Premium Item Trials

In the world of social games, a large part of a developer’s wage packet comes from sales of virtual goods.

Anyone familiar with social games will be aware that a number of items will only be available for real world money. But how do you persuade the player to part with their hard-earned cash?

Perhaps the most obvious way to entice players is to make sure that your premium items are more fantastical and offer greater rewards than your standard items, but there is another way.

If a player were given the option to try an item before they paid for it, they may be persuaded to complete the transaction rather than dismiss it entirely.

This is something that is used in Ravenwood Fair, though without having access to Lolapps’ data, it isn’t known how successful it has been.

You could further entice players to spend their money by letting them know how much money they would have earned from the item during their trial period, and if they complete the transaction they get to keep that money.

This is a system that I have only come across once amongst the many social games I have played and is something I am keen to investigate further.

About Adam

Games designer, Newcastle fan and prolific tea drinker
This entry was posted in Design Discussion, Social Games. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Premium Item Trials

  1. develion says:

    An interesting idea. It has been used in several MMOs, more so with Eastern titles I believe, but I’m unsure of the success so far. The main consideration would surely be the lifespan of the item and length of the trial. Naturally once the trial comes to a close it would be important that the player has not progressed to the point where they have better items to either trial or purchase for in game cash.

    More common is the idea of paying for a lease on an item, either renewing it after a certain time or of course after a set level of usage. This of course is designed to be successful in systems where progression is slower but could also have the potential to work within social games, using lower costs to encourage players to consistently invest. If they like the item, they’ll re-invest. If better items are now available to them, they can lease this item instead.

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