Wednesday, October 10, 2007
Ophelea explains cultural differences
Over at Gamersinfo Ophelea has a nice essay up on the cultural differences between east and west, regarding MMORPGs. Nice explanation on how the Asian culture of playing with friends in an internet café instead alone at home on your own computer changes the players requirements of game features and business models. You simply wouldn't want to pay a monthly fee if you didn't have a computer at home. Free-to-play games with microtransactions are the better business model for Asia, until PC ownership becomes a lot more widespread there.
This also makes it clear how hard it is to publish the same game with the same business model everywhere. Even World of Warcraft is paid for by the hour with game time cards in China. But microtransactions haven't quite jumped the cultural divide to the west yet, and are still regarded very sceptically here. As Ophelea points out, with the average income of people in the US and Europe, $15 a month looks like a very small amount of money, even if you belong to the half of the customers that play less than average and who are effectively financing the other half.