Friday, September 14, 2012

Update on the future of Railroad Empire

After talking to some people and doing some math, We are going to try and keep Railroad Empire running as a subscription service. Since there needs to be free access to the game to keep the Google Maps implementation, there will be a free tier to the game still.

So here is what I am planning. The game as it stands today can be played by anyone with up to 10 trains. If you want to play more than 10 trains, You will have to subscribe. The subscription fee will be $2.50 / month or $25 / year. Facebook will only have the monthly option at the moment because that is all their subscription system supports.

When you subscribe you will no longer need to use Board Points.

There are still some things I need to work out about how all this will work and I have to write a bunch of code to support this, but I plan to try and do this quickly.

As long as we can get enough subscribers to offset the cost of running the game, the game will continue to run.

As always I look forward to hearing your comments, thoughts and concerns.

Mike

13 comments:

  1. What will happen to players who have more then 10 trains now that does not want to subscribe or are unable pay to subscribe right now. Will we loose some of the trains we already own or be able to keep them.

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  2. The plan right now is that if you don't subscribe and have more than 10 trains. The others will be stopped and you will only be able to have 10 running at a time, but I am still working out all the details, so this is subject to change.

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  3. google is free, facebook is free... they use ad

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  4. Lets see you don't have any customer service.You don't answer our emails.I can't log in through my yahoo,google or aim accounts.There is a huge lack of cargo.No Coal out of WY were they mine enough coal to fill 25 miles of hopper cars.And you want me to pay for this.I think not.Sorry but your missing the mark.

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  5. While I might get flamed by some of the veteran users, specially among the ones who are unwilling to pay for the game, I would just like to suggest that you don't need to provide a "free" game at all: just stop using Google Maps and use OpenStreetMap instead, which allows you to use their data for free but charge whatever you wish for the game.

    You might take a look at Switch2OSM which explains what you need to do to start using OpenStreetMaps with your game.

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  6. Any more news on the future of Railroad Empire

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  7. We are still working on adding the subscription code

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  8. Many games whose starts like pay monthly change late for free for play. like Star Wars or Star Trek. Many peoples don't want spend money for online games constantly. So monthly payments just will block new users for that game..

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  9. As in any online game it is a work in progress. The free version will be fun too! There must be balance because servers and time are not free. I like what Where's George has done with their site by creating a community with events and the such which help support the site and the community. My point is that as the game develops and the community develops so will the user base. My son and I really enjoy the game together and anticipate we'll continue to enjoy it even in the limited version. I like the angry birds model. They charge $2.99 for a full version of the game so it's more of an impulse buy. Maybe that's an idea too? Keep the ads but have a subscriber (community)opportunity to have more trains for three months for $2.50 and when that expires you suspend any more than 10 trains until it's unlocked with the renewal. With a yearly version without the ads for those that want to pay $25. I don't mind the ads - that's part of having a free version and it's OK. One model for the impulse (angry bird) user like me and another for those with the resources to avoid the ads... I know this is running on and on but I've thought about it a lot and I don't mind contributing to the wheresgeorge.com community because there are events and friendships made because of the site. Anyway, create more community in the game, have options for the impulse buyer (like me), and subscriptions model.

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  10. I'm really sad that Railroad Empire ended. I discovered it yesterday, and started my very first game, only to find everything stopped today. It looked like just the kind of Railroad game I've been hoping for for quite a long time, and I hope it will be back soon! And even if I'm not in favour of a monthly recurring subscription fee, I wouldn't mind paying a few euro's every now and again to keep the game rolling! I really hope you'll be successful in making the game return someday, Mike!

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  11. Hmmph....


    A: Is this like Lucky Train
    B: Where is it now?

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