Tobold's Blog
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Monetizing the 7 deadly sins

Gamasutra has an article about GDC Europe, where Teut Weidemann from Ubisoft talked about "exploiting human weakness" to monetize Free2Play games. He lists those weaknesses in the form of the 7 deadly sins (which by the way are NOT in the bible, but have been invented by the catholic church in later centuries), and how they can be monetized:

Vanity: Selling player items used to show off.

Envy: Selling players items that allow them to catch up or overtake other players.

Gluttony: Selling consumables.

Lust: Selling instant gratification to bypass a wait.

Anger: Selling items making the player stronger for PvP.

Greed: Selling player resources or buff for faster resource gains. Teut recommends not selling currency directly, not not trigger player's sense of unfairness.

Sloth: Selling stuff that saves the player some clicks.

While this is strong stuff in a frank talk, of course all of these tactics to exploit human weaknesses are instantly recognizable as being already implemented in various Free2Play games. This isn't a devious new tactic, but more of an inventory of what is already out there. So I'd say Teut is doing us a favor by spelling out the deadly sins we are probably not admitting to ourselves when we buy stuff in some item shop of a game.
Yes... because selling items to make one stronger at PvP doesn't trigger players' sense of unfairness...
You'd think it would, but years of browser strategy Free2Play games prove that it doesn't. As long as it is not too obvious. So, sell people "faster resources", "faster xp gain", etc., which of course makes them stronger for PvP, but don't sell them direct PvP wins.
Isn't this just a checklist of how all retail sales work?
With the exception of food, water, and shelter, isn't this pretty much every financial transaction available?
Invented? I suspect people had been doing these things long before they were summarized by a monk.
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