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  • Bolt-on Revenue (For Indies!) -- header NSFW-ish

      11:49 AM on 11.14.2010

    Bolt-on Revenue Models (A Distruktoyd Blawg Poast)
    (Preface: Although I appreciate criticisms, this is all brainstorm and as near to a raw dump as a hunk of beef chopped off and left on the floor for a sec along with the remnants of a twitchy digit while pondering quizzically on the pain – true story, bro. So leave the guff at the door and drop me some editing tips if ya gots editing chops)

    First off, did you know? I left a preface up there by the title for you to check before leaving a comment. Please do me the respect of reading it.

    The idea here is to have alternative packages and timed price drops/increases to increase revenue preferably for independent games (Bobby K can suck a left nut), whilst not alienating the fanbase with:

    • bullshit like paid demos (Dead Rising 2: Case Zero) paid betas (Halo: Reach via ODST, Elemental via pre-purch, Natural Selection 2 via pre-purch)
    • online-functionality exclusive to new-purch, and preorder bonuses like extra costumes, along with reams and reams of similar shenanigans

    My proposed ideas should (FTMP) bolt straight on to the engine block that is either the digital or retail revenue stream, giving it some extra horsepower and making $60 games more of a value.
    Without fuhrer ado:

    Piggybacking (the spacerocket of game revenue modifications)

    Halo: Reach beta via ODST is already an example of this (with the mentioned irksome demo), but I was thinking more "multi-disiplinary-esque" ie. a damn fine Cave shooter (shmup) packaged with a Gears of War or a jRPG with quirky mechanics that is excellent but hasn't the two blockbuster selling words, "Final Fantasy", in the title added to a disc/download of the next Uncharted. It would be nice to have the revenue equally split, but the idea is to have a relatively unknown property (in the region it is being sold to) piggyback on an established company or product (e.g. Call of Duty) to achieve success for the less well known, but equally-skilled-developer, in a region that they are not known to achieve much penetration.

    The Combo Meal

    All too often I find myself questioning buying even a modest amount of Virtual Console, Game Room, etc. games. I believe videogames should, along with everything else, depreciate in value. I don't think most (if any) SNES games are worth $8. I think 99 cents is a bit too much for... maybe even Gradius (I realize it is highly regarded and clearly well-designed). When I can find Metal Slug 1-6 on a retail disc for the Wii for $20 or less (with controller options and video settings, noless), and buying it digitally would end up costing $54, I think something is wrong with the pricing scheme (note the less than honourable rhetoric in-use here).

    I propose a little less dirty tactics to use in a space such as the Wii Shop, and XBL. Package these things up. If you buy 2 Capcom games for Neo Geo, and 1 Konami game for the MSX, give us a break and lop some cash off the top. Capcom is taking the lion share in that deal, so make them take a smaller cut. Further, why am I required to pay twice to get two different versions of the same game on the same fucking service? (Ed. note: thought Metal Gear - MSX and Metal Gear – NES were on the service. Only titles I could find to prove the point were a few arcade games that also hit the genesis/master system like Altered Beast, and perhaps, the multiple versions of Street Fighter II -- although arguably different, the value isn't there to buy them all) And what kind of tool buys a game twice? (Oh right to support the developer -_-)

    A completely different tangent is the bogus release schedule (why aren't all of the available NES games on the VC service by now?) which encourages piracy even moreso than the ballsy fondling of the consumer-teet to produce some quality Greenback "milk" (tm).

    Incentives of an Indie-Ilk

    Based on plans for a franchise indie-series: First release is free, second release is pay (ie. $5), third release makes 2nd free and is higher price than 2nd but cheaper overall for 2nd release buyers, (ie. $7 as opposed to $10) etc.

    (Ed note: Table goes here, for instance)
    1:$0, 2:$5, 3:$10, 4:$20, 5/6:$45

    Start on 2nd -> +3:$2, +4:$5, (ie. ~1/2 of increase price)
    +5/6:$19 (ie. ~3/4 of increase)

    Start on 3rd -> +4:$8, +5/6:$19 (~3/4 inc)

    Start on 4th -> +5/6:$22 (3/4 inc +$2)
    (Ed note: note sure pleabs out there can make heads of this. Maybe they can make tails outta it, though)

    Week one purchases would be that price. Week two would add $0.50. Afterwards it would be $1 more. After 2 purchases, the next release could be free.
    Ideally, all of this information would be as up-front as possible or would at least the price of the next release would be revealed near the launch of another part of the series.
    The take-away from this is that there would be an increased discount over "content price" (ie. increase from release to release) after consecutive purchases as an incentive for the die-hards out there.
    Another Another Case (If Revenue Model Plan A was an aborted Dr. Fetus of attempts):
    The cost is 99 cents, but if someone donates above and beyond, each 99 cents over the asking price is either

    • sent as extra codes for friends
    • left for the next anonymous purchaser (the next purchaser can still choose to donate funds, but a notice that their purchase is free is displayed at some point – checkout, or smack on the purchase page)

    A plus would be allowing the donor to choose from those options, or at least give the option of a larger ratio of gift codes to anonymous gifts available (eg. 3 gift codes and 2 anons per 5 extra copies “bought” – ie. 5x 99c)

    Downlode-Able dis-Content

    Recent games have been released with free DLC for early purchases (digital) or new purchases (brick/mortar)

    • ie. Mass Effect 2, Sports games post-Madden 10, Deathspank: Throngs..., Lara Croft (XBLA).

    It's always shady to have little things (costume changes, new items/weapons, sidequests) for this free DLC (which may not dissuade the common man, but having been burned by Mass Effect 2, I think this needs a change.

    I propose a system of universally free DLC -- think any DLC pack provided post-launch -- based on points. start with say 30, costs 15 for story DLC, 5 for item DLC, 10 for -amount x-. I understand that both the infrastructure required for an internal points-system is likely costly, the platform holders wouldn’t be too excited over it, and it introduces more funny money into the sinkhole that is online transactions... but.. nuffin’. I guess you indies are SOL unless you can ante in some scratch to fund a group-influenced infrastructure! (that neglects the potential pitfall of having the points apply universally across all of the independent group’s releases)

    Jumping-off point (don’t jump!)

    Pay $5 for beta/demo, get $5 off a pre-order (if chosen) and/or a free $5 piece of DLC post-launch.
    DLC can be wrapped up in an arcade/psn game that has merely a section of the content on-disc, and the game assets required to play it. Costs more than regular DLC but less than the game (idea based on critical reception of KANE & LYNCH 2 multiplayer and Dante's Inferno DLC – both more highly regarded than main game).

    EDIT: I wrote this 2 years ago. It just got published? Maybe? I don't understand Destructoid blog software, I guess. Bleh. No edits since then. It probably looks like a turd, and people have already done some of it. I think it might've been pre-"Humble Indie Bundle" stuff. Guten Tag. I am going to say "I don't want to publish anymore shit on Dtoid anymore because of this" like an emo/enraged-soccer-mom. Not that it matters. I'm a drop in the bucket. And I don't get inspired to write often. And I'd be shitting ya if I said this was the cause I didn't write jack anymore on the innernet. And and is a bad word to use to start a sentence if ya listened to an English prof. Can I stream out this consciousness any harder? No, prolly not, the pipeline ain't big enough to handle my bitrate (that's what she said [I watch the Office sometimes]).

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