Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Choosing a business model

I can't decide what to do next. I am torn in two directions...

Direction one, is to do a new game. I have at least 3, if not 4 ideas I think would make great games. 1 is a sequel to an old game I did, but the rest are pretty original. I think they would be at least as successful as Democracy has been and Kudos may well be.

Direction two is to continue expansion, refinement and work on my existing games. There is much that can be added to both Democracy and Kudos. In fact, this strategy has two variants, as I could work on an add-on pack or expansion, which I charge for separately, or I could improve on the existing game in order to encourage more sales.

There are good arguments for both directions. Direction 1 is what led me to make Kudos in the first place. I could easily have gone straight ahead and made 'Democracy 2'. It would probably be a viable game, there are lots of people who liked the original, and a lot of them would buy a sequel. I've never done a sequel before, but I'm presuming its easier than original IP from a design POV. I *know* there is a market for the sequel, basd on the success of the original.

Direction 2 also has potential though. this game, shows that constantly improving and updating an already-good-selling game will pay dividends. I know its been a huge success. There are also other indie games, such as Lux and Space Station Manager, that have evolved and improved over time.
Direction 2 has a weakness, and that is overcoming first impressions. No doubt a lot of people have tried kudos, and some of them may even have not bought it. Will they try an improved version? unlikely. A sale lost, is a sale possibly lost for good.
But I am reminded of 'the sims', a game that has sold 24 million copies. If I assume the global market for Kudos in one 24th that of the Sims, that's a million potential sales. If I guess that 1 in 33 people who tried it bought it, and assume roughly 500 sales, then thats 16,500 people who have tried it. (these are massively rough figures...). So given a market of 1 million, I've only reached 1.65% of my potential market with the current version.
I'd be mad to stop updating it wouldn't I?

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