'Pay per Bullet' in Call of Duty 5?

It may sound strange to you, but it makes perfect sense to me!

Yesterday I was in a meeting with pwc (formerly known as Price Waterhouse Coopers), Activision (publisher of Call of Duty) and many other game-related companies to discuss the evolution of the games market in a broader perspective. pwc presented the sales figures of the gaming industry and we discussed the future of gaming and potential revenue streams.

Call of Duty is about to be launched in China, retail price: €0,-. What? Yep – a free-to-play version of the game! But how will they make money? By in-game transactions of course!

What surprises me is that first person shooters are still made for a broad audience varying from 13 year old kids up to guys my age, who -evidently – become less agile and desire a different type of gameplay. Speaking for myself I would really love to play a shooter like Battlfefield 2 again, where a commander and other roles can be played by the more ‘strategic / tactical’ players. I love RTS games like Command & Conquer or rather – Cossacks or Total War. Why can’t I deliver additional income to my team while playing an RTS so my ‘soldiers’ in Call of Duty, Counter Strike or Battlefield 4, can fight a war that I am funding?!
Sorry… this is beyond the point I wanted to make…

What I wanted to state here is that I, being 38 year old, would LOVE to be able to BUY a better gun instead of having to play over 300 hours to become a level 60 soldier. I would LOVE a game that required you to BUY bullets, grenades and a car, so gamers wouldn’t just ‘spray and play’ and throw numerous of grenades that kill me each time I respawn. I would LOVE to play a game where there are NO 14 YEAR OLD cheaters… but guys that are my age and play the game on a Monday evening while chatting on Skype and making silly jokes while at it… 😉 I know that Steam (the online webshop and social network for PC Gamers) could make the difference here!

In the end I think publishers can earn even more money than the ‘€60’ at once, by letting me play the game for free, but making me pay for bullets, gear, power ups, etc. Of course there should be a ‘balanced’ outcome in the sense that it can never be the case that ‘the richest’ player wins, but I think it could be an interesting test. Why not make a ‘limited edition assault rifle’ or ‘concept weapons’ that are available to just 1.000 players. Why not start with making players pay for bullets, grenades and in-game extra’s in a ‘free to play’ game? Why not letting me ‘pay per level’ instead of shoving a full game through my throat?

Let me know what you guys think!

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Just add points? What UX can (and cannot) learn from games

>A good presentation why games are so much fun, effective and how they can inspire developers…

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Heroes never die!


After writing my book ‘Laat met je merk spelen’ – soon to be published in English (end of 2010, called A Brand New Playground), I have started to become more philosophical and keep thinking why games are so special to me and to hundreds of millions of people around the globe…
Today I had an insight why games are so cool and the reason is that in games ‘heroes never die’… comparable to most books, comics and films. We love heroic creatures and wished they live forever, protecting the world from harm.
It is only in real life that our life is so precious (we have only one). Still – our best friends, fathers, mothers, sons and daughters die even though they’ve done nothing wrong. In epic films like Lord of the Rings, some heroes die (Boromir), but the real heroes (Frodo and his friends, Aragorn and Gandalf) fortunately don’t. I wonder how we would feel if they would all die and we would have to start to get to know new ‘heroes’ in part 2 and part 3 of the book / film…
How would you feel if you buy a RPG or action game and after playing it for ten minutes, your hero dies and the game is truly ‘game-over’? Would you be angry? Or would you accept it and buy the game again (or choose a new / different hero)? I guess you would be really disappointed and angry. How much is a virtual life worth? Wouldn’t you be much more cautious playing Call of Duty if you would have to pay a dollar for each life you spoil? It would make the gameplay much more interesting I guess, because the ‘stakes are higher’. Maybe it would even be interesting if you gain 50 cents for each kill you make, compensating the costs you make for each life you spoil… ? And the more kills you get, the harder it would be for people to kill you (a build-in experience/skill-model, like in Fallout 3 for instance).
It would be interesting to see if a game-developer would take the chances of developing a game with these mechanics in it!

Posted in Bart Hufen, Brand New Playground, micro transactions | 1 Comment »

Virtual Goods: Why & How They Work

>A nice overview in what way virtual goods can add value to gameplay or add value to your business model! Cool brands can actually make a lot of money selling their products within virtual environments (in-game). The horse in this example (slide 15) brought the developers of World Of Warcraft more than 2,5 million dollars in turnover in less than a day! More information through www.BrandNewGame.nl

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Pre-paid cards to buy ingame content


Copied largely from http://www.gamasutra.com

Social game developer Zynga announced that its prepaid game cards for titles like FarmVille and Mafia Wars are now available at several major U.S. retailers, including 7-Eleven, Inc., Best Buy, GameStop and Target.

The $10 and $25 cards, which offer an alternative way of buying in-game goods (e.g. virtual furniture, power-ups) to consumers who don’t have access to credit cards or bank accounts, will work with Zynga’s free-to-play titles on Facebook, as well as on standalone sites such as FarmVille.com, MafiaWars.com and YoVille.com.

Zynga’s titles attract over 235 million monthly active users and 67 million daily users. FarmVille alone, which is easily the most popular application on Facebook, has more than 82 million monthly active users on the social network. The company’s other well-known games include Cafe World, Texas HoldEm Poker, Fishville, and dozens of others.

The purpose of a game like FarmVille is to seed and harvest crops to make money to buy other gamecontent like a nice farm or lifestock. You can also invite vriends to become your neighbours and fertilize each others crops. Instead of having to wait weeks and weeks and harvest loads of crops you can also choose to buy extra content using Paypall, a credit card or… PRE PAID CARDS sold in retail (US Only for now).

“Social gaming is going mainstream and consumers around the world are connecting with people through games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars,” says Zynga’s senior vice president Vish Makhijani. “By partnering with 7-Eleven, Best Buy, GameStop and Target, our games can be accessed by a broader audience of new and existing players.”

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PlayStation Home had 10 Million unique visitors in 2009


PlayStation reports 10 million visitors to their virtual world ‘Home’. Apart from that they plan to install an MMO portal (massive multiplayer online) to facilitate playing games through the Sony network (and PlayStation servers of course). They must be working on new business models like paid servers, monthly subscriptions, video on demand and micro transactions in MMO. If you like to see a case about Micro transactions check this website: BrandNewGame

Check CASE: “Diesel Store in PlayStation Home”.

For more about Sony PlayStation & Home follow the link below.

PR Newswire

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Playstation Home Diesel Clothes


Check out the latest collection of Diesel clothes available in PlayStation 3’s virtual world Home – Really cool.

Prices vary between 0 and 1,5 euro’s.

This video is consumer generated – just so you know…

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