Monetization principle

Posts: 11

Monetization principle

Post#1 » 17 Sep 2018, 09:25

Hi GFX (and whoever is interested),

I've been following the development and involvement of Gladiabots becoming a puzzle game of which's puzzle pieces can be obtained by spending unlock points.
In general, I like this idea as it brings you your highly deserved compensation for all this hard work you put in this game. On the other hand, it (should) add long time motivation for players as they won't have all the features from the beginning and will likely play the game longer.

And this is the point of which I'm a bit concerned about. As of now, the only way of earning points, was by completing the campaign or rising up in arenas/levels. After completing the campaign/rising to the top league one can get a maximum amount of points (a couple thousand?!) and then you can only gain 25 points by increasing your level (every ~ 30 games). Considering the high costs of e.g. unlocking private matches (3500 points), one would have to play roughly 4200 games to unlock this mode in the normal game. In other words, it won't be possible to unlock features in any other way but paying for it.

I'm not the expert but I played my fair share of games and everytime I got the feeling that a game forces me to spend money in order to unlock certain (highly useful) features, I quit this game at some point.

So my advice: Keep all these puzzle pieces and their (comparable high) prices for it but introduce some more in-game possibilities for earning points in a non-capitalistic way.

Some ideas would be
- Daily quests like Login / play (and/or) win 5 games / choose different AIs/TeamSetups
- Season reward that people actually earn something by performing well
- sharing the game
- chest-system (okay that's advanced)

If you give players the possibility of earning ~ 100 points / day with these features, you will be able to retain all these young / free-gamers and not lose the paying-players who won't just play for one month to unlock certain features.

Posts: 3389

Re: Monetization principle

Post#2 » 17 Sep 2018, 16:06

The point is that desktop users get 100 points per XP level, while mobile doesn't- But there should be a way to unlock this "4x" boost. -> Gladiabots CHAT, stats, insights and more ;

Posts: 15

Re: Monetization principle

Post#3 » 19 Sep 2018, 23:30


With all the respect I have to GFX for this awesome game,

I'm a bit disappointed since the last Update.
Before it, I was able to play the campain up to the chapter 10, which I completed entirely. Now I have to "pay" 2000 points for each 5 additional chapters from chapter 5. I can't play 5 chapters I already won.

2000 pts for 5 chapters? So 6000 pts to have all 20 chapters. I personally think this is too much considering I can win only 275 pts for beating it (that's what is indicated under the Campain text in the menu) and even more considering the rate of earning point.

In overall, I think the "prices" in point are way too high considering the rate of earning point. This is applicable to all features to unlock.

1000 pts for a color set? And to be unlocked 4 times each color for each "layer". Considering there is 17 different color set, so 1000×4×17 = 68000 pts.

Plus the skins patterns 5000 each, 4 times to unlock each, 19 different patterns, 5000x4x19 = 380000 pts :shock:

So in total to unlock all features, I need 454000 pts.

Now I finished the campain (or only 275 pts to win), and so 25pts each 20 or 30 games ( I did not verify how exactly we need) this represent 544800 matches for 25pts/30matches or 363200 for 25pts/20games :shock: :shock: :o :(

I did buy the 5€ points pack to support the dev and it gave me 9000 points. The biggest pack is at 9.99 and 19500 points.

So with those 9000 points purchased, and after having used 2000 pts to unlock 2 colors I now have 13650 unlock points after playing for a while, not as much as some players, and quite recently only in Multiplayer since I hate to lose because I'm not prepared so I wanted to finish the Campain with 4 assault and with almost the same AI (I was still working on this challenge), I'm now in GrandMaster league currently at 18th in the leaderboard.

If I want to have ALL the feature of the game, I would have to play 350000/500000+ matches or virtually have to pay 23 times the biggest pack so more than 200€.

Okay this game is awesome and I congratulate the Dev.
But I will never pay more than 5 or 10 € for a single Android game, very very rarely (never yet) 15€ which is the steam Price of the game. And of course considering having all the features paying this. I will stay on Android as I don't want to play this game on a computer.

I don't know if the game was intended to be Android only at first or if the steam version was expected since the beginning but after all, even if this is a very very good game for Android/Steam, the best I've played so far on Android for sure, this is still a "small" game, I mean this is not Battelfied or Forza or Assassin Creed or all others games I can have on Steam or Xbox for less than 50€, usually less than 40€.

I really doubt players buying this game on steam at 15€ are happy to see that they still need to unlock features at a point price that will force them to buy additonnal points. (100 points each 20 matches still need to play 90800 matches).

Again, congratulation GFX this is with no doubt a Masterpiece of Android game, but please reconsider the price/points scale to a resonable one.

For me paying 5€ + a resonable amount of match (lets say 5000 or 10000 max) for all the features would be resonable. Given a time of 3min each matches, so always fast foward, this is still 15000 or 30000 min which is 250/500h. That's a lot, more than one year playing every day 30min/1h and not taking into account the time between matches tuning the AI. To compare, I did finish entirely Assassin Creed origin with the 2 DLC in less than 185h which had occupied me several months playing "intensively".

10€ (which would place Gladiabots in the very expensive category of Android games) would give me all the feature directly.

I really don't want to dispirit you GFX, but have you ever made those calculation?

Posts: 3389

Re: Monetization principle

Post#4 » 20 Sep 2018, 15:20

So the game in my opinion is easily worth 20-30 EUR if not more compared to what I see around and I paid in the past. Unfortunately people are not used to pay software or music, that's a cultural problem. Also even my estimate of 30 EUR (I already give some 40 eur for the game) may be seen as little for those that sweat effort to create and support the game like GFX.

Imagine that to create gladiabots you need to work thousands of hours. For gladiabots-like quality one could let himself be paid some 30-40 EUR / hour (net income, not gross) if not more in the game industry. One financial year is normally 2000 hours of work for a single person (at 40h / week). Gladiabots is being developed for 3 years at least, so gfx has spent on it at least 6000 hours of work (if not more).

Therefore using the lower estimate of 30 EUR per workhour, 30*6000 gfx should earn 180k in 3 years. Now if the game is popular, the price of a single copy could be low, but if it is a niche game - as gladiabots is - the price is higher. That's basic supply and demand.

Say that 10k players pay for the game (and that's a lot. I believe gladiabots has much less than 10k users paying), this means that each of them should pay an average of 20+ EUR to match the expected earnings. Why 20+ ? Because steam, google play, banks and what not have transfer fees.

And all this using the lower value of one hour of GFX. 30 EUR / hour. Works as polished as gladiabots are not that common (otherwise we wouldn't be here but on some other forum) and he could ask much more as an employee. Therefore I think he is entitled to ask enough in the game, unless he asks too much driving people away.

But again, people don't realize that the one producing the work is entitled to ask for earnings, unless it is their work on the line.

Nonetheless Milkhunter (Macewindu) and BenJ have a point that the prices should be balanced on the idea: either you play a lot (but still humanly feasible) or you pay.

Now actually I don't care about unlock points for skins, but unlock points for features (campaign levels, sandbox, etc..) are important. Those features are still not necessarily to be good at the game, but they help and therefore should be balanced.

For the skin I don't think that things should be balanced. Skins are really only to show off, so one can show off also saying "look, I can afford it and I am (or my parents are) rich". Surely the skin cost should be balanced with the cost of the pack. If I buy unlock credits with 5 euros and I can unlock 2 skins out of 4, it is a bit annoying. Therefore the credit pack should at least give the possibility to unlock this or that. Or maybe one can buy an unlock pack exactly to unlock this or that (rather than getting unlock points).

Furthermore letting the players buy the single player chapters - since most of the players play only the single player since they cannot handle "public losses" in ranked - is also ok. A lot of games do this (example: Euclidea).

If one doesn't have unlock points then he is encouraged to play multiplayer, and that is nice too. (even unranked gives XP) Only in this case the unlock points given by leveling should be reasonable to unlock the single player.

I would think it is very reasonable to play 500 games for one chapter. 500 games in ranked on android (25 points each XP level) with 50% win and opponents around 1500 (that is not easy to reach for the majority of players) would be equal to 250_games*100%_opponent_score*1500_opponent_score + 250_games*25%*1500 = 468750 XP points. Or 10 XP levels or 250 unlock points.
250 unlock points for 5 chapters are 1250 unlock points (and 2500 games). A bit better than the 2000 points requested at the moment.

Also I would offer the single chapters as unlockable as one can unlock them earlier than a pack.

For the skins, once again, I don't mind. If people wants even the cosmetic for free, meh. Skins are very ultra extra pointless stuff, they may cost as much as they want. They are for rich kids, not for everyone. (unless it makes economical sense to lower their price).

Have you money to burn? Buy the skins. If not, buy the single player, sandbox, unranked and private matches, the rest is out of reach (and not needed to get better).

therefore sentences like:
Plus the skins patterns 5000 each, 4 times to unlock each, 19 different patterns, 5000x4x19 = 380000 pts

are for ChoosingBeggars (see reddit)

The point is moot as skins are for people with money, not for everyone. And that's great, as normally people with money in other games can buy advantages that compensate for their lack of skill. That is really disappointing. As unskilled people have to lose due to their poor skill, point.
Instead when people with money can show off colors and what not, but still losing plenty because they are not yet good and they cannot buy features to offset their lack of skill, then it is completely fine. -> Gladiabots CHAT, stats, insights and more ;

Posts: 15

Re: Monetization principle

Post#5 » 20 Sep 2018, 20:01

I agree with you that skins are not mandatory and are pure cosmetic features. That's why a did buy the pack, not the smallest one, but to unlock sandbox mainly.
I totally agree as well with the fact that in Gladiabots, this is not how much you pay which make you better, and that a big part making it unique and better than others games.

On the other hand, I can't agree with your evaluation of the Gladiabots price based on the work GFX has done even if we all must admit this is incredible.

The price should be made buy an evaluation of the market. Currently, a game like Assassin Creed origin can be purshased for less than 40€. And even if Gladiabots is an awesome game, it can't even be compared to a big game like Assassin creed in terms of content.

An other example was Crysis and Crysis Warhead. They were both released at a net price of 35€ without any reduction. They were flagship games at the moment and the fact they made this "low" price for the given content really make me happy and not hesitate to buy it both.

That why I evaluate the price of Gladiabots as 15€ max, and with all features enabled, even the smallest and useless one.
Try to make a survey of how much people are ready to pay 15€ for an Android game. You will have a lot of people doesn't even want to know which game it is and respond "no way" simply because it is off-market.
It is not a matter of people not used to pay for music or Android games, I do pay for what I consider worth it.

I understand some really generous people and wanting to support heavily the dev can give more than that. But honeslty, for the "row" community to catch, this cannot be taken as normal price.

It is really a hard balance to find.
Gladiabots is a Masterpiece, so it is fine to pay more than other comparable game in term of content and plateform used.
It is as well a free to play game, so you can still play it for free if you want, not having all the features of course.
But Gladiabots is a very difficult game, most player will never try it because they have to brainstorm to much and they just want to laze when playing. An other big portion will try and will give up after a while, still because of the intrinsic difficulty of the game. There is no way to prevent that. The difficulty is what is making us so happy when we progress.

That may be sad, but the key point is the threshold where "row" community will buy something before to give up. If you give them the feel that they can buy, for a resonable price compare to the market, at least some features then you are in the right spot.
I think the majority will not put more than 15€ (which is already very optimistic, I would rather estimate 5€ in average) into Gladiabots.

So for the rest of the small features, why make them locked at first? Will you really catch some people buying them a lot, and pay more than 15€ in total? I don't think so.

People who really want to support the dev with more than that doesn't care about any features to unlock, they will just use the donate button to support but this category is a minority.

I admit that this is my point of view and I'm probably influenced by my personal history playing Gladiabots.
I play Gladiabots since almost the beginning, even if I made a big pause and play Multiplayer since only few weeks but it seems that my preparation as worked as I'm in GrandMaster league. I think I can be considered as well as the target community as I'm engineer...

Progressively from the first release the monetization was introduced and I finally lost some features I was used to.

So I bought the points Pack and it was to support the dev and because the Sandbox has been locked which I fully understood. I choosed the 2nd biggest points pack we could afford, taking into account the points needed to unlock featured at this moment.
But since the last Update it is like I lost points because I need to unlock 5 chapters I already won.
But ok not a big deal, I have enough points to unlock them again even if I feel a bit fooled.

But the real thing I realized in the process is that I will never be able to unlock all the game features. Or I have to play for several years or pay 200€ and that's a thing I don't like. I'm a perfectionist and I don't like things "unfinished". At the very end, you may lose additional people having the same thought. This games is awesome and I really like playing it but now their is a small "bitter taste" and it's a shame...

Posts: 3389

Re: Monetization principle

Post#6 » 20 Sep 2018, 23:04

One point when you compare the game to others. There is no substitute for gladiabots though. It is like "I can buy bananas instead of chocolate", yes but it is not exactly the same.

If there would be plenty of games based on "program your robot" I would agree with you, but gladiabots so far is alone. -> Gladiabots CHAT, stats, insights and more ;

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