Before I say anything, let’s get a huge warning out of the way first…
Everything in this post is merely a collection of ideas I came up with while I was brainstorming. Nothing here is set in stone, or even planned to actually happen. I want to hear your opinions – no more, no less.
Now then, let’s get down to it. I’ve been thinking about some post-launch content updates I want to release for Siralim 3, and I’ve come up with a few ideas. Once all the bugs and issues are ironed out, I want to release a few large content patches for the game. Most of this content will be distributed free of charge, while the other part will cost a very small amount of money – $1 to $5, depending on how large the feature is. For example, maybe one patch will include 50 new creatures, 25 new spells, and a new gameplay system that is all free of charge, and then you can also pay $3 to access a brand new game mode or something like that. This is just an example, but hopefully you understand the idea behind it.
That all sounds normal and fair, doesn’t it? That’s completely reasonable for the Steam/Desktop version of the game, I think. However, this doesn’t work very well for the mobile market. People don’t want to pay a premium price (even $4.99) for a game and then also have to buy additional content after that. In fact, I don’t think the premium model works well for mobile games at all – most people just don’t want to pay ~$5 for a mobile game. I make very little money on mobile platforms compared to all the other platforms, so something is clearly not working there. That’s why I’ve come up with an alternative solution.
Imagine this: Siralim 3 is free for Android and iOS. Completely free, no bullshit, no ads. You get all the content patches I mentioned above for free as well. But there’s also a set of in-app purchases you can access called the “Cheat Shop”. This allows you to buy resources and other items with money, much like you can do with other games. Except in Siralim 3, you also have the option to make a one-time donation of $4.99, and the Cheat Shop will disappear from your game forever. In that way, you’re able to buy the game in the same way you did with Siralim and Siralim 2. That way, we can cater to both types of players: those who want to buy the game at a premium price and be done with it, and those who want to dive in for free and buy some items here and there to help them alleviate the grind. As an added bonus, this allows Steam/Desktop players to take advantage of our Cloud Storage features to play the game on their phones/tablets for free – that’s awesome! That means people won’t have to buy the game multiple times anymore.
Keep in mind that you could also just ignore the Cheat Shop entirely, and then you can just play Siralim 3 absolutely free of charge on mobile devices. That’s nice.
All multiplayer/pseudo-PvP content will be normalized (meaning any bonuses they purchase are irrelevant in multiplayer scenarios), so there’s no need to worry about anything becoming imbalanced on that end, even if players spend a lot of money on the game.
And lastly, because consoles take so much longer to develop for, I doubt Siralim 3 will be released on those platforms until the game is 100% done receiving content updates anyway. For that reason, this version of the game will probably just cost a one-time fee of $19.99 (for reference, it’s $14.99 on Steam) and you’ll get access to all the content patches for free, and there will not be a Cheat Shop.
Please think this over, then tell me how you feel about it. Again, this is not something that I’m even planning on doing yet because I want to make sure there aren’t any horrible flaws in my logic or anything like that. I also don’t want to completely offend the playerbase we’ve worked so hard to build up, so that’s why it’s so important to me that I hear your opinions first.
I’m also open to any tweaks you have to these ideas as well. Throw some ideas out to me, please!