Gaming Your Way

May contain nuts.

Flash micro-transactions, the next big thing ?

They've been spoken about for a while, even been available in various forms already, but now a couple of big hitters are entering the market.

In the blue corner, GamerSafe, FGL's pretty all encompassing attempt to cover off not just M-Ts but other nice things too.

In the red corner, Mochi and their coins.

Both have their advantages, and both seem to be well thought out and planned ( Although there's not a wealth of info about either yet, early days and all that ).
Is this going to be a VHS vs BetaMax thing, or can the market cope with both ?

This is just a "Look, new things" post. We're really not in a position to review either, or get dragged into a debate about the rights and wrongs of M-T's, and the effect that could have on the market ( Either good or bad ).

We have been discussing them recently and they do have a huge amount of possibilities, but we think they're going to need to be more than a "Buy a new hat for your avatar" style buy throughs, so with what we'd like to do would take time and money, and no one yet knows if there's a market for that ( Or if there is, which system is going to be the BluRay and which the HD-DVD ) ?

Squize.

Comments (14) -

  • Zach

    6/18/2009 6:58:39 PM |

    My money's on mochi...
    Gamer safe benefits FGL and end users. Mochi's supports developers and publishers. Plus mochi already has the reach.

  • Squize

    6/19/2009 1:20:20 AM |

    My initial thought was the same but... now I'm not sure.

    GamerSafe do give the distributors a kick back ( It's a 60/30/10 split, dev / GamerSafe / publisher ), it's a really good complete package, a lot of devs love FGL ( Even if there are a lot of "newer" devs there for want of a better word ) and FGL have a good relationship with a lot of portals.

    Then on the other hand, Mochi have a faultless track record, they're a great brand who seem to treat everyone the same ( devs and publishers ) and they have a huge reach with experience of pushing out working content.
    I think it's also fair to say that Mochi have a couple more quid in the bank.

    I think in the short term it's whoever gets that killer app, the Sonny or GemCraft or FancyPants that not only is a huge hit, but does the transactions in a clever way, that actually adds to the game and yet the game should play like there are no extras available.
    That's the tricky part :)

  • Lawrie

    6/19/2009 10:15:04 AM |

    My money's on Mochi, as they've got a really good developer payment system in place already - which will be easy to extend for micro-payments. It's definitely an interesting time to be a flash games developer.

  • Phil Peron

    6/19/2009 11:11:05 AM |

    "I think in the short term it's whoever gets that killer app"

    Absolutely. I kind of get the feeling they're putting the cart before the horse here but perhaps that's the way of new business ventures. I'm still getting up to speed with the business behind Flash games but is there really a big demand for MTs out there?

    If I had to bet I'd pick Mochi. They could probably support a branch of business like this for a while even if it wasn't very profitable.

  • tonypa

    6/19/2009 4:19:59 PM |

    The system that gets hacked first will be abandoned by everyone like rats escaping a sinking ship.

  • Squize

    6/19/2009 4:24:50 PM |

    Phil I can't say there's a demand as such, no one wants to pay for anything, but the concept as I see it is to just ease them in there.

    Preloader ads were hated for a very long time, still are by some people, but they've become the norm as they're everywhere and most people understand it's a way for the developer to get paid.
    ( Check out ads in the indie world, they're hated big time, and that's 'cause it's seen as greed rather than the norm. ).

    MTs will go the same way with a bit of luck, and people who offer genuine value will make money, whereas people who either add things as a pointless greedy after thought, or people who basically break their game unless you buy the things needed to restore the balance, won't :)

  • Squize

    6/19/2009 4:25:48 PM |

    Oops sorry T, we must have cross posted. Hell yeah, that would just kill it off all together, even any other system would be hurt badly by that.

  • Michael J Williams

    6/23/2009 5:21:03 PM |

    [Posted this earlier but it didn't seem to go through.]

    I was just thinking, those online casino and bingo sites get new users by offering £10 of free credits. I can see Mochi being able to afford something like this and reimbursing the developers, but FGL? Not so much.

    So that's another factor, on top of developer relations, sponsor relations, reputation among players, killer apps (as you mentioned Squize)...

    This is going to be interesting!

  • Squize

    6/23/2009 6:47:10 PM |

    That's a very good point Michael ( Michael or Mike btw ? ).

    It wouldn't kill Mochi to give away some free credits to key portals, for them to give out as prizes.

  • Michael J Williams

    6/24/2009 2:44:12 PM |

    [ I always use Michael, but Mike's fine. Mikey is not, though ;) ]

    Good idea. I hear Mochi's and Kong's founders are old friends? Or maybe they met once. I dunno.

  • Squize

    6/24/2009 2:51:56 PM |

    There are a lot of companies out there all on top of each other, it's like the London thing ( One well placed bomb in Shoreditch and 400 overpriced wine bars will be closed in a week ).

    The name thing is where I've been down the EastEnd too long, and everyone's name is shortened, just an odd habit I've gotton into that I'm trying to break by actually asking instead of just jumping in with a Mike :)

  • Michael J Williams

    6/25/2009 9:32:04 PM |

    True that. Wonder if we'll see a rush of others coming out of the woodwork.

    Ah I see. Yeah it doesn't bother me, good of you to ask though :)

  • Chris

    6/25/2009 11:29:50 PM |

    Actually, we don't have competition.  Only partners that haven't decided to work with us yet :)  

    I sometimes feel like I'm beating a dead horse, but we at FGL truly want to help developers.  That's it.  We're not trying to compete with other companies when we release a product, we're trying to make you more money and improve the gamer's experience (by helping games improve in the development cycle and giving out tools like this that allow gamers to save games and items for free).  In fact I was rather proud of GamerSafe since it encompasses all of our goals. We have gamers,developers,sponsors, and portals all in the mix.  We wanted to make a product that brought a lot more value to games from a gamer perspective. I think most systems that use MTs think "lets make something to allow devs to sell crap in games" whereas we came from the opposite direction and wanted to solve a problem gamers have (no persistence in Flash games) and MTs seem to naturally fit with that model. In fact, we haven't released even one game and we keep getting gamer sign ups to the site!

    Taking the gloves off against Mochi or anyone would be silly and counterproductive.  Also, they are more than welcome to work with us as we are a very open platform and, once again, are just trying to improve things in the industry.

    We don't have a board or investors to answer to, we don't have a "sell out" plan, we just love to make games and want to make sure that the creativity and love that go into making indie games can continue. In fact, we don't even hide our sales numbers! www.flashgamelicense.com/...monthly_site_sales.php  I think since our site has grown people now like to set us up as straw men and to be bad guys, but I can't think of a single time we've ever made a decision to do something that would negatively impact anyone but maybe ourselves (our business model is not great for making money for ourselves.. only other people).  And for what it is worth I know most of the Mochi people and have met them on several occasions and we all get along and have even worked together on different things.  in this particular instance we came out with a seemingly similar product (mind you it is NOT the same... check out gamersafe.com for all the cool stuff it can do ;))  and so I can see a natural "jumping to conclusions" that we're going to duke it out.  We are not. In fact we are working on very parallel goals, I think.

  • Squize

    6/26/2009 2:40:31 PM |

    Hey Chris, thanks for taking the time to post that epic :)

    I think it's natural when two very similar and very new systems come out by two of the big players in the indie world that comparisons will be made.

    Hopefully the tone of the blog post, and all the comments, have reflected that from a developers point of view. A lot of people have been burnt by gameJacket, so there is that natural wait and see approach now.
    Personally I've tried to be as neutral as possible, and I think it's fair to say that there's not been a negative post here about either system from anyone.

    With the two systems though I think it's valid to say there could be a winner and a loser ( Again, gameJacket suffered to Mochi ) because this is a brand new market.
    It could take off so both systems get enough unique and good IP so that they can work in the same market without hurting each other and everyone comes out of it with more money than they started ( Which is the ideal ), but conversely it could quite as easily be the case that one is supported a lot more than the other ( GJ again ).

    I don't think mentioning that is taking a negative view on either ( Or even both ) systems. I know our readers are more than intelligent enough to be able to make up the own minds, and I really don't think anything we write on here carries that much weight to actually influence anyone.
    If we've used a comparison of the two to make for a more interesting post, well, that's just the way it is, we're not here to just repeat press releases, plus that is how I see things, even if that's valid or not.

    "I sometimes feel like I'm beating a dead horse, but we at FGL truly want to help developers."

    Chris, I think this may well be aimed at the wrong blog mate. A lot of people understand that FGL has had to carve it's own niche out, and done it well, and there may be rough edges but for the most part it's a great service for a lot of people.

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