Just a quick note today about High Noon for the iPhone, an amusing-enough game that also has a pretty hilariously bad cash shop (you can buy power). What’s really amusing about the whole thing is that while you can buy power, you still have to aim better than the other guy to win, and so beating people who spend cash is a fun little mini-game for me. If I win, you wasted cash and must be really terrible. If you win, it’s because you paid for it. Either way, I win.
I get the feeling that, at some point, a switch is going to go off in most people’s heads and they will no longer be fooled by the F2P model. Now granted, it’s going to take some time, because casuals are slow at everything, but I bet it’s going to happen. The more obnoxious the cash shop, the easier it is to either totally ignore it or simply move on, and once the initial ‘ooh shiny’ wears off, the lure won’t work. Again, not saying this will happen anytime soon, but I don’t think the whole F2P scam of power shops is a long-term sustainable model, at least not in the EU/US (Asians seem to love throwing money at slot machines, be it IRL or online, so I doubt that’s going to change).
Note: I 100% support the non-power cash shop ala League of Legends (they should remove the XP boost so people have more time to learn the game before 30, but that’s very minor, and even over the long haul bads hit 30 anyway). That works so long as you don’t cave and sell power, and you balance dev time between the shop and game improvements. It’s tricky in an MMO because it’s all too easy to get lured into selling anti-grind stuff in the shop, and then dev work is spent on creating grind to fuel sales, but I consider anti-grind stuff basically selling power.