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Find a different way to monetize SFD

Discuss everything to do with Superfighters Deluxe here that doesn't fit in other Superfighters Deluxe Forums!
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Danger Ross
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Find a different way to monetize SFD

Post by Danger Ross » Wed Jul 29, 2020 1:06 am

This isn't just a case of players being too selfish to spend money on SFD. A large amount of the player-base literally don't even have credit cards. Almost 100% of the people who play SFD came from playing the FLASH GAME that can be found on FLASH GAME WEBSITES. People who used these websites are also the same type of people who couldn't afford high quality games found in game stores and consoles. A large portion of the people who find the game are children/teenagers who don't even own money to begin with. This is the kind of audience your game has. To expect that kind of audience to actually pay for the game will have its consequences, and arguably, already has. This game should be free to play, and this is coming from someone who had no issue buying the game when it was first available.

I've interviewed many people on this topic and a lot of them agree that the game took a significant drop in player activity after it was released on steam, and that is a big issue for a game that relies on multiplayer for replayability. Normally sustaining a player base within a highly multiplayer-centered game would be a very difficult challenge for indie developers, but SFD has the advantage of coming from a popular and successful flash game. That is why SFD was actually fairly active in the beta and alpha stages of the game. It only dropped once that audience was cut off. It would be a waste to neglect the people coming from Superfighters with a paywall. It's a shame to lose all of that potential.

There was this one person I talked to who pirated the game. Normally I would have kicked him for being a pirate, but I was curious enough to ask him why he chose to commit a crime. He tells me his story from his home country in the middle-east/North Africa. I honestly don't remember exactly where, it was a while ago when I spoke to him, However, what he told me opened my eyes to issues I wasn't completely aware of. Where he is from, the government is very corrupt. They make it incredibly difficult to receive a credit card. As a result, online shopping is almost never an option for citizens living there. Superfighters was one of the main games he played before it had a price since the majority of the market of games either required payment or wasn't fun to play. As you can imagine, flash games were one of the only sources of gaming for him, which is how he found SFD. After the game was released his only option was to become a pirate. I honestly couldn't blame him for making that decision. Since then I stopped kicking and banning pirates out of sympathy, and I honestly don't believe that SFD should have a price tag.

An argument could be made that making any change is unnecessary as putting a price on a game is completely normal practice, but let me remind you that SFD's community does not come from a normal background. There are very few video games that started out as flash games. This game is a complete rarity and should be treated somewhat differently when addressing how to market it to its community.

It's not that I don't want the developers to be paid for their effort, but it's unfortunate to the community what the release did to it. I suggest designing a premium membership system. The players who do not pay for membership are excluded from features that are desirable enough to pay money for, but not limiting so that the game is not worth playing to f2p members. people who have already paid for the game do not have to purchase membership, but people who download the game after the release of this system will not have premium membership. Another feature to consider is the addition of in-app purchases for cosmetics or maybe even DLC. Selling cosmetics is a simple and efficient way to have people who are willing to pay for SFD pay extra to show their support. If all that isn't enough, then accepting donations would be another viable option. This community has its fair share of extremely passionate members who would throw their money at this game if it means having the community survive.

The premium account system would appease the people who already bought the game by not making their money go to waste. There are other approaches. I don't want to pretend that I have the right answer, but I do see a problem with the current situation and I hope you do too.

Some ideas for what non-premium access could look like:
  • only one customization profile
  • Limited cosmetics
  • No ability to host games
  • no ability to vote for maps
  • can't play the official campaign
  • Workshop contribution limit
some ideas for what premium access could look like:
  • colored names (maybe? could be in chat and scoreboard only.)
  • exclusive cosmetics
I will expand the lists if people reply with more suggestions
12 x
sorry bucko, you can't punch with swords 8-)

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Shock
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Post by Shock » Wed Jul 29, 2020 10:49 am

On a similar note, i recommend reading ideas about access types on this topic: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=3732&p=22420&hilit= ... ons#p22420
I do really agree with Danger Ross, can't make much more support, because i already used my like button :)
2 x
-Content-maker.

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Odex64
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Post by Odex64 » Wed Jul 29, 2020 11:55 am

I totally agree with Danger Ross. Making two separated versions of the game (paid and free) would be a great improvement to the player amount of the game. As far as I remember, devs wanted to make two versions of the game before the Steam release, but they changed their mind and now SFD has less players and it's full of hackers; Here's my idea:


FREE/DEMO VERSION
  • Some Ads in-game (maybe)
  • Locked Map Editor
  • Locked Workshop
  • Unable to host
  • Limited items

PAID/FULL VERSION
  • Ad-free
  • Full access to the game
  • Premium Badge
If SFD had two versions, there would be less hackers since people can play the free version, but mostly the players amount will increase and the possibility to buy the full ver > gain more money from the game.

I know SFD won't receive major updates anymore, so it's very unlikely devs will make another version (..but it's not impossible).

EDIT: I meant a PREMIUM Account System of the game, and not two separated version (sorry I'm dumb), there would be only one version and the game'd be free on Steam, but you can buy the Full Access account, and get all the functionality of the game.
3 x

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Mighty Spirit the 2
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Post by Mighty Spirit the 2 » Wed Jul 29, 2020 8:49 pm

It took me quite a long time to realize that what kept me playing for such a long time was the playerbase back then. There were so many people playing, you would always meet new people, and you would always find people that where on your skill level to play with. The online play is what makes the game fun in my opinion, and having few people to play with, makes the game not feel fun in the same way it felt like before when there were many servers up and running. The single player experience for this game, in my opinion, is just not entertaining enough on its own. I don't understand why we in 2020 still don't have a free version, after we've all witnessed the consequences. I left my server open for pirate players, simply because I knew shutting them out would mean even fewer people to play with, meaning less fun for everyone else who want to play with actual people. When I started hosting for once I really saw clearly how few people were playing the game anymore. My server was almost empty for the entire day, and I dare say it, I would rather have my server full of pirate players, then no players at all, because that would mean that the game was somehow still alive. But that didn't happen, and I know now how dead the game has become.


I'm not sure what would be easier, implementing a premium membership system, or just making a modified separate free version to download directly from Steam or the official website. As long as we get a free version to get the playerbase back rolling I wouldn't care so much. Personally I'm against DLC as a concept, because I don't want to make several purchases for the same game for what are essentially smaller updates (unless they make the entrance fee for membership/paid product much cheaper then it's now), and definitely wouldn't like to see an in-game store.
As for what should be locked and what shouldn't, I can only point to the topic that Shock started and some of the ideas that came up there. We certainly need to give new players a sneak peak of the premium stuff to get them interested in buying the full game. I really believe this would be the best way to make the most money out of the game and everyone would benefit, especially the players.
5 x
Spirits - Unite

okarowarrior
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Post by okarowarrior » Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:01 am

...Disclaimer: This is not an ad for the other game. lol

Just joined to the forums. If i can give my 2 cents, I will bring the only case I know of an indie game going free to play:

King arthur's gold.
https://store.steampowered.com/app/2198 ... hurs_Gold/
King arthur's gold started as a free multiplayer game that you could buy a premium to access some premium servers and comsetics (that was like ... 2009).
About in 2012 they started in a second iteration of the game (opposed to the prior "classic" game). That "beta" version wasn't free, and you had to pay for it for playing the multiplayer (you could try the single mission tho). They've launched the beta on steam in 2013-4 IIRC and released it as 1.0 for 15USD .
The game held up many years. Many times people complained about the decaying player base and asked the developers for the game to go F2P. They said they were having barely enough income to pay the current staff and maintenance of the official servers, going F2P was not viable. They tried selling DLC of cosmetics (which fans and supporters happily bought to help the game).
Last year, the game finally went Free to Play adopting the Patreon model. They started a patreon and giving their supporters special priority on votes on the quality of life (and even meaningful) updates. But they also give the entire community the chance to choose what they want for the next update. Hell, even they put paid bounties for people that know how to code for fixing bugs and adding stuff on github.
Their community is mainly Discord-based. You can see how they manage what i'm talking about in their discord: discord.gg/kag

Hope it helps to share how another indie game managed to mantain their community and their economic support at the same time.

That being said . King arthur's gold is a MULTIPLAYER EXCLUSIVELY game. Super Fighters Deluxe IS NOT. So, even if you can't find online people anymore, you can STILL PLAY the game lan. So it's not like the value of the software you paid for go completely out of the window... You have to have friends, tho.
3 x

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Nebraska4
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Post by Nebraska4 » Sat Aug 01, 2020 3:37 am

Odex, I must say I do not in any way agree that there should be ads. I don't even know if that is possible for a steam game. Secondly, players who have bought the game should obviously not have to buy a premium version. 3rd, I think that it would be a little silly to have no customization of characters whatsoever, but maybe lock challenges (to get more clothes) behind a paywall. We don't want to see everyone wearing the same clothes and looking exactly the same. So that's all for now at least for me.
2 x
Well who knows

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Danger Ross
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Post by Danger Ross » Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:28 am

Selling SFD merch could also be a good idea.
4 x
sorry bucko, you can't punch with swords 8-)

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Nebraska4
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Post by Nebraska4 » Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:31 am

Danger Ross wrote:
Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:28 am
Selling SFD merch could also be a good idea.
Hell yeah! I would totally buy that
1 x
Well who knows

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Zyfex
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Post by Zyfex » Tue Aug 04, 2020 2:36 am

i'd buy sfd merch
2 x
but in reality

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