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.