Clicker Heroes, one of the most well-known idle RPGs, is a free-to-play game with optional microtransactions. For Clicker Heroes 2, developer Playsaurus decided to ditch the free-to-play model in favor of a $30 price tag.
In a recent blog post, the developer counts 2 main reasons for this shift – ethical reasons and game design reasons.
According to Playsaurus, some players ended up spending “many thousands of dollars” in the in-game store, despite the game not being designed to encourage microtransactions.
“I can only hope that these people could afford it, and that they were doing it to support us, and not to feed an addiction. But I strongly suspect that this is not the case,” the dev wrote.
Although the developer made a lot of money from those “whales”, they also felt uncomfortable taking advantage of people who might exhibit signs of gambling addiction.
“If you’re rich, please be my guest. But we don’t want this kind of money if it came from anyone who regrets their decision, if it made their lives significantly worse as a result.”
“We really don’t like making money off players who are in denial of their addiction. And that’s what a large part of free-to-play gaming is all about. Everyone in the industry seems to rationalize it by shifting the blame, assuming way too much cognizance on the part of their victims. People can make their own decisions, right? But it just doesn’t sit well with me. Despite very few of our players having complained, it felt wrong when we started doing it and it still feels wrong now.”
For now, Clicker Heroes will remain unchanged, but Playsaurus still employ an unlimited refund policy. However, Clicker Heroes 2 will be paid-up-front right from the start.
From a game designing perspective, eliminating the shop and rubies currency always for more freedom in any future update. It’s not easy changing and rebalancing a game only some people paid for. Playsaurus had to constantly be careful not to mess with the gaming experience of the paying players.
“If we have a real-money shop, we are limited to only rebalancing the game in ways that people who just spent money would approve of. People paid real money to get the current state of their game where it is at, and they’ve developed an expectation that it would be good for a long time. If we make changes to the game that are better for the game but *feel* worse for any one particular player at any stage of the game, we get backlash from that player. ”
Getting rid of the microtransactions also opens the door to player mods. Without the fear of players temepring with the real-money shop, they can be given easier access to the open source code and save editing features.
Clicker Heroes 2 will be released pn PC in 2018. You can already pre-order a copy, but if you change your mind you can get a full refund for up to a year after the game launches.Some of our posts include links to online retail stores. We get a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Don't worry, it doesn't cost you anything extra.