Can they really be called Micro-Transactions if they are as much or more than the cost of a subscription?
Allods Online did look like it was shaping up to be a pretty good MMORPG. While I haven’t spent any time in the game myself, for the last little while all I’ve been hearing about Allods has been positive.
Even Syncaine who despises all things WoW and Themepark in the MMO world has been looking forward to Allods Online. Although, I understand that’s mostly for love. (Oh, the things we do.)
Unfortunately it looks like gPotato has dropped the ball when it comes to the cash store and is charging some ten to twenty times for items for US/Western players than it is for Russian players. (Even though cost of living is a lot lower in the former USSR, that’s a huge jump!) What’s worse, a recent post-soft-release patch has changed the game so that it’s now necessary for players to use the shop to progress where previously it was not. And that has put a lot of noses out of joint.
There’s a few calculations flying around the old interweb. Some are estimating that players will need to pony up around $75 a month for non hardcore play.
All in all, a PR nightmare for a company with an anticipated game.
Here’s what I think will happen.
gPotato has forgotten the cardinal rule of pricing. You can only charge a price that the market will bear.
Charge too much and no-one will buy your stuff. Too little and even though a lot buy it, you won’t make enough to break even.
If gPotato has misunderstood the market and are overcharging, they’ll very quickly find that no-one will buy from their game shop. If 20 USD for an extra six bag slots is too much no-one will buy the extra six slots. If the amount they want to charge players for perfumes to remove harsh death penalties is too much, no-one will buy them. (What’s worse with the DP perfumes is that people may just log out and not come back.)
gPotato will, if their prices are too high, quickly find themselves with no or few sales. They will then be forced to lower the prices to that which the market will bear. Otherwise they’ll go broke, quickly depending on cash or investment reserves.
They’ll need to act quickly too. If they don’t they could find themselves with few Western customers. It’s hard to see how they’d survive that, unless the Russian market can support them. (Now that’s another thought. It’s possible Allods will make a decent income just from the Russian market. The gouging of the Western/US market could be for cream.)
So… my guess. Expect to see the cash shop prices drop dramatically in the first month or two.