Popular gamers 'should play for free' – Valve boss
But MMO pains in the arse to pay $100 extra for voice
Yesterday I wrote about the desperate need for new ideas to flog digital music. The suppliers need to experiment, and not stand by the bean-counting, unit-sales mentality that's a hangover from the physical world. Valve boss Gabe Newell wants to get away from the subscription straightjacket – and has floated an interesting idea. Popular gamers, he says, should pay less – or even be able to pay for free.
"The industry has this broken model, which is one price for everyone. That's actually a bug, and it's something that we want to solve," says Newell, in an extensive interview at Develop.
Gratuitous Portal 2 pic
Newell thinks current payment options – including a one-off retail fee for a game, monthly subscriptions, and micro-payments, are all "broken". Why not, he says, reward the popular? Popular players bring in other subscribers, says Newell, and that merits some kind of reward. Conceptually, it differs little from a traditional retail reward scheme.
Unpopular players who put others off would, of course, be charged extra.
"A real jerk that annoys everyone, they can still play," suggests Newell. "But a game is full price and they have to pay an extra hundred dollars if they want voice."
Valve developed Half Life, Half Life 2 and Portal and owns the game distribution network Steam.
Digital entertainment and media businesses have a long way to go before they can match the sophistication of supermarkets, which are experts at taking money off us. So should "people who are really popular play for less, or free", as Newell suggests?
I'm all ears. ®
Just trying to get my head around this idea.
So, the idea is to punish newbies and reward experienced gamers?
Great business model:
1) Alienate all your new customers in the hope of keeping the current ones happy;
2) Give current customers a free service
Encouraging cliques is an inevitable outcome too. Usually made up of extremely arrogant players that mock new-comers and have their age-old "friends" to back them up.
The idea is to replicate the realities of playground dynamics.
In a playground there is always a kid which is always picked for whatever is played and there is a kid which never gets a chance. That is the normal way things have been with apes ever since they started developing more complex social dynamics.
The thing however which comes to my mind here is this
DON'T LAUGH AT ME Lyrics
Artist(Band):Peter, Paul & Mary
I'm a little boy with glasses
The one they call a geek
A little girl who never smiles
'Cause I have braces on my teeth
And I know how it feels to cry myself to sleep
I'm that kid on every playground
Who's always chosen last
Sorry, we are _NOT_ juist apes any more. There has to be another way besides setting in stone the "always chosen first/last" paradigm.
This could work, but probably not in the way he's thinking.
Successfully impersonate (underage) girl.
Play for free.
...pull his finger out and concentrate on the Episode 3.