Business Models

by Mike Masnick


Filed Under:
dota 2, experiments, gabe newell, pricing, trolls

Companies:
valve



Valve Tries To Charge People Based On How Likable They Are: Trolls Pay Full Price

from the perhaps-we-should-try-that dept

We've talked plenty of times about unique business models and experiments by Valve Software. it's latest experiment sounds particularly interesting, if perhaps difficult to pull off well. It appears that the company wants to try to charge jerks more -- but let likable people play free (story found via Slashdot). The specifics are a bit vague, but the plan is for the game DOTA 2. Valve's Gabe Newell has hinted at this:
"The issue that we're struggling with quite a bit is something I've kind of talked about before, which is how do you properly value people's contributions to a community?” he said, reflecting on a discussion he had with Develop last year.

Last year Newell told Develop that “the games industry has this broken model, which is one price for everyone. That’s actually a bug, and it’s something that we want to solve through our philosophy of how we create entertainment products".

[....]

“An example is – and this is something as an industry we should be doing better – is charging customers based on how much fun they are to play with.

“So, in practice, a really likable person in our community should get Dota 2 for free, because of past behaviour in Team Fortress 2. Now, a real jerk that annoys everyone, they can still play, but a game is full price and they have to pay an extra hundred dollars if they want voice.”
And the latest news is that they are going beyond this crazy idea into seeing what's actually possible:
“We're trying to figure out ways so that people who are more valuable to everybody else [are] recognized and accommodated. We all know people where if they're playing we want to play, and there are other people where if they're playing we would [rather] be on the other side of the planet.

"It's just a question of coming up with mechanisms that recognize and reward people who are doing things that are valuable to other groups of people."
I'm curious as to how exactly this would work. I think there are lots of community-based properties would love to be able to charge trolls more. However, this could be really, really difficult to work in practice, and create some problems, depending on what the overall goals are. It would be nice, of course, if you could come up with a perfect system to get rid of trolls, but distinguishing true trolls can often be much more difficult in practice than in theory.

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  1. icon
    AzureSky (profile), 24 Apr 2012 @ 12:19am

    I have no problem with this idea really, i like the idea of charging assholes more, and charging them alot more for in game voice that no serious players really use....(its mostly used by people who dont got anybody on mumble/teamspeak/vent)

    jerks can really make a game un-fun, its why I have quit many games over the years and why some games gained horrible reps.

    Example Counter Strike, got a horrible rep, so much so that the term "cs kiddie" was spawned to refer to loud mouth griefing jerkoff's in games.

    any system could be abused, I have ZERO interest in steams forums, so Im not likely to gain any faction to drop my prices, on the other hand, IF they did something like an "hours played without a complaint" tied to steam titles that could work very well for me, I have a good number of hours in many steam titles and havent been reported for anything im sure :) (ok maby for having an annoyingly long name in game...lol)

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