Popular Video Game Series Tries Pay What You Want

from the experiment-away dept

If you follow the market for management "sim" sports games -- which are more about managing a sports team than about the action of playing -- Championship Manager is a name you'll likely recognize. It's a well-known football (soccer) sim, that is currently owned by Eidos (it's moved around a bit). So it's a bit surprising (but fascinating) to learn (via reader mikez) that the folks behind it are running a "pay what you want" experiment with the game. You can't get it totally for free. There's a £2.50 transaction fee, no matter what price, but from there you can pay anything from £0.01 and up. They're only running it for a limited time (until September 10th -- the day before the game is actually released). While I'm not always a huge fan of the "name your own price" deals, it's still fascinating to see a big video game company try it out.


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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Aug 19th, 2009 @ 2:53pm

    Usual arguments forthcoming

    It will only work because it is a big video game company.*

    *Note: This does not reflect the actual view of the poster. Only wanted to make the statement before a real troll.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2009 @ 3:06pm

    $5 transaction fee? I would say that they have found a way to make more for their software than it was making being pirated (woops, I mean infringed) all over the place.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2009 @ 3:45pm

    This will fail. No one will pay anything over penny. Just goes to show that them stealers are destroying video games. Why isn't Eidos selling the game for $60 before September 11th? That's not fair to everyone who came late and didn't pay what they wanted. Being a shill is hard work.

     

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    Lisae Boucher (profile), Aug 19th, 2009 @ 3:48pm

    I would almost even pay for it!!

    I'd almost bought it, just to support them. Probably would have paid €10 or more, if it seemed a good game to me. But as it turns out, it's a Soccer game. I hate soccer! I really, really hate soccer! Why did they use this great concept for such a boring sport? (Sorry guys.) Did I mention that I hate soccer? Oh, well. If they'd ever use the same concept for a game that I don't hate, then I'll pay. But paying for soccer? Never! I hate it!

     

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    elvispt (profile), Aug 19th, 2009 @ 4:01pm

    This is a great way to steal fans from the more popular Football Manager game (from Sports Interactive - who were the developers of Championship Manager a few years back).
    Let's see if it will work.

     

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    Alex Porteous (profile), Aug 19th, 2009 @ 4:24pm

    This looks like an interesting experiment. You'll get the die-hard fans who will pay a reasonable sum of money (maybe £20 or more) but you'll also get a load of people just curious to see what the game is like, they'll all pay a bit and it will add up.

     

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Aug 19th, 2009 @ 4:26pm

    Re:

    I suspect a few people will pay more, but more importantly, lots of people will pay a penny who wouldn't have played it at all otherwise. And since a game like this obviously hinges on updates that keep it current with the real world of sports, with all sorts of potential for future profit, committed players are worth a lot more in the long run than fast cash. Think before you troll!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 19th, 2009 @ 5:59pm

    Yeah except that the "buy" button doesn't actually work.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 20th, 2009 @ 12:20am

    Re: Re:

    Never!!!

     

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    Frosty840, Aug 20th, 2009 @ 1:10am

    As has been mentioned, "Championship Manager" was previously developed by the current developers of the "Football Manager" series; the current naming situation being the result of a split between the developers and the publishers of the CM series (Eidos kept the name, the Collyer brothers got to keep all of their code, which left Eidos scrambling around rather desperately for an actual product to put behind their brand).

    Given that history, this probably isn't actally a scheme to make money on this year's product, but a loss-leading plan to get people to compare their less-historied development with Football Manager's (the developers of the FM brand having taken a huge number of their fans with them to their new name and publisher).

    Given that this game series re-packages and re-sells itself at the start of every football season with only a few tweaks, it's easy to see why risking one year's profits against expanded profits in future years could be an attractive proposition.

    It's not always about the most-visible part of the plan, Mike...

     

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    PaulT (profile), Aug 20th, 2009 @ 1:17am

    Re: I would almost even pay for it!!

    Wow, what a pointless, stupid post...

    1. Just because *you* don't like the game, that doesn't mean there's not a market of hundreds of millions of people worldwide who do.

    2. It's a football management game, you don't really see the sport itself as such. I can't stand watching the game myself (though, being English, I often can't avoid it). But, I actually quite like the management sims for some reason.

    3. This is an interesting test case, involving the latest in a *very* long-running and successful series of games (the first was released in 1992). I'm sure you'll get the chance to support this model with a genre you do actually like if it's successful and others follow suit. Until then, stop your whining!

     

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    Lisae Boucher (profile), Aug 20th, 2009 @ 1:19am

    Re: Re: I would almost even pay for it!!

    Stupid comment or not, I still hate soccer!

     

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    Grant Woodward, Aug 20th, 2009 @ 6:10am

    Regardless of the substance of this post, Mike, we're revoking your parentheses rights until you can use them with the proper restraint. :P

     

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    Jeff T (profile), Aug 20th, 2009 @ 7:56am

    I am a die hard Football Manager (Worldwide Soccer Manager here in North America), but I have to admit this has me intrigued. It also has the benefit of releasing nearly a month and a half ahead of Football Manager. As others have said, I believe this is Eidos taking a hit in order to get some market share back.

    Additionally, as it is a text based sim, production costs on a game like this can't be that high. Even if most people chip in $5-15, the losses probably won't be massive

     

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    Sally787, Feb 14th, 2010 @ 8:49am

    If you follow the market for management "sim" sports games -- which are more about managing a sports team than about the action of playing -- Championship Manager is a name you'll likely recognize.
    Enzyte

     

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    latoya shuck, Nov 19th, 2010 @ 12:45pm

    How has it worked out?

    How did this work out for them? Does anyone know what kind of revenue these programs/schemes typically generate? My instinct is that if this trend catches on, it will lost its news value, and sales will not be as strong. It's like video game testing - I wouldn't say it's a bad idea without trying it out, though.

     

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