Simulation Pricing

You are here: Home > Forum > General > General questions, comments, and issues > Simulation Pricing

Page 1 of 1

Simulation Pricing 24/07/2022 at 16:40 #147311
TayViation
Avatar
3 posts
Disclaimer: I have searched this topic in the forums to check whether it has been discussed before. I did find a thread, however it dates back 9 years to 2013. I think the community has grown (and changed) a bit since then so I wanted to bring the topic up again.

Simsig is a game that I like to play alone, or better with a group of friends either hosting/joining the same simulation - or if there is enough of us, chaining simulations together. However, we often find we are restricted to the same simulations due to financing and/or availability of players. While I don't know much about the lengths the developers go to develop sims (information sources, trips to real control centres etc.), the prices of some simulations is just a bit out of my range to pay in one go - perhaps the same for others?

The subject of this post is really a question: whether you (the developers) have ever considered introducing a subscription service that allows users to pay monthly to have access to more (if not all) simulations? I think this would be great for us that don't really have the ability to pay for the more expensive sims, and to allow groups of friends to play together on sims that they may otherwise not own/be able to pay for. It would also be quite flexible for the players to be able to subscribe/unsubscribe when they want to. I believe you'd definitely see more activity when it comes to upcoming games and I think it would generally revive the community a bit.

I am not by any means challenging the developers' ability to charge these prices as I think they are entitled to charge what they want for their products. I am, however, suggesting that the strategy changes to include more players and to revive the community - and it would work out better for the developers in the long run!

I suppose the subsequent question would be what happens to those who already own these simulations. I mean, they could still keep their owned simulations - but then again those that have not paid for any would be at the greatest advantage. Let me know what you guys think.

Cheers!

Log in to reply
The following user said thank you: Nic_ola
Simulation Pricing 24/07/2022 at 16:47 #147313
Nic_ola
Avatar
2 posts
I totally agree with this! Having friends that own multiple sims it would be nice to be able to join most the games they do and all the public games!

I thing I'd like to add is that maybe you could do a monthly rotation kind of thing. So each month the simulations rotate and people could plan public games accordingly, this would increase attendance in public games and it would be cool!

Log in to reply
The following user said thank you: TayViation
Simulation Pricing 24/07/2022 at 17:07 #147315
i26
Avatar
75 posts
I somewhat agree with this thread. In terms of subscriptions it would be hard to pay for the infrastructure everything runs on and then splitting payments to Developers. On the other hand I do entirely understand not having the money to pay for simulations in one go. Yes I have felt left out when multiplayer games are taking place and it would be nice to join them but unable to do so.

A couple things I would like to suggest.

Giveaways.

It would be nice if there were simulation giveaways. Allowing a user on a monthly basis who wins the giveaway to choose a simulation.

Multiplayer Chains.

When chains are being hosted by the Admins that you work with the community to get involved. There’s times previously where I’ve wanted to join the chain but have been unable to as the simulation I own is already full but others I don’t own have space. Work with the members to allow them access to a simulation for the duration of the chain and remove it from them after.


Log in to reply
The following users said thank you: Nic_ola, TayViation
Simulation Pricing 24/07/2022 at 19:37 #147319
andyallen4014
Avatar
291 posts
I'm aware this may appear a selfish view, so apologies but I do want to put it into the mix, if a subscription system were introduced then care ought to be considered to those like myself who already own the majority of sims, and obviously bought them outright.

But agree its good to investigate ways of more people having access to more sims, and perhaps some kind of 'guest' ownership could be looked at for the chains organised by SimSig to allow more people to participate without them having to own some of the sims. Not sure what would seem fair, or whether it is seen as necessary given that on the past couple of occasions there have been plenty of chain participants.

Log in to reply
The following user said thank you: TayViation
Simulation Pricing 24/07/2022 at 21:25 #147322
TayViation
Avatar
3 posts
No yeah I completely understand Andy - that is the caveat to it. I just wanted to get some thoughts on it and see where people were at. Of course if you're willing and able to pay for the bigger sims then the subscription wouldn't really matter to you (in the sense that you wouldn't care if it wasn't introduced).

And yeah I understand your point on chain participants, although there could always be more - and ones that occur that aren't announced in the upcoming games! Hopefully we get a few opinions on this just to see where everyone is at with it. Any response from the developers themselves would be great too!

Log in to reply
Simulation Pricing 25/07/2022 at 00:37 #147324
Table 52
Avatar
37 posts
Perhaps a combination of the above two ideas - introduce a modestly priced subscription service that allows the subscriber to participate in multiplayer games (where the sim is hosted by someone who has paid outright for it)
Log in to reply
Simulation Pricing 25/07/2022 at 23:46 #147343
GeoffM
Avatar
5893 posts
Online
TayViation in post 147322 said:
Any response from the developers themselves would be great too!
I don't think I've much to add, as most of the pros and cons have already been expressed. It is something we have considered, yes. At the end of the day, the developers should be rewarded for their efforts so if they got anything less than what they get now, I can't see them being on board with it.

SimSig Boss
Log in to reply
Simulation Pricing 26/07/2022 at 12:01 #147346
JamesN
Avatar
1443 posts
I think the primary issue for me as a developer is how would subscription-based revenue be fairly shared out?

The present situation in that respect is easy - in simple terms if you buy a developer’s simulation; they get the developers cut of that sale as their reward.

If user is now paying £x per month instead to access all sims - is it fair to just assume that that user is going to make equal use of all sims, and therefore reward each developer proportionally?

And as Geoff said - while I was overjoyed with how popular Slough ended up being, I wouldn’t want my next project (as a much larger and more complicated sim) to only bring in a tiny reward in comparison - because I then only get X pence of everyone’s individual subscription per month, rather than £x from each sale.

Log in to reply
The following users said thank you: sunocske, elltrain3, Stephen Fulcher
Simulation Pricing 26/07/2022 at 12:28 #147347
postal
Avatar
4881 posts
Online
JamesN in post 147346 said:
. . . . because I then only get X pence of everyone’s individual subscription per month, rather than £x from each sale.
Which may turn out to be a bigger sum over time if enough people subscribe for a long enough period. That looks to be firmly in the "jam tomorrow" category and seems like a big risk for any of the developers to take.

“In life, there is always someone out there, who won’t like you, for whatever reason, don’t let the insecurities in their lives affect yours.” – Rashida Rowe
Log in to reply
Simulation Pricing 26/07/2022 at 13:04 #147348
jc92
Avatar
3476 posts
postal in post 147347 said:
JamesN in post 147346 said:
. . . . because I then only get X pence of everyone’s individual subscription per month, rather than £x from each sale.
Which may turn out to be a bigger sum over time if enough people subscribe for a long enough period. That looks to be firmly in the "jam tomorrow" category and seems like a big risk for any of the developers to take.
Eventually once the whole UK is covered,then potentially this would be more viable on the basis no new simulations would be released, barring older layouts, or updates for revised layouts, at which point subscription would bring a stream of steady income without new development work being required.

I think it comes down to big payday today, or steady stream of limited income indefinitely.

I think the sticking point already raised is users who've already got a significant buy in. How do you work around that. Do they get a discount pro rata based on number of sims owned?

The other thing to consider, is people who don't want the full package. Does everyone want access to all sims, or only to a handful that represent their area of interest? So do you subscribe per simulation, or the full portfolio. The former would be easier to divvy income per developer I suppose.

"We don't stop camborne wednesdays"
Log in to reply
Simulation Pricing 26/07/2022 at 13:35 #147349
9pN1SEAp
Avatar
788 posts
I guess it's down to whether the subscription model generates new revenue for sims rather than being abstractive. Opinions may vary.

I think it would work well for some people although for those who already have most/all sims they'll likely stick to the "buy outright" model.

You could also refine the subscription model such that for instance:
User pays £8/mo for license to all sims (with perhaps some limits on play time allowed)
£2/mo goes to administer the scheme, maybe some prize giveaways as well
£3/mo goes to developers based on "play time" (unlock time - lock time of license) on sims not owned outright
£3/mo goes to the subscriber's credit as a coupon to spend on purchasing sims.
This credit can thereby giving the developer the purchase price PLUS some of the subscription during those 6-9 months building up credit. It also would encourage conversion to an "outright buyer" over time. And I think this hybrid would be less abstractive.

Jamie S (JAMS)
Last edited: 26/07/2022 at 13:36 by 9pN1SEAp
Reason: None given

Log in to reply
Simulation Pricing 26/07/2022 at 14:31 #147350
Stephen Fulcher
Avatar
1844 posts
Also worth noting every time a new sim was released the subscription price would have to increase otherwise there would be no financial incentive for further development
Log in to reply
Simulation Pricing 27/07/2022 at 11:34 #147360
clive
Avatar
2570 posts
Given that things like multiplayer games are being mentioned, would there be an interest in client-only licences (i.e. you can't play a game on your own, only join a multiplayer game) for sims, either permanent or monthly? I don't know enough about the licensing system to say if this is possible, but if it is it would be a less disruptive and less abstractive option. (I'm assuming paying for each sim separately, not an "all sims" subscription).
Log in to reply
The following user said thank you: i26
Simulation Pricing 27/07/2022 at 11:42 #147361
bill_gensheet
Avatar
976 posts
Online
Rereading the original post, I read it as the OP being concerned with missing out on a chain hostings, due to incomplete chain ownership.

On that basis maybe having a very limited (24 hour ?) license unlock of *one* sim for a small fee ( £2 ?) might be attractive ?
Clearly anyone interested in playing through the sim on a few TT's would still buy outright rather than 'rent'.


Makes clear as to which dev to pay, so addresses James' point.
Likely to be more new revenue than abstractive.
May encourge future purchases (recent 'rent' deducted ?)
Would not affect prior purchasers

Log in to reply
Simulation Pricing 27/07/2022 at 16:38 #147362
dhouk
Avatar
18 posts
Long term single player but don't have many of the games as they are costed a bit beyond my budget (I wish I could have more! They look excellent btw...) I would play multiplayer if there was a reasonable subscription model to join a multiplayer game but not own the sim?

Downside of course, would be no practice on single player first! Maybe to counter this, those with the monthly subscription, the trial period is extended from 15 mins to 60 mins?

Last edited: 27/07/2022 at 16:43 by dhouk
Reason: None given

Log in to reply
Simulation Pricing 27/07/2022 at 17:41 #147363
Red For Danger
Avatar
145 posts
JamesN in post 147346 said:
I think the primary issue for me as a developer is how would subscription-based revenue be fairly shared out?

The present situation in that respect is easy - in simple terms if you buy a developer’s simulation; they get the developers cut of that sale as their reward.

If user is now paying £x per month instead to access all sims - is it fair to just assume that that user is going to make equal use of all sims, and therefore reward each developer proportionally?

And as Geoff said - while I was overjoyed with how popular Slough ended up being, I wouldn’t want my next project (as a much larger and more complicated sim) to only bring in a tiny reward in comparison - because I then only get X pence of everyone’s individual subscription per month, rather than £x from each sale.
Something like the system used by the likes of Spotify for music streaming may be best to divvy up the subscriptions to developers. Simply take the total subscription income for each month, and then pay it proportionately based on the number of times a sim is opened on the loader. Presumably there is an easy way of keeping a tally of how many times a sim is loaded from the loader stats, so this could be an easy way to pay the dev's, as well as rewarding those that have put the hours in to create and test the most popular sims.

I personally do not have the spare cash to buy any sims so have never bought any and rely on the free sims when I play. In these days of the 'cost of living crisis' things won't get much better for a lot of us for the foreseeable future and I think a monthly subscription would be attractive to users like myself, and would probably allow the dev's to earn more for their sims as more people try them out that would otherwise not buy them outright. I also personally like the 'tiered' approach that either limits hours of use per month, or perhaps limits access to only certain sims depending on how much one is able to afford.

In regard to those of us that are better off and have paid for the sims outright, perhaps a discount could be allowed based on the proportion of sims that are owned on a certain date compared to the total available. For instance, if a person owned 25% of the sims, then they would get 25% discount, which would then gradually reduce as new sims are released and the proportion owned of the total amount reduced over time.

What do others think about this approach.....?

Log in to reply
Simulation Pricing 28/07/2022 at 09:42 #147364
simple68
Avatar
44 posts
andyallen4014 in post 147319 said:
I'm aware this may appear a selfish view, so apologies but I do want to put it into the mix, if a subscription system were introduced then care ought to be considered to those like myself who already own the majority of sims, and obviously bought them outright.

But agree its good to investigate ways of more people having access to more sims, and perhaps some kind of 'guest' ownership could be looked at for the chains organised by SimSig to allow more people to participate without them having to own some of the sims. Not sure what would seem fair, or whether it is seen as necessary given that on the past couple of occasions there have been plenty of chain participants.
I very much agree with Andy on this and like him I am in a fortunate position where I own quite a large proportion of the sims. If there was a daily subscription for a multiplayer game and then the game was cut at the last minute how would people feel? A few months back Andy and I hosted a fairly big 6 Sim chain in the Yorkshire area. Just doing a quick tot up we'd invested in over £160 of sims to host this EACH. Plus on top of that the time involved in making sure all the timetables work and the chain is correctly linked. Its putting a big Onus on the hosts especially if people subscribe to play this and we can't make it happen. How would the subscription work? Would the client have access to all the 6 in the chain or pay for a particular sim? 11 people pay to take on Leeds east-west and there is only room for 4. What do we do. Then the clients who have invested in the sim have got no chance to get on. We have on occasion had need to boot a disruptive player from the chain. If that player had paid a subscription to this chain i can just imagine what the shout box would be like!!

When we look at doing a chain we do try to include a free sim if possible. Three Bridges for instance has quite often got Oxted and or Lancing bolted on. Exeter & Westbury is another good chain, both free.

It would be good if there was a way to make some kind of time limited subscription work, but I have no idea how it would work in practice.

Just throwing that in the mix.

Si

Log in to reply
Simulation Pricing 30/07/2022 at 02:05 #147386
Hawk777
Avatar
382 posts
What if each sim had an outright purchase price plus a per-minute rental rate? Those who prefer to own could do so. For people joining a variety of multiplayer sessions, especially chains, let them load a few pounds into their account ahead of time and then spend that per minute of playtime. If you join sim X and then move to sim Y in a chain, you only pay a few minutes of X. If you get removed for disrupting a session, you stop paying as soon as you leave.
Log in to reply