Zen Of Design

The design and business of gaming from the perspective of an experienced developer

Black Gold’s Shiny New Microtransaction Model

I’m all for innovating inside of the monetization space for games, but innovation implies better, and I’m not sure this applies.

Black Gold Online’s file save mode will record your playtime data, showing all materials and equipment looted in that specific timeframe. Players will be given a choice to purchase that specific “save” if you wish to acquire all of those items… This system aims only at paying for rare materials and high level equipments: Basic materials and equipments can be looted immediately without purchase.

I believe this translates to “you have to pay us for the right to actually keep any rare loot that you’ve found.”  Doing this on some level isn’t unusual: SWTOR and Dungeon Runners limit the ability to equip epic items you find (one purchase unlocked the right to equip those items in both games), and Team Fortress 2 and Guild Wars 2 will drop chests that can only be opened with microtransactioned keys.

Of course, it’s difficult to tell for sure, since I’ve read it 3 times and, even with the helpful examples, am not exactly sure that I’ve gotten it right. That being said, anytime a customer base doesn’t UNDERSTAND your business model, they’re going to be extremely reluctant to give you their credit card information.

1 Comment

  1. Sneaky yet incredibly clever. It’s even more devious then the lockbox, as you can see your winnings behind that glass case. I predict FTP games adopting a similar strategy within the next few weeks in the way of glass lock boxes.

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