“If they let me change League of Legends I could double its revenue”
This article is rather staggering. Apparently in a talk at GDC Europe, Weidemann claimed that he’d double the revenue of LoL, mainly by selling power to players. Though that’d annoy a lot of people who’d leave the game, the sums still turn in his favour (well, as long as they don’t lose more than 60% of the players, apparently).
This is apparently based on the assumption that selling exclusive premium champions wouldn’t harm the game more deeply, would convert well, that the loss of non-paying player-base wouldn’t make the game less attractive to payers, wouldn’t harm the game’s eSports popularity and revenue, and wouldn’t kill the game off in a couple of years of burning twice as bright.
This line of thinking is not healthy for anyone but those in it for a quick cash grab, Only Fools and Horses style. “This time next year, Rodders…” It’s not healthy for the industry, and it’s not healthy for Free to Play (F2P) as a way of making money. Very well timed comment though, as it’s just been announced I’m going to be doing a talk on exactly this at Develop Live this year.
The key recommendation at the end of Weidemann’s talk is good, though. You should not copy Riot. They have the player numbers. They don’t need to run paid user acquisition (UA). They spotted a game genre that was going to be popular, and got in early with a high quality title. You would be playing the fast follow game. But slowly.
(And as for his hubris, well – with a man this talented and capable of making money on staff, you have to wonder why Ubisoft’s not seen any notably huge F2P success.)