Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The dumbest game company ever

Every decision has costs. Sometimes you don't make the right one. Such is life, no one can see the future. But some choices just can't work and it was clear from the start. Someone making them is - by definition - dumb. 1B in a T1 hauler? Cloth geared warrior? Autopiloting in lowsec? People doing it are target of ridicule.

Game companies often make choices the players disagree. Sometimes they leave bugs in the game too. But this beats all idiocy I see in the gaming industry:
10160 Hungarian Forint is about 39 Euros. As you need 3600 Riot points for a 30 days IP boost which can be considered as "subscription" for League of legends, you have to pay 75 Euros/month for it, making it 5x higher than WoW or EVE. That price for a truly free to play game is a bad joke. I mean it's an IP boost, you can play without it, granted, slower.

However it can a design decision, it can work, maybe there are whales ready to pay such sums. What makes it idiotic? This:
The cost is actually 20 Euros, in line with the rest of the games. The first price is there if you pay by your mobile phone, where the phone company takes most of the money. I wonder why would anyone pay with his mobile phone, but there are stupid people out there, why not milking them? However the Riot dev who put the most expensive form of paying the default is an epic idiot. I assume thousands of prospective customers pushed the "buy riot points" button, saw the atrocious price popping up and close it before thinking about switching the payment method to Visa. The "mobile payment" option should have been at the very bottom, maybe in a submenu under "not preferred methods". Darwin prize to Riot Games!

13 comments:

Clockwork said...

Must be specific to the European client...I just checked on my LoL client (American version) and the first/default option is the Visa.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree. I sell shareware products and things like this (placement of objects, default options) are of paramount importance.

Anonymous said...

People using the pay by phone option:

1. Kids without acces to any bank accounts. They wouldn't buy anything without this option.
2. People with corporate cell phones with a high monthly limit. For example my flatmate have 100€ limit if he is under that value at the end of month, they don't check his cellphone billing. After a 1,5 year of buying that way he is sitting at 93 lol chars and 2 tier 8 premium WoT tanks.

Flux said...

Gevlon, long time reader here, and where I often follow your train of thought, this time you are wrong on many levels.

1. Considering buying RP to then buy IP Boosts, naming that "subscription" is flawed in itself.
If you ever use RP for the purpose to get more IP you are doing it wrong. There are a lot of threads out there where the math is done, showing that you have to play a ridiculous amount of games to justify buying an ip boost to get ip for e.g. a champion instead of buying it directly with RP.

2. As Anonymous2 said, this is most likely due to the enormous amount of testing and iterations that Riot is putting in place not only on champion design but also on usability and conversion of their store.
Credit Cards are usually not available to those under 18, or even until their mid 20s, but that's the age group where the majority of lol players come from. So making paying by phone the more accesible option does make sense.
Apart from that as Clockwork said it is highly likely that the payment option will be optimized for conversion based on the actual location the player is from.

3. Using an assumption "I assume thousands of prospective customers pushed the "buy riot points" button, saw the atrocious price popping up and close it before thinking about switching the payment method to Visa." to claim stupidity, when in fact Riot is one of the most datadriven businesses out there, is a bold move.

4. Riot is together with CCP the only company that is taking player feedback really serious and has just for that be regarded as smart.

Flux

Piffle said...

I don't know anyone who uses RP to buy IP boosts. Usually they just use it to buy champ bundles or skins.

I'd also agree with Flux - Riot's developers communicate more with their player base than any other gaming company I've ever seen. Check out this thread (139 responses from a developer, talking with the community about what direction they want to go with a champion): http://na.leagueoflegends.com/board/showthread.php?t=3424065

DJ Thoris said...

Xelnath...that's the dev Blizzard fired for (among other things) talking with the customers. Glad to see he's found a better place for that.

Raziel Walker said...

to claim stupidity, when in fact Riot is one of the most datadriven businesses out there, is a bold move.

What does this have to do with the fact that the mobile phone option is a stupid default to put at the top?

A travel agency also advertises with the lowest price it can offer and every change to the default will increase the price.

*vlad* said...

This is a bit like when I bought insurance for my motorbike. One company was going to charge me £500 for a year.

Were they idiots? No, but I would have been if I had taken out insurance with them. No matter how stupid the price, there will always be someone out there who pays it!

As you said, there were other ways to pay. If people didn't bother to check them, that was their fault.

Anonymous said...

It's not entirely stupid when viewed from a different perspective

At least for me, I look at the mobile paying option and think "wtf is this". I'm more comfortable paying by credit card since I've done that several times already for all sorts of products. so for customers like me, I at least look at those options too.

The 20 euro price is certainly more reasonable. However, that price all of a sudden seems more attractive when compared to that atrocious mobile price. One selling technique is to start off with an offer that is so high that usually the other person refuses (but doesn't run off at the absurdity of it). Then you "retreat " to the lower, more 'fair' price.

A cute woman is cute,, but put her next to a fat slob with an ugly personality and then the cute chick seems gorgeous!

The only real way to determine if this is either accidental or intentional, successful or screw up, is to look at the actual resulting revenue.

Trenjeska Schutte said...

Hello Gevlon, The default option seems to differ By country as well besides regional client; Here in Holland "sofort banking" is the top option and no more expensive then Visa or bank payment. on the bottom of the payment options it even shows this: "Currently showing payment options for
Netherlands [Change]" It seems the list is ordered by 'use' as iDeal (dutch only) and paypal are second and third. Mobile payment is only the seventh item and not showing on the first page of the scroll list at all and is the first method listed that is more expensive then the 6 previous ones being the same price per RP. PS I found a 10 Forint coin in my street here; works like a charm as a shopping cart coin!

Unknown said...

Who actually buys IP boosts except to buy runes? If you want to spend RP, it is best spent on champions, or things that only cost RP such as skins. I know very few people who ever purchased IP boosts, and it was always to unlock runes faster.

Flux said...

Raziel Walker,
putting phone on top is not stupid per se but rather a datadriven decision, based on consumer behaviour in different countries.

That's what it has to do with it.

As you can read, it is a different default for different countries.
USA has CC on top e.g.

Raziel Walker said...

After some more comments and thinking I retract my statement about stupidity :)

Perhaps or most likely they look at statistics of the most used payment option and put that at top.

Or something else that maximizes profit or revenue but perhaps seems counterintuitive to us.

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