Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Free Trials now cost $1 - I think it is a Brilliant Idea

Darkfall has introduced a free trial apparently,only its not free. It costs $1 or €1 depending on which side of the pond you live.

Needless to say this has provoked howls of derision. Typical quote from the announcement over on Massively: "So basically they want you to *PAY THEM* to convince you to pay them some more?!?!?! Who came up with this idea?"

Personally I have no intention of trying out Darkfall, its not my kind of game but I am full of admiration for Aventurine. I think their $1 free trial is a brilliant idea. I doubt if it will generate any net revenue but it creates a barrier which will probably filter out a lot of spammers, scammers and general undesirables that regularly abuse free trials in other games. Aventurine is a small company. They just don't have the resources to deal with an influx of trouble makers.

I have no doubt the $1 will probably also dissuade a number of genuinely interested players who might be tempted to continue in the game. By dissuading these people Aventurine are limiting the game's growth rate. However it has been very clear since the beginning that Aventurine is not looking for uncontrolled rapid growth. Remember how difficult it was to even buy the game for the first few weeks. It seems to me that Aventurine have a very sound business policy with an eye on the long run. They are focussing on long term sustainable growth. This is a company and a game that is going to be around for a long time.

7 comments:

Anton said...

Huh!

I want to try it!
And yes, I would pay a dollar.

In fact, WoW has been doing this for ages. I paid $2 for my WoW trial, because it was one of those discs on the shelf at Best Buy. They still sell those. That was before I knew you could just download it, haha. But who cares? You easily get a dollar's worth of entertainment out of 10 days of playing a game.

I have bought plenty of games for $10-$50 that I played less than 10 days.

Anything to keep the game alive.

I see the only flaw being, younger players who don't have a credit card might have a harder time getting their parents to let them try it...Wait, maybe that's a good thing, haha. Fewer young people means a more mature group of players, and that restriction also ensures kids aren't playing the game without their parents' knowledge.

Jayedub said...

For a buck I will give the game a try. I have no intentions on staying with the game, but at least I will be able to say that I tried it and it sucks!

mbp said...

Anton / Jaye are you not worried that you might discover that you actually like ganking people after all???

Stabs said...

I can see the sense and I admire their business strategy.

It's annoying though that they are using the $1 = 1 euro conversion rate beloved of games companies in America when they are a Greek company.

Bad enough that lazy Americans overcharge us but Europeans adding a premium for people who live in Europe? Meh.

mbp said...

I hadn't thought of that Stabs but yes it is annoying.

Shaon said...

Actually they never said it was a free. Only that it was a trial.

mbp said...

I know that Shaon but I still think it is a brilliant idea.