Monetizing a free-to-play game is very, very difficult. That’s doubly so if you’re an indie team without access to all sorts of monetization experts and consultants. Ron Carmel, designer of the upcoming multiplayer game of strategy and diplomacy, Subterfuge, is sharing some insight into the process of how the team is trying to make the game both fun and to get people to pay money. He’s posted a new update on the game’s monetization model, and why they’re going to go with this. Before, they used a system that would allow people to pay for game passes, and to pay for unlimited-use passes, but a concern about scaring away users and limiting the player base was raised. Now, they think they’ve sorted it out by allowing all players to join one game at a time with one scheduled order in game. Paid users get unlimited games, unlimited orders, private games, and matches restricted to their “security clearance."
Compare this to the model before, which used several tiers of options:
It’s possible this business model will be tweaked and modified once again, but it’s interesting to see just how a game like this is being tweaked to strike that right balance between profit and playability.