Distributed value computer and video game sales system

In light of the latest wave of discussion of possible systems for distributing electronic copies of books and films, I decided to try my hand and write a system for selling games, in my opinion different from those that are currently being used. And at the same time beneficial to publishers, developers and customers.

It is possible that exactly such a sales system already exists, but I did not come across when studying materials. Therefore, please, if anyone knows that "it already was," then show where.
And here are my suggestions. The opinion of gamers and just interested people in the IT community is very interesting.

The foundation

Implementation is possible in a service similar to Steam. The distribution of value occurs across countries. The publisher needs to calculate the approximate revenue for the selected period, for example 3-6 months, taking into account the start of the company before the release of the game.
An approximate calculation scheme is as follows: cost price + markup + regional coefficient. The resulting amount must be started to be collected before the release of the game, at least a month or two, or after the release of the demo. In this case, the nominal value of one copy (key) must be calculated. In order to ensure that in case of collecting an insufficient amount, buyers who paid the nominal value still got their key. In order to prevent a decrease in sales after fundraising, it may make sense to set the price for a copy of the game at a rate of about 70% of the initial one.
When the publisher calculates the amount needed to distribute the keys, its collection begins. In this case, a minimum payment of the cost of one copy, for example, 30-50%, can be established in order to prevent micro payments and the subsequent receipt of the key.
The regional coefficient allows you to include additional costs in the cost of the game, for example, translation into another language, an additional method of sales if most payment systems do not work in the country. Although it is best to have the statistics on sales in each country in order to calculate this coefficient, it would be more accurate to calculate the coefficient and level the losses from the distribution of pirated copies.
The buyer should be able to deposit money for the game from one account as many times as necessary, but the minimum amount should be paid either immediately or within, for example, a week after the start of the fundraising company.
If you start to raise funds a month before the release of the game and at the same time release a demo version to maintain interest, provided that the majority liked the game, then collecting the necessary amount can take much less time and exceed it by several times. Given that the fundraising company starts at the same time in all countries, the publisher and developer can recapture a sufficient amount for an earlier release of the game, subject to active sales, and attract additional forces to develop.
In order to encourage buyers to pay higher than the minimum, the publisher can apply a bonus distribution system. Perhaps this:
1. Minimum payment - the buyer receives the key after collecting the full amount.
2. Double minimum payment - receiving the key after collecting the full amount and a discount of 1-5% of the nominal payment for the next game.
3. Nominal payment - the buyer receives the key, even if the amount is not collected before the deadline.
4. Nominal payment + n - receipt of the key, even if the amount is not collected before the deadline and in addition, a reduction in the price of all additions to the game, the next game in the series, etc. on n / 2.

Moreover, if before the end of the fundraising company the required amount will not be collected all the buyers who paid less than the face value, they can get the game by paying the balance if the face value is not increased.


Suppose that a publisher wants to get 66 million rubles a month - two in a country with a regional coefficient of 1.1, the minimum payment is set, for example, to 200 rubles. Then, the face value of the copy will be 660 rubles.
Therefore, it is necessary that 100 thousand buyers pay a nominal value. Or that would be 220 thousand buyers paid 300 rubles.

The most difficult questions with this sales system

An honest calculation of the proceeds from the sale of the game for a certain period, or at least the calculation of the face value of the copy, as well as the sale of localized versions. Although the localization problem can be solved at the expense of the regional coefficient, taking into account the “localization depth”, the interface / subtitles / translation.
There was still a question with the sale of boxed and gift editions, but I think that they can simply not be included in the calculation of the sale of electronic copies, since their initial cost is higher due to the presence of physical media and any bonuses in the box.

Estimated Pros and Cons of the System

+ Ability to get an electronic copy for a relatively small amount.
+ When paying the face value, the buyer will receive the key to the game in any case, even if the necessary amount is not collected.
+ Ability to make several transfers, depending on your capabilities at a particular moment.
+ The publisher and developer will receive a certain amount even before the release of the game.

- The publisher may well bend the total amount and the face value of the copy, so that the advantages of the system will be leveled. BUT! The system is written with the expectation of sanity publishers.
- Some players may be unhappy that they paid 350 rubles, and someone 200, and they still get copies, but after all, everyone decides how much he is willing to pay for a particular product, in this case.


As already written, the system is designed for sanity and understanding on both sides. The publisher and developer want to recapture the costs of the game, advertising and get revenue, and the buyer wants to get the game for a moderate fee. At the same time, everyone should understand that by making concessions to each other, both parties will benefit.
Publisher and developer with a warmed interest in the game and honestly calculating the amounts can get a lot more money than if each buyer pays a nominal price, but you have to wait a while.
The buyer will receive the desired and even with savings, but will wait a little longer “product”.

It is possible that in the proposed system there are technical, economic, legal, moral gaps and if they are not eliminated, then it will be useless. But if I’m sure that if this proposal finds a response on both sides of the “barricades”, then its application will be beneficial to everyone.


I think that it’s worth making changes to the system so that players do not have to wait until the end of the collection of the entire amount.
As a result, the buyer will see the following payment options on the page with the game he liked:
- Make a minimum payment (receive the key after collecting the full amount)
- Make a nominal payment (receive the key on the day the game is released in any case)
- Pay any amount (available only after making minimum payment)
- Pay up to the face value (available only after making the minimum payment, to receive the game on the day of release)

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