Cash shops and micro-transactions are nothing new, especially in online games. But when I logged into Farmville on Facebook today, my initial reaction was "Have they lost their minds?" as I saw a new limited-time item introduced... the Unwithering Ring, which can only be gifted to other players, not bought for yourself, and costs OVER $40.

I'm no stranger to in-game purchases after playing Free Realms off and on for almost a year now... everything from outfits, to weapons, to pets. I was shocked enough to see an outfit in that game last summer with a pricetag bearing the equivalent of $10 USD, but now that has been dwarfed in comparison by this ring.

After a bit more thinking, I can't decide if I think the game designers over at Zynga have lost their minds, or are sheer geniuses. There are angry people over in the Farmville forums making complaints and threats about the ridiculously overpriced item for sure, but really they have nothing to lose by offering it. Farmville is on the forefront of the "paying money for nothing but pixels" forefront, especially considering that it isn't a full game but simply a Facebook app. It's rather fun to watch as new markets are being pushed and tested to see what people's spending limits are. One thing I'm fairly sure of... they're bound to sell more than just a couple of them.

Posted by Yarcofin Wed, 10 Feb 2010 17:44:44 (comments: 10)
Wed, 10 Feb 2010 18:08:28
With over 30 million people playing this stuff on a daily basis, even the grimest of projections means a fucking shitload of cash for Zynga, in return of virtually zero effort from their end.
Wed, 10 Feb 2010 18:34:05
Wed, 10 Feb 2010 18:35:39
$50 x 30 million x 1/2 of 1/2 of 1/2 of 1/2 of 1/2 of 1/2 of 1/2 of 1% people buying it (0.007% of users, about 21,000 purchases)= $117,187. 

Cost for them to design and program it in using a full team of well-paid staff, probably under $2,000. I would tend to agree. Not bad for one item out of a one-week Valentines event. They raised 1.5 million for Haiti in 5 days, so I think we'd all be shocked at how much they really make in a year.
Wed, 10 Feb 2010 18:37:52

Yarcofin said:

Oh, and Farmville currently has 78 million monthly active users, not 30 million... so double that. Nyaa

That's why I said over 30 million. 78 is over 30, after all. Nyaa

Wed, 10 Feb 2010 18:39:17
Yes I didn't notice you were quoting the daily number instead of monthly Nyaa
Wed, 10 Feb 2010 18:58:05
Feh, Farmville is for the man who doesn't have the balls to play Harvest Moon.
Wed, 10 Feb 2010 19:12:48

Yodariquo said:

I remember that one.  With Apple's draconian application approval process I'm amazed that one got by (but then that was the early days). 

This Farmville thing is huge.  Everyone from Leo Laporte to the young lady at my local gas station (out here in the middle of nowhere) is addicted to it.  That's reach.

Robio, you ever seen Shepard's Crossing for the PS2?  I found it in my collection the other day, it looks pretty good.

Wed, 10 Feb 2010 19:50:20

aspro said:

Robio, you ever seen Shepard's Crossing for the PS2?  I found it in my collection the other day, it looks pretty good.

Never heard of it, but the pictures look very interesting.  Reviews for it unfortunately aren't exactly golden though.  Apparently a DS sequel was recently released so I may pick that up if I can find any reviews for it.

Thu, 11 Feb 2010 02:52:06
Thu, 11 Feb 2010 02:52:39
^If I play it (or the lady does) I'll let you know.  It looks really good, and I like the market aspect of it.  I only bought it 'cause I knew it would be a rare one. I like the sharp pixel look of it as well.
Log in or Register for free to comment
Recently Spotted:
Login @ The VG Press
Remember me?