Creature Creator Market Segmentation

by Darius Kazemi on April 28, 2008

in business

There’s been some Interwebs grumbling over the fact that EA will be offering two versions of the Spore Creature Creator demo. There will be a free version which offers 25% of all the creature parts, and there will be a $10 version with everything in the full game.

People are crying: “Oh no! This is a blatant attempt to suck every last penny out of us.” Actually, I know some people who are not gamers and are not interested in the game aspects of Spore at all. The only thing they want to do is make creatures. What EA is doing is selling them the creature making aspect of the game, at the same price as a casual downloadable. There’s still a free demo, folks.

I think the only major problem here is that of timing. If EA had released the free demo on June 17, and then released the $10 Creature Creator simultaneously with the release of the full game, nobody would be complaining.

Hmm. I started this blog post defending EA, and now I’m just unimpressed with their decision-making on this particular issue.


gryphoness May 10, 2008 at 3:11 am

EA has yet to get it right on these item-based payment models. I don’t think anyone in the US has done it well yet. But it’s also sort of a problem with the US market. It seems inevitable that the item model will make a full transition from Asia — in some games it already does — but (strike)people(/strike)hardcore gamers bitch and moan nonstop if they have to pay extra for anything. I think you’re right, it is mostly a business and selling issue — we don’t have this problem with GoPets because it is a fundamental part of the gameplay, not an extra tacked on that screws with any kind of balancing — but no one’s really managed to get it right yet. I think EA is trying to cash in on the F2P/item-based phenomenon in a very awkward and ignorant sort of way, but maybe there is no ‘clean’ way to induct an unfamiliar American audience to the model… then again, Blizzard did it very well with the special pets and things they made available with their collector’s editions of WoW, etc. I don’t recall any bitching about those.

gryphoness May 10, 2008 at 3:12 am

Whoops. That was me, by the way. Blogger always thinks I’m using a different account…

Erin Hoffman May 10, 2008 at 3:33 am

Ooookay, I think I finally have this google nickname sorted out. Sorry for the comment spam.

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