Game Development Reference
Figure 5-3: Speed-up option in Backyard Monsters
Less successful for KIXEYE are decorative customization items, such as those that players can buy to cus-
tomize their Backyard Monsters base. And while many Facebook developers report success at offering daily
discounts for virtual goods, Preece says that KIXEYE's user base does not find that appealing. This is probably
because they are motivated to monetize for other reasons—keep reading to find out what they are.
Monetization Lesson, Part II: Emotional
Response—Positive or Negative—Monetizes Well
In Backyard Monsters, many players monetize at a key moment: after logging into the game and discovering
that their base has been attacked and rampaged by another player. When this happens, they can slowly build up
a large enough army to launch a retaliatory strike—or spend money to speed up the creation process and return
In the case of Backyard Monsters, anger and the desire for revenge.
For Preece, the lesson to that player behavior is this: “Emotional response monetizes...I think there's defin-
itely a connection between emotion and monetization.” The advertising world has known about this connection
for some time—it's not about selling the product, but creating an emotional connection to it. Coca-Cola ads
don't sell sugar water, but the feeling you want to have when you're drinking it (fun with friends, and so on).