Qualities of Virtual Goods

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This talk will present the audience with a system of attributes that most Virtual Goods possess. The chosen properties are primarily responsible for the users' perceived value of an item and can directly be affected by the game design and visuals. Knowing about this system and the attributes is the first step in systematically improving the value of your items and overall repository of premium services.

By examining how this system applies to our daily business at Gameforge we will give some practical advice on real world application. To top off the talk, we will be using the developed properties as a foundation for some tricks and methods to improve the monetization of your own free-to-play game.

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Qualities of Virtual Goods

  1. 1. Qualities of Virtual Goods Martin Nerurkar & Volker Boenigk BGF 2010
  2. 2. Martin Nerurkar Volker Boenigk Twitter Web Blog @MNerurkar www.martin.nerurkar.de www.gamearch.com @PoweredByPixels www.poweredbypixels.de blog.poweredbypixels.de E-Mail Martin.Nerurkar@Gameforge.com Volker.Boenigk@Gameforge.com System TricksQualities
  3. 3. Overview System Qualities Tricks
  4. 4. Overview System Tricks System Qualities Tricks Qualities
  5. 5. Overview 1. The basics of our system System Tricks System TricksQualities Qualities
  6. 6. Overview 1. The basics of our system 2. Describing the 6 qualities (+ Examples) System Tricks System TricksQualities Qualities
  7. 7. Overview 1. The basics of our system 2. Describing the 6 qualities (+ Examples) 3. Additional tricks System Tricks System TricksQualities Qualities
  8. 8. System System TricksQualities
  9. 9. The System Use-Value Advantage Comfort Aesthetics Content System TricksQualities
  10. 10. The System Duration Artificial ScarcityUse-Value Advantage Comfort Aesthetics Content System Tricks Availability Qualities
  11. 11. The System Advantage Comfort Aesthetics Content Perceived Value Artificial ScarcityUse-Value Duration Availability System TricksQualities
  12. 12. The System =+ + + + + System TricksQualities
  13. 13. Qualities System TricksQualities
  14. 14. The 6 Qualities • Quality represents value to the player – High Quality = desirable • Quality strength is dependent on the game System Tricks Duration Advantage Comfort Aesthetics Content Availability Qualities
  15. 15. Advantage System Tricks Duration Advantage Comfort Aesthetics Content Availability Qualities
  16. 16. Advantage • Increased performance – Better equipment – XP boosts • The payer has a gameplay advantage over non-payers (Careful!) • Exclusive bonuses can feel more unfair than earnable bonuses System TricksQualities
  17. 17. Advantage Example Battleknight Guards Use Values • +25% Defense Scarcity • Limited duration System TricksQualities
  18. 18. Advantage • How big is the performance increase? • Is it a direct or indirect gain? • How competitive is the game? • Will it break the game? System TricksQualities
  19. 19. Aesthetics System Tricks Duration Advantage Comfort Aesthetics Content Availability Qualities Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fdecomite/
  20. 20. Aesthetics • Audiovisual value – Hairstyles – Unique clothes – “Vanity items” • Very dependent on the type of game System TricksQualities
  21. 21. Aesthetics Example Europe 1400 Avatars Use Values • Unique looks Scarcity • Permanent System TricksQualities
  22. 22. Aesthetics • How visual is the game? • How desirable is the effect? • Is the effect customizable? • Does it represent an affiliation? System TricksQualities
  23. 23. Comfort Duration Advantage Comfort Aesthetics Content Availability System TricksQualities Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/austinevan/
  24. 24. Comfort • Making life easier for the player • Cuts the parts that are not enjoyable – Automatization – Improved interface features System TricksQualities
  25. 25. Comfort Example Ikariam City Overview Use Values • Easier to keep an overview over your cities Scarcity • Limited time System TricksQualities
  26. 26. Comfort • How annoying is the normal task? • Does the feature require less effort? • Does it save the player time? System TricksQualities
  27. 27. Content Duration Advantage Comfort Aesthetics Content Availability System TricksQualities Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/depone/
  28. 28. Content • Adds new playing options – New areas – New quests – New classes • Allows to extend the experience System TricksQualities
  29. 29. Content Example Hypothetical New Class Use Values • Perfectly balanced • Unique premium class Scarcity • Permanent System TricksQualities
  30. 30. Content Example Metin 2 Dungeons Use Values • Exclusive content • Faster levelling • Better drop chances Scarcity • Limited use System TricksQualities
  31. 31. Content • How much time can be spent with the new content? • How well created is it? • How dependant is the game on content? System TricksQualities
  32. 32. Duration Duration Advantage Comfort Aesthetics Content Availability System TricksQualities Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/robbie73/
  33. 33. Duration • How long does the good last or how often can it be used? • The higher the duration, the higher the perceived value • Permanent goods can be problematic System TricksQualities
  34. 34. Duration • How long does the item last? • Is duration in harmony with effect and presentation? System TricksQualities
  35. 35. Availability Duration Advantage Comfort Aesthetics Content Availability System TricksQualities Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/villamon/
  36. 36. Availability • The rarer a good is, the more valuable it becomes • Different ways to modify availability • Stronger if players can display rare goods System TricksQualities
  37. 37. Availability • How hard is the good to get? • Can the good be collected and/or displayed? • Is availability in harmony with the presentation? System TricksQualities
  38. 38. The Qualities =+ + + + + System TricksQualities
  39. 39. Tricks System TricksQualities
  40. 40. Rating System System TricksQualities
  41. 41. Rating System System TricksQualities
  42. 42. Player Needs Matrix Laziness Keep up Be better See everything Have everything Be unique To belong System TricksQualities
  43. 43. Whitespot Analysis System TricksQualities
  44. 44. Whitespot Analysis System Tricks What? Who? Qualities Image: http://www.sxc.hu/profile/yarranz
  45. 45. Wrapup System TricksQualities
  46. 46. Wrapup System Tricks Advantage Comfort Aesthetics Content Perceived Value Artificial ScarcityUse-Value Duration Availability Qualities
  47. 47. Contact Us Martin Nerurkar Volker Boenigk Twitter Web Blog @MNerurkar www.martin.nerurkar.de www.gamearch.com @PoweredByPixels www.poweredbypixels.de blog.poweredbypixels.de E-Mail Martin.Nerurkar@Gameforge.com Volker.Boenigk@Gameforge.com System TricksQualities

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