We need to pay more for niche titles
Posted by Tobold's Blog [HTML][XML][PERM][FULL] on 2 July 2013, 2:41 am
Some costs of an online game scale with the number of players: If you have ten times the number of peak concurrent players, you need ten times the server and bandwidth capacity. Other costs don't scale that fast, you don't need ten times the number of developers. And some costs are fixed and don't scale at all. Overall that results in economies of scale, that is the more players you have, the less it costs you per player to run the game. And as a consequence a game with more players can survive on each player paying less.

On the Card Hunter forums somebody was complaining that the game was too expensive, and that he wanted a game with the exact same Free2Play business model as League of Legends. So I looked it up, and League of Legends has 32.5 million players, with 5 million peak concurrent users. I don't think Card Hunter will get anywhere close to that. For 4.9 million of those 5 million players Card Hunter would be too intellectually challenging and difficult anyway, and of the remainder the majority doesn't like turn-based games.

I very much welcome niche games, although obviously not all niches are for me. But I realize that due to economies of scale a niche game costs more per player to keep running. And as a consequence I as a player of a niche game need to be willing to pay more for it than for a mass market game. You can't just apply the same item shop concept to every game and expect this to work. A smaller game needs to have more enticing items in the shop, and be a bit more pushy about promoting its wares if it wants to survive as a Free2Play game.
Tobold's Blog



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