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Would This be Viable? (Coin Shop Suggestion)


#1

Hello Chrono Community!

I recently thought of an idea for a coin shop fix relating to the “inflation,” many people seem to take issue with on this site. While I admit I don’t see it as a huge problem right now, I still believe if enough people are complaining about it, that perhaps a solution should be thought of for the long run, regardless of if we’re in the stage of “needing,” to implement it or not.

I’m actually fairly unaware of how Chrono makes money off of their games - so forgive me if something in this post is wrong or incorrect on that front. Also, please feel free to give me anything that would benefit a system like this - things that can be improved, etc. One of the best things about forum suggestions is that the community can work together as a whole to make it better, especially ideas that aren’t as well fleshed out (like this one) as others.

Okay, so. My actual idea is to add a 3rd game to the “rotation,” of 2 games / 2 weeks. I was thinking it would possibly come the week between the 2 week “free,” coin shop games, meaning every week would have something. Another possibility is replacing one of the 2 games regularly released with an idea like this.

I am under the impression that Chrono contacts game developers and they in turn use their ability to generate steam keys to give Chrono keys at a cheap price, which Chrono then slightly inflates and puts up on their website, thus making them money.

My idea would be for Chrono to put out this 3rd game in the manner similar to their other games, but let players pay partially with real money and partially with coins. I imagine this would be with games that were slightly less discounted; more popular games that would cost more for Chrono to put out than they would usually have for their daily deal.

Chrono would have more freedom and flexibility to get more expensive keys. Let’s say Chrono gets a bunch of keys for $20, whereas the original game is $40. Then, they allow users to use coins (perhaps 1000 coins = $1?) to bring the price down from $40, all the way to $20. The additional $20 would be in cash.

But users could use their coins to bring the game down however much they want between the price marks. So if a user spent 5000 coins, the game would be $35.

I’d even be satisfied if Chrono was making money this way; buying keys for $20 and letting users bring the price down to $25, for example. I’d be even more satisfied if the keys purchased at a profit would have the additional profit split between Chrono and the Developer.

So, if a user uses 10,000 coins to bring the $40 game down to $30, $5 would go to Chrono and the other $5 would go to the developer.

Again, I’m not sure how viable this sort of model is… and the numbers are just completely made up, of course. Mostly for ease of explanation and calculation.

What do you all think? I’d love to hear any feedback on it… even if it’s feedback explaining why it wouldn’t work.


#2

The idea on it’s own is not terrible, but I believe it fails on a couple of points. While I get that they’re examples the prices you’re using is not reflective of the way chrono works. They’re not really in the habit of putting $40 games up. For the most part the games offered run in the $10-20 bracket before discount at which point quibbling around with $3.50 in cash and 2k coins might seem a little pointless. Not to mention what that does to the accounting side of the business and how to create contracts with developers when a user decided part of any payment for all practical purposes does not exist. In conclusion it might just be far more of a hassle than it’s really worth.

Secondly I fear you’re running afoul of the idea of the inexhaustible font of steam keys that supposedly generates keys for free. Steam charges people for using their service, a steam key a developer gives away is not actually free. Steam gives developers a certain number of keys for free that they’re able to hand out as review copies and the like. I don’t know exactly how it all works to be honest, but devs or publishers do not have endless free access to steam keys.

The point of the above paragraph being that when Chrono receives keys either to sell or to give away for coins it comes at a cost to someone. How exactly they manage to keep stocking the coin store as regularly as they have thus far I wonder. I hope that the expenditures they’ve accrued running it has resulted in an increase in paying customers for the daily sale, otherwise it wont last long enough for inflation to be a problem.

So finally, is there a problem? Will inflation actually happen? What would that even mean?
Inflation means that the buying power of a given currency lessens. What used to cost X now costs X+4%. Since these coins are an entirely arbitrary currency with no ties to anything and there is no actual trade happening the value of them is entirely decided by the ones who run the market, the coin store. Inflation does not really happen on it’s own in such an isolated system.

As time goes people will have more coins, that also do not cause inflation to happen . Only source of “inflation” is Chrono’s decisions on how to price titles in the store. For coins to sit around in people’s wallets is not really a problem either, they do nothing, your “wealth” does in no way impact the “wealth” of any other user.

So finally. This hair tearing about inflation that we’ve seen going on for a while is both a misunderstanding and an entirely pointless endeavor in my opinion. I see where it’s coming from though. But we’re trying to ‘solve a problem’ that doesn’t exist, the prices in the coin store will shift as Chrono tries to figure out the best way to price individual items and the fact that a cheap title is priced higher than a more expensive title was last week is not a sign of inflation. Just Chrono experimenting with their still very young idea.

Moving away from the idea of there being a problem lets us focus on things that are more fun and useful. I’d like to hear more about simply suggestions of fun or interesting things that could be bought for coins. Keep in mind of course that nothing is free and someone will at some point have to pay for something or forgo payment for work done for it to be available for imaginary coins.

This got far longer than I expected.
Thanks for reading


#3

As far as I know, a developer (and possibly a publisher) can generate as many Steam keys for their game as they want and it doesn’t cost them anything. The only limitation that comes from Steam’s side is the number of keys they can generate per unit of time (let’s say per day). Why do you think it was so lucrative until recently for developers of asset-flip games to hand out keys by the tens of thousands to giveaway sites and bots and then profit from the card sales?


#4

It varies depending on what sort of contract you have with steam. But as far as I know no you can not. Steam takes a cut out of what they pay you for your sales and as everything valve does it’s all very opaque but part of it is based on keys registered not just keys sold. They don’t straight up pay Valve to generate keys.

It would be very interesting to hear about how it works from one of the indie devs working with chrono at some point though.

Asset flip card games generates revenue partly because people actually buy their shitty games for $.49 and then generate the cards and sell those. Clearly that alone is enough to end up with a profit after steam takes their cut along with whatever is lost to indiegala giveaways.


#5

As far as I know, we’ve never had a developer/publisher pay any amount of money to generate keys on Steam, so unless this doesn’t kick in until you hit very high key amounts (100,000s - millions) I don’t believe this is a concern. You may be thinking of Sony and Microsoft, who (I believe) both charge money to generate keys on their respective platforms.

As for the idea itself, there are a lot of factors that I believe would make this a pretty complex task both from a business perspective and from a technical perspective. So far, I believe the best path moving forward is to continue to regularly release games, find a sweet spot in game cost inflation, and the big one, finding alternative reasons to spend coins besides just games.


Important announcement
#6

yes, oh yes, more bling and goodies, hats, hats for everyone!


DLC?
Important announcement
#7

There you go, that’ll be 5k coins, thank you.


Important announcement
#8

Truly a masterpiece and only Mona Lisa would be more worthy of wearing it. Gabe would be proud of you!


#9

O
M
G
:scream:
:astonished:
:heart_eyes_cat:
I love it!


#10

Pretty sure everyone at the Chrono office is now rethinking the monster they have created :scream:

OR

rubbing their hands together in glee while doing an evil laugh :imp:


#11


#12

I think having an option to redeem Coins for a voucher towards the Daily Deal would be nice and ideally cut down on inflation.

Something like 750 Coins for a $1 voucher - it may seem steep but some users are racking up tons of Coins and a lot of the Daily Deals are pretty cheap. Or, make the vouchers a little cheaper in Coins but limit one per use on a purchase.


#13

If I may go back to this for a moment:

Although you have a point about how the coin system technically doesn’t have inflation, you have to keep in mind that the staff will try to price games so that as many people as possible have a chance to get a copy of the game (especially since some users don’t actually want the game and just plan on using it to gain Steamgifts levels or something). In other words, they know that people will continue to build up coins, and as a result, they will price the games higher. Sure, they could price games lower, but since there isn’t anything else people can spend coins on, they would sell out unreasonably fast, creating what might not technically be a shortage. Remember CAT Interstellar? I didn’t even have time to blink before that game sold out.

This is why so many people are suggesting other things to spend coins on: if nothing is done, the trend of games costing more coins will continue, ultimately making a system where only veteran users have had enough time to build up enough coins to buy the available games (and the games still sell out within the day). Sure, the problem may not exist now, but that’s where it’s headed, and that’s why people are spit-balling alternate uses for coins: to prevent the problem from occurring in the first place.


#14

Why would they do that? There’s a limited number of keys only that many people can get one. That has nothing to do with pricing.

Complete non sequitur
Your argument seems to still hinge on the idea that stored wealth somehow matters in any way. Chrono has no incentive to drain stored coins there’s no reason for them to adjust prices to accomplish that goal. The point of adjusting store prices is to find the point where Chrono’s and users general idea of the values of games vs coins converges, nothing else.

Chrono’s incentives is to get people to stick around on the site and come visit every day. If the prices of games is too high then the general public and new visitors would feel that there’d be no point trying and so the coin store would not fulfill it’s purpose. If the price is too low then once again there’s no point for people to keep coming back because they wouldn’t need the streak bonuses once they’d gained enough to buy things.

Sure chrono could figure they do want to drain available coins stored for some reason or other and thus decide to increase prices across the board. They’d have to have a real good reason for doing it though, because it would greatly discourage new people to start collecting coins at all since they’d never actually accrue enough coins to buy anything. So once again failing the purpose of the coin store in the first place; attract people to the site and keep them coming back.

This perceived issue of games selling out too quickly is not an inflation thing either, it’s simply the case of there being a very limited number of keys available and for the case of some games a larger number of people wanting to buy it. What is true is that there are currently more coins generated in 2 weeks than the provided keys cost in total. This is still not an actual problem however.

Thus we come back to the point of figuring out other things to spend coins on, that’s what is of interest here so lets focus on that, as I’ve kept stating. But there really isn’t a problem here and it’s certainly not inflation and trying to reach a solution for an imaginary problem is how you end up convincing yourself that terrible solutions are ‘better than nothing’.

So yeah, what DO you want to spend coins on, Imaynotbehere4long?

Is this what you want?
Because you’re not making any suggestions, you’re just trying to convince me there’s a problem that absolutely needs solving.


Important announcement
#15

Well, I suggested this a while ago (which isn’t that different than what’s in the OP), but nothing ever came of it.

As for my argument, it was more that if there’s nothing else to spend coins on, then keys will sell out faster and people in different timezones wouldn’t have a chance to get the game without staying up unreasonably late, etc., even if they’ve had an unbroken streak since the coin system began. That’s what I meant by giving “as many people as possible” a chance; that’s Chrono’s incentive to drain stored coins: if nothing is done, only the people who keep a streak and live in a place where the games become available during their free time (or have a bot) can get the keys. With games being more expensive, the people in convinient timezones would still be able to buy a game but wouldn’t be able to buy one during the next phase, meaning the games stay in the store longer and people who live in different places aren’t inconvenienced as much simply because they have a life in a different location.

Tying this into the “inflation” “issue”: if the staff stopped increasing game prices without providing another option for coins, then streak bonuses combined with new users and some people simply not wanting the current games would eventually undo the delay caused by the initial price increase(s), and games would once again sell out before people in certain timezones really have a chance at getting a game. You have to remember that there are way more people using the site than what you see in the forum, with new people arriving as time goes on, meaning even more people would be able to get a game before the aforementioned veterans who live in a different timezone.

Sure, if the “inflation” continued, new users wouldn’t be able to buy a game at first, but they could still get one if they saved up for a month or so; if prices stagnated, it wouldn’t matter how many coins you had if life simply didn’t allow you to visit the site when the games are available. Have to go to work? Too bad. Have to go to sleep? Too bad. At least, with the current rate of price increases, new users can eventually get a game if they save up, regardless of where they live.

Of course, it would be optimal for both of these issues to be addressed, which is why people are suggesting alternate uses for coins.