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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Comments on “Popular Video Game Series Tries Pay What You Want”

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Marcus Carab (profile) says:

Re: 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!

Lisae Boucher (profile) says:

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!

PaulT (profile) says:

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!

Frosty840 says:

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…

Jeff T (profile) says:

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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