The most recent event in Dota 2, where you play games with a Beast that spawns at 5 minute intervals, has ability points that allow you to upgrade your beast, you gain Ability points from playing, and there’s a base amount that is steadily increasing, but you may also purchase these points for actual money, something that a lot of people have been very upset about, because you may buy a lot of it, and power up your beast a lot, and win the game from that.
While there’s a lot of hate for this, TotalBiscuit, who is famous, or rather infamous for having strong opinions on many things happening within the gaming industry, stated that he does not care that you can buy yourself a victory, because in the end, you just win virtual hats. Some people argue that this is barely the beginning to something much worse, where you somehow can purchase a victory in a Ranked game, and increasing your MMR and so on. While this is doubtful, it is not impossible because money determines your success in a way, people could easily end up as a slave for more money.
Almost all games has a way of income, whenever it is a one payment to access the game, such as with most games on Steam, or if it is a monthly subscription, a very good example of that is World of Warcraft, and then there’s the games that have free access to it, but you are able to buy additional things inside of the game for real money, whenever it is purely cosmetic or not. When you create your game, it is of great help if you know beforehand how you want to do it. Game who have one way of gaining profit, is built differently from the others.
An MMORPG may have to combine some of these things, while a game could use a one time payment, it is rare that it is sustainable in the long run, since less and less people will buy it, you need to have a consistent way of gaining an income after that, usually in form of in-game benefits or items, generally it is frown upon to have items or benefits that isn’t cosmetic in a game that they already payed for, and should be avoided. Cosmetic items are generally a good idea with most ways, and can be added on a lot with more of these items. When considering the amount you will put up your game for, you do not want it to be to low, because while high prices are not good either, a high enough price that a player pays, will almost put the player at guilt and it will make sure it plays to get its value back, and they will play more and might get hooked, this applies for monthly subscriptions as well, you make them pay a bit, and then allow for longer subscriptions of 6 months perhaps, where the price is somewhat lower. There’s a lot of ways to keep a player hooked, and generally you want a good negative curve(as in, starting high, goes lower, and then up again), the start is most important part of your game, and a majority of players who does download your game and looks at it, if they were not going to play for long, they will stop the instant they get in game if the start looks bad. After that you sort of want to build it up, and it might be slightly slow, but by this time they should already be somewhat inserted into your story, and then you make it very interesting for the player again, these kinds of bursts of interests causes a player to imagine that the game is better than it is, because it compares these moments to the most boring ones, and sees the difference, a straight line of incremental “excitement” will make the player compare it to just a bit before, and see that there’s less difference, also it will force you to continuously make it better, which is not realistically possible while having a solid start on the game.
Whenever items that actually matters is bad for the game or not, depends a lot. While looking at it quickly, most people would say that it is not a solid idea and it doesn’t work, however if done properly, it can be good for the game. World of Warcraft quite recently announced that you can soon buy and sell gametime, much like you can in EVE online, for those who have played that. With other words, you can buy a month in game, and turn it into gold. Currency is very important in the game, yet it still does not brake the game. The reason for this is while a person may have seemingly unlimited amount of gold, to reach end game, as in, kill the hardest boss in the current patch, or whatever other goal you may have, you still have to invest time into it, and effort. Gold will make it easier, but you can only buy so much with gold in there, and in the end, the one who learned to fish, caught it. If one makes items or other things you can purchase with real money, it’s a good idea to make sure they feel like they matter to begin with, but it will not make them above those who actually invest effort.
Don’t be afraid to make money out of your game, you put a lot of effort in it.
Sorry for the rather unorganized article, any sort of feedback on this would be great.