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Pay-to-win Futility.

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Several years ago a friend told me about Clash of Clans and I began to play the game. The game is an enjoyable distraction for when you have a minute or two three. You perform a few actions and then you get on with your other tasks. When you play for free patience is an asset. You have to wait to get enough gold, elixir or gems before you can complete certain actions. The game is designed in such a way that you can play for years and still progress.

I like to joke that the Pay  to Win model is both encouraging and training people to bribe their way through life. If you’re impatient you pay a little supplement and you complete the action. Instead of taking a week for an action to be completed it takes seconds. Supercell has made millions this way as individuals spend more than a thousand euros. Those who are willing to pay get to the top of the leaderboard.

Two factors that discourage Paying To Win.

The first reason is that I come from the early days of computer games when you paid for a game once and you could play for as long as you had free time. It was a time when Civilization 3, Gunship 2000, Doom and other games were around. With games like Clash of Clans, you spend more than you would spend on a good meal and you only progress a little.

The second is that accounts are or at least, were, platform specific. I started playing Clash of Clans when I had an iPhone. When I switched to Android I lost my progress and had to start again. It has taken more than a year to get back to the same level. If you pay on ios your progress is not reflected on Android and vice versa. It’s nice to have two level50+ games but imagine if I had paid to get the game on both platforms to be at the same level.

Clash Royale

Recently they came up with Clash Royale. This is another Pay to Win game and as you can see from the screengrab above it is currently the top grossing app on the play store, at least in Switzerland.

They released the game to a restricted number of countries at first. Some players were at an advantage. They could play and progress in the game. We were easier to beat as we arrived later.  Now we find it easier to beat the newcomers, as we have learned strategies to be victorious more often.

People who are less patient, less humble have obviously paid a lot of money to progress. I prefer to wait and progress for free.

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