Item Mall Woes

In this new age of MMORPGs, the business model is slowly shifting to Free-to-Play games with an item mall.

But in order for game publishers and companies to maximize the potential of this model, there has to be a HUGE userbase. This is alright for countries such as the US, Korea, Japan and China where gaming population is really massive AND their spending power is greater than countries such as ours.

Also, managing the items, especially the prices, in the mall is key to success and profitability.

Sadly, not all game developers give full cooperation to their publishers.

Managing an item mall is really like managing a, well… a real MALL. You have to know what the consumers want, how often they buy, when they buy and how much are they willing to pay for it. Constant monitoring, item sales, discounts, bundling and events have to be made. If you’re the brand manager or the community manager of this type of game, you have to be the “Henry Sys” of the virtual retail world. That’s what I always tell my BMs and CMs.

In the same light, it is VERY important for the local publisher to determine the price structure of the items. Why? For the simple reason, that we know how much our OWN consumers are capable of paying. Case in point: a set of pots might be priced for like, P100.00. That same value is cheap – for Koreans. But NOT for Filipinos.

The point I am making is this:  developers shoul TRUST their publishers to make the call. Maybe not for the entire lot, but for some critical items at the very least.

This is the key to success.

GM T

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  • buyer

    Well kung di po maadjust yung price ng mga items, you can try adjusting the price of the convertion.

    For example, in PW; the price for crafting mats ranges from 40-80 gold with 20-40 pieces of the item. It looks like it’s cheap but people don’t just craft once and items doesn’t require only 1pc of the material, so in one crafting session, a player might spend around 300 golds trying to get a good item or stop because of frustration that he/she can’t get a good item.

    If the developers can’t lower the price of the item, you can change the convertion instead of 2000 gold for 100php, you can make it 2500 gold for 100php or whatever you think is good for you and for the consumers. Or instead of having a fixed rate of 1php->20golds, you can give bonus to higher value top ups.

    ex.
    50php -> 1000 golds
    100php -> 2100 golds
    350php -> 8000 golds

    Well I guess you already get my point.

    Thank you!

    Have a nice day!

  • http://jezziee.multiply.com kaira

    I think the developers also have the last say in the conversion.
    Well, I’m still putting my hope on LU. I know they are doing negotiations now.

    GMT, I agree with your point. Yes, developers SHOULD trust the publishers. Because you know the sentiments of your market, and you know how things are going here. I do hope CCR gets this realization as well.

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  • http://ulaire.multiply.com Nazgul

    It’s quite unfortunate and very disturbing that developers can wield that level of control over item mall prices, and it’s a difficult proposition to convince them that they should give publishers the leeway to tailor the pricing settings. Regardless of the game that one plays (I for myself can see the effect that skewed item mall prices have on RF Online.), it’s polite so say that it’s a headache for everyone if players don’t have good information regarding what’s available in these malls. After all, players can adjust their purchase habits if they realize the advantages and disadvantages of the mall’s products.

  • http://gmtristan.com GM T

    Agree with your points. Sadly, we are trying our best to communicate whatever feedback we get from you, our dear players, to the developers. We are aware that information on the items is crucial. that’s why in RF, we are putting a catalog in the website and in the next few weeks focus our efforts in educating the players via blogs, articles in magazines and in the website and forums

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