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EagleOne

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    EagleOne got a reaction from Jeronimo in A possibly efficient alternative to the subscription model   
    Hello there,
     
    I have recently been following the developments of DU, as a french entrepreneur in IT myself, and living in Paris, I feel very concerned by the developments of this game :-)
     
    So I was looking at the monetization problem and how Novaquark found out their solution from a comparison of detailed pros and cons.
     
    I agreed on most pros and cons, but some points might have been overlooked, and I wish the developers can change their mind about the P2P subscription model.
     
    First things first, I think that a P2P subscription is perfectly viable for Early Access. In general, my opinion is that players should never be given Early Access for free or for no extra-free over the finished product. I think that a lot of developers miss that point, the market is doing it wrong and the "standard" Early Access model we have today (pay once for all) is actually negatively impacting the sales and cashflows of the developers on the long run, as well as the reviews of the game from the public.
     
    Now, about running it long-term, I think that a P2P subscription model past the official release would be a drastic paywall that seems to contradict what I understand the developers want the project to be.
     
    If I got it well, the developers want this single shard universe to be propelled by the activity of thousands of players. The entire philosophy promised here revolves around that. I heard the interview in which it was hoped that ships would be able to sustain hundreds of people onboard as well as having projects such as the 'death star' that could involve hundreds of people as well.
     
    But how many of those projects or communities will you have, with a paywall upfront? You will probably need all the hands you can possibly need to make this community live for the expectations it hoped for, otherwise the deception might be huge, and even those having paid for several months will eventually leave the boat...
     
    My opinion is that the final product should be a single-purchase mid-to-high price with licence key, that solves most problems regarding cheaters and malicious users as explained in the Pros/Cons. A high price would kick the companies revenues on start and would give opportunity for occasional sales events in the future, all by maintaining interesting sales/revenues ratios. It is also perfectly fine to get paid for what you deliver, so it is not refraining people to purchase and join the game.
     
    After that, it seems to me that Novaquark might have overlooked another battle-hardened way of actually maintaining a steady amount of cash flow into the machine. And this was compatible with another of their modjo, which I am going to explain later. This solution is simply a model similar to server renting, privatization of in-game space.
     
    Game server renting has proved itself quite successful, even creating its own economy as a niche market. It all started with the Counter-Strike boom and nowadays we cannot count the legitimate amount of successful games where a lot of player-rented servers are available online, sometimes with the hosting capacity vastly surpassing the number of concurrent players, to the point players go on forums to advertise their server/community in hope of driving traffic in.
     
    So, another Novaquark's modjo for this game is that they want the most dedicated players to improve the game for the less dedicated players, and that is absolutely fine, the community loves that, both sides. So why not applying this to the monetization?
     
    Most players will want to create alliances, or even control their own solar system. Give them that: their own social space, entirely protected and governed by the rules of the administrator of this space. Give them tools to manage their clan, change the settings of their controlled area, kick/ban players or have password locks, or create events there.
     
    Get innovative on how to make that still realistic and immersive in the single shard and then rent those places in the universe just as you would have done for any dedicated server, except the trade-off is that the cluster server is operated by Novaquark to satisfy the computation power of everyone else and is not something people can actually connect to or decide to reboot/log-on. The server could even be not rented at all, with all the revenues kept for other purposes: it would not be cheating the customer and offers flexibility in the revenue allocation.
     
    Add on top of that the margin you require to pursue the developments and support, in-between sell hats in the shop, and it could actually turn out you have a steady amount of cash flowing in, all while ensuring you the largest community possible :-)
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