The Free to Play (Freemium) model has gained more and more widespread acceptance in the marketplace during the course of last years. Now even retail developers and publishers are trying to get into the market and a lot of "classical" game designers are trying to figure out how (or what) to best sell virtual products, be they items, unlockable content or comfort features.
Naturally most designers approach this challenge by taking a look at the traditional domain of game design: The features. This usually ends with them directly focusing on the design of the virtual goods themselves. This talk presents a more holistic alternative by looking at the entire chain of events and actions that a user undergoes on his way from player to payer. Through this lens it will point out some important factors that influence a game's monetization.
Generate Awareness: The first step to selling a product is to have your users know of it. In the real world this is mostly done through ads, but advertisement for micropayments isn't something that's done yet. Instead there are other ways to show off virtual goods. This talk will present the attendees with ways to increase the in-game visibility of an item: Example methods for this are to highlight it's use through other players and to properly design your shop to affect a player's knowledge of your items.
Generate Desirability: Once the player is aware of your product he needs to be motivated to buy it. Examining all the different elements that raise or hinder an item's valence, the lecture provides some insight into how to make your products more desirable. This will be done through examining different types of players and their wishes and presenting various categories of goods that speak to them. The talk also delves into the pricing of virtual items and give a set of tricks and techniques to further increase the perceived value of a virtual product.
So in short, this lecture will give you a look at the entire player experience in regards to micropayments and tell you how you can shape it to the advantage of your game's virtual goods.
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