiple attributes, with accompanying mechanics
- Random drops to encourage speculative consumption
- Premium content, time limited or otherwise special items
- Item upgrading, crafting and customizations
- Adding more and varied time gates to gameplay
- Branched story overlays to increase fun of replayability
- Programatic goal generation (this is tough to get right, just ask D3)
- Community and PvP play to give new play goals
Some really interesting stuff here, I plan to dive into a handful of them in future posts as we design and roll them out.
Whether you’re T-Mobile or Tiny-Startup, don’t leave money on the table.
- timingisimportant likes this