Extra Credits: Collectable Games (Part 1)

This week, we begin a two-part series on the Collectable monetization model.

Episode video is on YouTube

Show Notes:

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Recent Comments:

  • is there good Collectable Games that do it right
    all what i see so far is bad bad bad games :?

    League of Legends. At first it's actually pretty constraining when you don't have the proper runes, but after a while, you start to feel comfortable in your champs.

    LOL full of trolls , i hate to play game that i play to have fun then i get bully by same jerk, these is why i stay away from any MMO game :(

  • I cannot think of a genuine way for a game selling random ...you guys kept saying 'collectible' in the video, but I can't even bring myself to think of it that way, because the exact thing you're talking about I've always given another name, one that is perhaps uglier, but in my mind more accurate to the actual transaction taking place:

    Gambleboxes.

    I cannot think of a game I've ever played where gambleboxes were ever implemented 'well'. There's an important point I wish to make here, and it is related to something specific you said in this video.

    "One hundred percent of your audience are now customers for one hundred percent of what you have to sell."

    This is blatantly false, and I'll show why.

    I understand the idea behind CCGs, that you purchase randomized boosters to accrue cards of value and perhaps trade them with other players, or sellers, in order to get cards you want. I get that. I follow the logic behind it, and I can even see why people are interested in it.

    I don't play them. At all. I'm just not willing to make the investment.

    I play DECKBUILDING games, mind. I even play modular games, where the 'core' game is actually a very small part of what is actually available as content. I enjoy them very much. I play games like Sentinels of the Multiverse, which you can purchase expansions for and gain new heroes, villains, environments, and so on until the 'expansion' content outweighs the core content. But you know EXACTLY what you are purchasing.

    I've played video games, free to play games, which formerly did not contain gambleboxes, which were later added into the game, for instance Champions Online, which I still have a subscription for to this day. This is an important thing to note.

    I have never. NEVER. paid for a gamblebox unlock. There's never been an item within those that I found SO essential to my experience that I chose to risk actual money for a simple CHANCE at getting it. I've purchased OTHER items from the self-same store of that game, items which I knew 100% I was getting for the price I paid. And now we take that to the statement.

    "One hundred percent of your audience are now customers for one hundred percent of what you have to sell."

    No. You are wrong. Because if 100% of the items you are selling in your store are random gamblebox items, then you have just lost me as a paying customer.

    I know for a fact I'm not the only person that feels this way. So here is where the statement falls false.

    If 100% of the things you have to sell are randomized, you are not marketing to your ENTIRE audience, only to part of it. You are ONLY serving the part of your audience willing to spend money on a CHANCE at a rare item that they MIGHT want. The rest of the people, those who only want to spend money on things they are sure they will receive, even if they aren't UNIQUE POWERFUL ITEMS, is now entirely uninterested in EVERYTHING you have to sell. If they stick around, they'll simply do so as leeches on your bandwidth, and if they don't, they now have a negative experience with your game to discourage other potential customers with.

    Possibly the only monetization model I despise more than Pay to Win is Pay for a CHANCE to win.


  • ...
    Possibly the only monetization model I despise more than Pay to Win is Pay for a CHANCE to win.

    Even though what you are using to pay for these gambleboxes is virtual currency? AKA no real money used?

    I am fine with this model, I actually liked how HearthStone does it: You buy packs with gold, you get cards, you disenchant your cards for dust, you use dust to get what you really want. I believe you get gold for completing quest and winning games while dust can only be earn through disenchanting your cards.

    You get to keep the element of collectable games while still being able to get what you want if you don't like what you got.


  • Even though what you are using to pay for these gambleboxes is virtual currency? AKA no real money used?

    I am fine with this model, I actually liked how HearthStone does it: You buy packs with gold, you get cards, you disenchant your cards for dust, you use dust to get what you really want. I believe you get gold for completing quest and winning games while dust can only be earn through disenchanting your cards.

    You get to keep the element of collectable games while still being able to get what you want if you don't like what you got.


    I mean, this sort of thing has been covered in EC episodes before, no? The idea that you can offer the same base set of mechanics (in this case "gambleboxes") as a pay-to-play option AND as a play-to-play option, just with a significant enough time investment for the latter that those who can afford the former will feel compelled to take it.
    At the very least, I see no reason to consider such a practice unethical, and I honestly think that the episode makes a compelling argument as to why this sort of approach would make sense. I can see why people would be upset if paying was the ONLY way of procuring these virtual goods, but assuming that the same rules of free-to-play monetization still apply, how often would that actually be the case?

  • The weird thing here is that collectivability, as a model, is that in meatspace is all but dead (It's basically only Magic, Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh that stay in it, and that's mostly due to legacy - they got big while it was still a model tabletop games were able to sell); anything that would have previously been collectable release, these days, uses - if not the LCG model - then... transparent packaging on the randomised packs so you can see what you're getting before you buy (The collectable minis game that was released in the West a couple of years ago apparently got cheers from the retail sector when the company announced that they were doing transparent packaging on the randomised content rather than opaque packaging)

    So the fact it's starting to become big in digital space after it's basically been abandoned in meatspace seems downright weird to me.

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