Two days ago Omeedd Dariani left Sony Online Entertainment. Omeedd was the Senior Brand Manager of the EverQuest franchise. I mean no disrespect to Omeedd as a person -- none…
The ‘buy your way into beta’ or ‘crowd-funding’ or ‘founders programs’ out there are quickly becoming a norm. For the sake of this post let’s call all of them founders programs. I have purchased several of them. Personally, I do not think they are necessarily a bad concept when handled properly.
These founders programs can get expensive. I’ve paid $10, $20, $40, $50, $100 for them. I’ve even supported some games as a founder that I think are still three years away, and I supported them over a year ago! How much is too much? Realistically, I have yet to see a founders program show me a true return on the investment. I give the money in exchange for access, which I suppose has a qualitative value. I give the money to support a team or IP (which I suppose also has an odd sort of value to it). I give in exchange for trinkets, tchochkes, baubles, etc., that I use for probably 5 minutes in-game then replace or put in my bank because I feel too guilty to delete them.
What games should, realistically, have founders programs? The business side can argue any of them when players are willing to pay money today for a game tomorrow. It’s finance 101. But should they? The consumer advocate in me wants to say that sometimes it’s not always a good idea to take money from people so quickly.
Let’s look at an example of a good founder’s program. This has nothing to do with the game itself being good, bad, or the final product being worth the money. I simply like how they handled their program. (more…)