Perspective on Greed

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  • May 23, 2013 (113 months ago)
So let me start off by stating that I know I will not be making many friends with this guide. I know my views are not the views of the majority and I know this isnít a guide so-to-speak, more of an opinionated article. All that being said, this is such a mind boggling common theme amongst the community surrounding mobile games that I thought Iíd chime in with my two cents.

What Iím referring to is the forum posters, facebookers and hell, users on this site talking about how greedy Supercell is due to their premium offerings in the game. Some people pose these opinions as obvious conclusions and others try to incite some sort of emotion from other users. I read them and shake my head and wonder if any of these people have stopped to think beyond their desires to quickly progress through a video game.

Clash of Clans will let you accomplish every single thing in the game (save the building of a few decorations) for absolutely no cost. No cost. Thatís right, they let you experience everything they have to offer, for no cost at all. How many other mobile games can say the same? Other mobile games offer premium armor sets, guns, dragons and other things that are only available with the purchase of in game currency. Most mobile games try to ďgateĒ content by making you pay money to play more often or not allowing you that crucial item to progress without the purchase of in-game currency. Clash of Clans gates your time but not any of your content. While thatís not utterly unique in mobile games, itís seldom seen in successful games. Clash of Clans, in regards to itís competitors, is actually astonishingly less greedy.

So what would other companies do to monetize (make money off of) Clash of Clans? Just off the top of my head, XBows, Heroes, Unit Upgrades could only be purchased with Gems. You could buy ďwall packsĒ that would allow you to have 25 more walls for x dollars. You could pay for Ďboostersí that allow you to loot higher amounts of resources from enemies. My profession is programming, not video game marketing but even I could see much more effective ways to make money in Clash of Clans. So why donít they do it (because I can assure you it would be more profitable)? Because Supercell would rather gate your time and not your content. They are considerably less ďgreedyĒ than most mobile game companies out there and they actually care about these things that a lot of users feel they are intolerant about.

That perspective of the doom-and-gloom naysayer, is interesting to me because everytime I hear it from someone they are self-vindicating as to how they would never purchase gems. That seems astonishingly greedy to me and I feel like Iím taking crazy pills that nobody else points that out. So let me get this straight... they put out a totally free game and donít require anyone to pay any money to experience any content in the game, yet, those developers are greedy. To further define the situation, a user swears they would never buy gems but feels that Supercell should change their game to meet with that userís self-imposed requirements. So, that person got the game for free, will never, ever give that game developer any money and says that the game developer needs to change things to make it better for that user? How does that not scream greed? Giving nothing and wanting something, not only wanting something but rallying others to want something too. Interesting... (I say as I write down notes on my notepad).

As Iíve mentioned, Supercell gates your time. You can enjoy the entire game with one builder hut and gain your resources in whatever way you seem fit. If you paid for gems you are just speeding up the time in which it would take you to upgrade your buildings and/or gain resources. If you feel that you canít get to a higher town hall level due not spending enough gems then buy a shield and save up. You donít even need to purchase a shield with money, get to 1250 trophies and use those achievement gems to buy your shield. What Iím trying to illuminate is that lacking gems doesnít remove your ability to see new content in Clash of Clans it just makes it easier or speeds up when you see that content.

Furthermore, buying gems is an option, not a requirement. Why are you getting frustrated by this? You got the game for free, how can you dictate them not making at least some money and staying in business? Have you ever yelled at your local store for offering a product that you werenít going to purchase? Probably not (well, I guess if you did that would explain a lot).

So changing tact a little bit... Who buys gems? I do. I donít do it because I want to be better then the next guy in my guild (Iím the only guy in my guild), I do it because I know how good of a company Supercell is. Itís one of the best games (topping the charts usually) because itís a very good game and not because of itís clever paywalls. The game is considerably better than a lot of itís competition and it does so while integrating small bits of humor into its art. I dig that and I dig the monthly updates. So on patch day I buy $20 bucks worth of gems to support the game that Iíve been playing for the last year. I feel that the updates they make are things that Iíd like to experience as a player and thats why, whenever patch day comes around, I pay to support the game and to support this site (as I lumber over the new data). The last thing I see in this omission is guilt. I like supporting my games with my money and I hope that more people do the same.

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