This is WizardCrab.
For those who don’t know me, I’m responsible for the monetization that happens in Palia. Yup, that’s right: I’m here to address all this talk about the Premium Store, Palia Coins, Outfit Bundles — basically, anything to do with real money.
In the weeks since we’ve gone into Beta, there’s understandably been a lot of feedback regarding our monetization choices, so I wanted to take the time to properly address as many as I can.
As a summary of what’s in store, here’s a quick breakdown:
What we’re doing:
The feedback has been clear: the outfit bundle discounts in the store were NOT clear.
In my attempt to make sure players could access the discount whether they decide to buy all outfits upfront or individually at different times, it just made things very confusing to a lot of players, and for that, I apologize.
We’re changing this in Patch 0.168. Here’s a mock-up of what that looks like:
(Note that these are UI mockups and some slight differences might be applied on the actual game once live.)
You can choose to get the full discount right away if you buy the entire set. You can also choose to get just one outfit at its full price, then the remaining outfits within this set will be updated with the discounted prices when you make your second or third purchases in the set. Whatever route you take, it’ll be the same in the end.
Again, if that sounds overly complicated, I’m sorry. I just wanted to make sure people weren’t missing out and could buy things when they wanted to. If this doesn't solve the issue, I might have to just call the whole experiment a failure and move back to a traditional bundle system, where you only get the discount if you buy the bundle upfront.
We've gotten a lot of comments and tickets from people who want to purchase something from our store, but can’t because our current payment options are very limited. We’re pretty behind on this - obviously we would love to have more people buy from our store!
So I’m here to address two of the more common requests.
We will be adding Paypal as a payment option. This will happen sooner, rather than later. Think in a couple weeks, give or take, targeting Patch 0.169 at the latest.
We want to eventually support more regional pricing. This will come later, rather than sooner, so I can’t even give a timeframe yet. This is fairly complex to add in so we need time to make sure we get it right. Just as a reminder: our officially supported regions at this time are North America and Western Europe. Over time, increased regional support will come with more currencies, payment options, and eventually local pricing.
This is probably the biggest update for today. We’ll be aligning our coin packages to the outfit prices as best we can. And we’re doing it right… now.
With this change, we want to be upfront that we might encounter other problems down the road, particularly with retail and other cash-based payment options that are important to a ton of players. And if they become big enough issues, we may need to change this again. But at least today, there’s very real frustration that we can solve so we’re going to just do that and hope that’s the end of it.
Yes, we changed the Palia Coin packages, but we don’t think that’s enough. We’ll also be giving additional Palia Coins to top up to any account with an outstanding balance that is not a multiple of 425. This way, those accounts will have balances rounded up to the closest multiple of 425 Palia Coins. This should already be in everyone’s account as of the completion of today’s patch.
Does this mean there will be a perfect alignment forever? No. Even now, if you buy a 2nd or 3rd 1275-tier outfit from a set, the discount rounds down so you may end up with a very small amount of leftover coins. And although there aren’t any specific plans in the works, I’m confident that as we add new types of premium items they won’t always be priced at multiples of 425. Same goes with new opportunities for discounts that we add in the future. But at least today we can start with a fresh slate.
We wanted to have this right from the start with Beta. We focused so hard in trying to get this out the door that we didn’t realize that having that be in our first open beta patch would look…bad. This is something I will also apologize for.
We saw it as a thank you to the players who wanted to support us even during these times. To us, buying something from our store equals “I truly believe in what you’re doing, enough to send money your way.” This is particularly true since we’re a new independent (also: no-name) studio with our first game that is just one month into Beta. That’s why the Palcats are a bonus on top of what you’ve spent.
Of course, did that come off badly to all of our free-to-play players or those who were still on the fence, or those who were growing concerned with the direction we were going in? Yes, we definitely realize that.
I also want to apologize in advance for what I’m about to say next: we don’t have plans to add more pets or expand the feature any time soon. Palcats will be it for a while. I know there’s been a lot of feedback asking for at least one free alternative to be added to make things more fair, but we have no plans on this for now. Just know we are aware of it.
This should cover some of the most brought up topics regarding monetization that we’ve seen.
That said, I hope I’m doing things right with this letter, and with our plans to really be more transparent with our decisions moving forward. We know we’ve stumbled in terms of our communications, but like with the game itself, we are committed to keep improving.
Thanks for taking the time to hear me out. I have no doubts there will be plenty of follow up questions, mentions of “what about this” and other commentary and feedback in response to this letter. But believe it or not, we’re looking forward to it. That’s what it means to have a conversation with our community.