Game Development Reference
hopes of receiving a rare card that will give them an in-game advantage or
that can be traded or sold to other players. The model is effectively a micro-
transaction model with the slight whiff of gambling (due to the randomness
of the rare cards). This has proven an effective model, and Wizards of the
Coast sells digital card booster packs on their web- and console-based games
for the same price as they do physical trading cards.
Magic the Gathering and other collectible card games take the old business model of
selling “booster packs” that have a chance of featuring rare cards and adapt it to the
world of social gaming. Microtransaction card pack purchases give users a chance to
improve their abilities against other players.
It should be clear from this section that there are as many different hybrid
approaches to monetization as there are different games. These major catego-
ries serve only to broadly invite discussion and rumination on the types of
business models that are most effective for certain genres of games. The more
overarching point is this: make sure that the way you intend to monetize your
players fits the game design and play characteristics of the game you're making.
A lack of attention to who your players are, and what best integrates with your
game design, risks your overall revenue.