Selling alpha accounts?

All that business-y official stuff.
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Unknownhero
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Selling alpha accounts?

Postby Unknownhero » Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:10 am

Since Patreon is now starting to charge higher fees, I been looking for a way to raise money for development for Dash that doesn't require taking out a loan.

That is why I thought about selling alpha codes for a price of $10 instead of $5. I thought about going for the low price of $5. If you run the numbers, $5 would be too low of a price for an online game that requires a dedicated to run every month. The Dedicated Server cost $79 a month x 12 months is $948 a year. 200 alpha accounts would have to be sold to cover the costs of the server for one year and I don't think that is going to be feasible at such low numbers.

With the price being $10 that leaves room for new content such as new horses and better art for the environment. It also means a few people could be hired to fill in certain areas like mapping and moderators and creating new content.

If the price is dropped to $5 then dedicated server will have to be dropped and moved to a VPS. Which means if the game isn't coded well enough there is a chance the server hosting will suspend the hosting and leave the site in limbo until it is resolved.

There is a $40 vps hosting that supports high cpu usage at digital cloud. It would be $480 a year if paid for that hosting with room to grow. It would take 100 accounts sold to support this option for a year at $5 an account. No room for anything else. $10 per account would make this viable at 100 accounts sold for $1000 leaving $500 for new art and content.

All these numbers can change if there is a substantial marketing campaign that would bring in new paying users to the game. Lets say I spend $500 to bring in 300 paying users total(Not accurate numbers)

Then for $10 x 300 accounts = $3000 - $500 Ads and - $500 server hosting means there is at the most $2000 left over that can be spent for development of the game. We are not counting the more expensive dedicated hosting, only the $40 vps one.
At $5 x 300 accounts = $1500 - $500 Ads and - $500 server hosting means there is at most $500 left over that can be spent on development of the game.

So it looks like $10 is the best price if it does lead to the reduction of players willing to pay to play the alpha early.

Does selling alpha codes raise enough money for the further development of the game and can this be sustained? What are the typical numbers for sold alpha accounts?
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qwigoqwaga
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Re: Selling alpha accounts?

Postby qwigoqwaga » Sun Dec 10, 2017 10:00 pm

I don't know that I've ever seen selling alpha accounts being THAT successful, but maybe I just haven't seen it.

My question would be how would the game support itself beyond alpha accounts? Once it's out of alpha, what would players pay for to be able to cover the server cost?
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Unknownhero
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Re: Selling alpha accounts?

Postby Unknownhero » Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:59 am

To support the game beyond the initial payment is a monthly/yearly sub for the ability to run your own stable in the world(no instance). It is basically the ability to claim land designated by the game that is claimable(only one claim per account) You build/run/own that lot till you decide to move to another spot or give up owning altogether. If this feature is able to put into the game during alpha then the price of paying for alpha could easily be $5 and be made up by players who want to own their own stable at $5 a month or a reduced yearly price. Stable owners would be subsidizing the game for other players for the benefit of owning land. There is no ads or cash shop or currency buying or any other subscription besides buying the inital game and sub for the stable. I have not run the numbers on the subs.
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Unknownhero
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Re: Selling alpha accounts?

Postby Unknownhero » Tue Dec 12, 2017 2:16 am

Heads up. I ran the numbers again this time including the subs for stables included.

If you have $5 x 300 accounts sold for $1500 usd or can be any currency really. $1500 isn't much money. But instead if you raise the price of the monthly subscription for the stable from $5 to $10 then things gets much easier. If 10 users love the game so much that they sub for 12 months at $10
$10 * 10 = $100 x 12 = $1200 for the year.
$1500 + $1200 = $2700 total gross income. $2700 - $500 for hosting and - $500 for ads and you get $1700. Plenty left over for paying for new content and new promo art too!

if the server instead costs $1k for a year then $2700 - $1k for hosting and - $500 for ads and you still have $1200 left over. Any players that pay to join the game from then on is money not spent on keeping the game up but can be spent on new content.

So it is the subscription that makes the game be able to keep running and that subscription is only going to be optional and not required part of the game. By making the price of the game to buy at $5 it makes it cheap enough for players to try out the game without balking at the price. The low price also does other things too like keep unwanted people out of the game too :) There would be no reason to go free to play as the $5 would be a gate keeper and help with moderation. I should have considered using the subscriptions first instead of relying on the base price to keep the game running.

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