Monetization and Episodic Design

With No Man’s Sky once again in the headlines, I am reminded of just how well it’s reputation has been salvaged. You wouldn’t know now that reddit once held Hello Games and company in the same regard usually reserved for EA or Martin Shkreli. It seems that Fallout 76 is considering the same sort of recovery, though I’m not paying that much attention to it.

Of course, most games launch in a state that’s usually inferior. It is the natural human tendency to try and improve things. Thoughts like this always remind me of the launch of Morrowind, which wouldn’t run until I downloaded an update.

Of course, in a case like No Man’s Sky, I don’t understand how that studio is making any money. All of their updates have been free. It is easy to forget, though, that development costs money. Offices still require rent payments, software needs license renewals, and the people doing the work generally like to get paid. I can see where a company might wish to recoup some investment money by pulling a title back from the brink of oblivion, I just don’t see where Hello Games stood to make much money with theirs. Man, it makes for an awesome story though.

Then I see titles like XCOM: Chimera Squad that almost seem to take the opposite approach. Trying to produce a low-cost minimum viable product that’s so inexpensive that it begs for additional DLC spending. I almost think NMS would have benefited from this model as well. Had they launched the initial product at a much lower price point then charged $10-20 per major update they might have fared better financially.

This sort of episodic production seems increasingly common as well. I hear the most wonderful things about the Final Fantasy VII Remake, which is divided up into segments. I don’t own a PS4, so I’ll never know personally.

I also have no idea where I was really going with this post. It’s one of those uninspired rambling days about whatever happened to be on my mind.

Y’all take care.

3 thoughts on “Monetization and Episodic Design

  1. The monetisation and cost recovery aspect of No Man’s Sky has fascinated me, I noted not understanding how they were funding these updates last Blaugust in fact.

    I thought they might have had line of sight to launching paid expansions or even a NMS 2, and noted that by now they’d probably earned the right to do so.

    But so far… still no inkling of such things.

    In fact, I begin to wonder that if they’ve now done so much of this free content that it has moved from reparation to expected, and that any attempt to begin monetisation again is going to be met with resistance from that fact alone. xD

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think they’ll be fine as long as it’s a sequel, though they may have to tread carefully there. I think most people would be more than willing to drop a little more money on NMS dlc, but I honestly don’t know what’s left.

    I’m vaguely half-remembering some cosmetics in the anomoly that were purchasable, but I don’t go there often.


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