Let’s Talk About Monetization
Ever since we announced Spark, we have been getting questions about how we are going to monetize the game, what we are going to do about alpha and beta access, and we’ve even had some investment offers. The tremendous amount of interest was awesome! We wanted to give you a bit more information along with our current thoughts. We are very open to feedback, so if you have any questions or suggestions, don’t be afraid to let us know.
THE BUSINESS MODEL:
Free to play
Spark will be a free-to-play game. We think that this business model works best for the kind of game and community we are trying to create. One of our top priorities is making sure our monetization plan is fair and consumer friendly.
Weekly free hero rotation
Heroes will be on a weekly free rotation. Every week a portion of the total hero pool will be available to play for free. The rest of the heroes can be unlocked using an in-game currency that can be earned through playing or completing in-game quests and events. Furthermore, we will be offering a free weekly supply of “give-a-hero-a-try” tickets. Using these tickets, you will be able to play any hero in any game mode. These tickets will allow you to play the same hero multiple times.
The hero rotation only applies to the main game mode provided by us. There will be no hero rotation in custom games, and all heroes are available to all custom game creators for use in their custom games.
In-game currency and store
As mentioned above, you will be able to earn in-game currency through playing the game which you can then spend in our store. Our current plan is to make nearly everything available through in-game currency, including heroes and cosmetics.
The exact details for this in-game currency are still pending, but we are planning to reward players for being good sports and good teammates, among other things.
As part of our free to play model, we’ll be offering a subscription service. This subscription will cost about $5 a month and will give you the following for as long as you are subscribed:
Access to all heroes, current and future releases.
You will be earning in-game currency at an increased rate which can be spent in the Spark store. All items, including heroes purchased in this way, will be retained even after your subscription runs out.
Special bonus quests are available to subscription holders, giving more opportunities to earn currency.
You will be given access to very detailed in-game statistics that will help you improve at the game quicker.
We’ll be hosting weekly in-game tournaments. These tournaments would usually require a purchasable ticket to enter and will pay out a small prize pool in in-game currency if you perform well. If you are subscribed, you won’t have to pay the entry fee, and you can still win the prize pool.
We’ll be periodically giving out free bonus hero skins and other cosmetics, such as loading screens and HUD skins.
More to come!
Custom game creators and artists are important
We are building Spark in a way that ensures that custom game creators, modders and artists have a way to contribute! We are working hard on making the engine easy to use, and making sure we have excellent documentation. We also will be building a marketplace that will enable creators to monetize their custom games if they choose to.
What we won’t be doing:
No loot boxes!
You get what you pay for. We consider loot boxes to be gambling and we do not want to promote this among our players. The idea behind them is to get the consumers to overspend to get "rare" items. We see this as predatory and not fitting with our core values.
No pay to win!
Thinking Bottle will make sure that nothing we produce is pay-to-win. It’s integral to who we are that we find a way to be inclusive so everyone can have fun playing our game
So what is next?
Alphas and Betas and Hoodies... Oh My!
We see people asking about access to the alpha and beta. We are creating limited edition Founder’s Packs that will include options such as alpha and beta access, cool pieces of exclusive merch and access to all future Spark content for free. They are also available to buy as gifts. All the information about the various Founder's Packs is available here.
Investment in Thinking Bottle
We put out the Founder’s packs so that people can continue to support the project. If you are looking to invest in us directly, please contact me personally at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Finally, our Spark Discord server also has a channel for questions and one for feedback, and you’re welcome to ask anything there. You can find the Discord server here!
CEO - Thinking Bottle