If you want to become a mainstay in the games-as-a-service market, you need to earn the respect of your players.
That's the message from FoxNext vice president and general manager Amir Rahimi, who was speaking to Game Informer about some of the key lessons the studio learned during the first year of live development on Marvel: Strike Force.
According to Rahimi, it's critical games-as-a-service devs don't try and "gouge" players. Of course you want to make money. You're a business. Players know that, and in a lot of cases they're not averse to spending, but you need to let them know you're on their side.
"A lot of times if someone spends too much money up front, there’s things like buyer’s remorse, or the equivalent of eating too much or having too much candy at once and feeling sick. We don’t try to create systems that encourage that," he says, shedding some light on how Marvel: Strike Force managed to earn $150 million during its first year.
"If you think about it, say Starbucks; a lot of people spend $15 or $20 a week on Starbucks on coffee and snacks and stuff and that’s a great value for them and they’ll do that forever," he continues. "What I try to do is build a games business like that, where you can play it for free and you don’t have to spend any money, but if you do [...] you’ll have a really satisfying experience."
Just like a coffee shop that people just can't get enough of, if you deliver value for money consistently, players will keep coming back. They might spend less on some days -- heck, sometimes they might just come in for the free wifi -- but as long as they're in-store, there's always a chance they'll drop some cash.
You can hear more from Rahimi by checking out the full interview over on Game Informer.