Give me micro-content

December 19, 2008 | Filed under: Uncategorized

People keep talking about micro-transactions and paid items on online games, but they are 100% focused on MMo games and nothing else. 

I’d love to have a few extra units for company of heroes. $10 for 2 new russian tanks and a few new infantry units? Go for it, my fingers are poised over the buy button. I wish I had a single mass-market game that supported that kind of stuff, because I’d love to be able to release ongoing expansions for stuff like Kudos and Democracy. The thing is, such expansion content is 99% fixed costs, and it’s just not financially viable. Maybe the next game it will be.

The problem will always be transaction costs. I’d happily release some new policies for democracy 2 for $0.20 each, but it would cost treble that in credit card processing costs. We need someone like google or amazon to set up a mass market, one-click economic micro-transactions scheme. Great things are ahead when such a system is in place.

4 Responses to “Give me micro-content”

  1. Amazon does indeed have fingers in this market. Check out http://aws.amazon.com/fps/

    They have very generous rates for microtransactions. For transactions under $10, it’s:
    1.5% + $0.01 for Amazon Payments balance transfers
    2.0% + $0.05 for bank account debits
    5.0% + $0.05 for credit card

  2. cliffski says:

    very interesting….cheers

  3. Reliant says:

    Though it requires a large ability to sell, what some companies do is sell points, and the points can be redeemed in small amounts. Say $20 buys you 2000 points, the transaction cost happens once, and then you can sell things for 20 points and not incur a transaction cost. This does require a fairly large library of things to sell, though.

  4. Brian says:

    What Reliant suggested is probably your best option. Now you just need to make more games where extra micro addons and downloadable content is viable and legitimately interesting to your customers.