Thursday, August 6, 2015

If Computer Game Programmers Ran All Business

What a mess it would be! You see their minds are tuned into math tables and simple logic only. There is no grey area to them, not much based on emotional responses and they are not very open to others’ ideas as a result of this thinking.

I am talking about the new generation of game programming that goes on in the Internet now where the game is constantly under development. They no longer call it under beta since it is always facing beta changes where the development team tries to fund the game on the fly and the head of the team is undoubtedly another programmer. There are server costs and certainly employee costs which are primarily code writers directed by the development team. I very much doubt that they spend any money on marketing personnel since they would constantly be at odds with each other since they do not think alike.

Let me try to give an example of how the two minds work in a business model. Let’s look at a bakery that just makes bread for now. The game programmers get out their math table and figure out what price maybe one percent of the market might pay and they figure white bread should sell for $30 a loaf to meet their immediate cost (computer, personnel and materials) and profit needs (Ferrari Fund, since they think they have a no fail plan). And when that doesn’t work so well, they layoff a bunch of the personnel that they got to write the code and try to sell French bread now for $40 a loaf with a new group of personnel that they work even harder and for less money if they can get away with it.

Now the marketing driven mind recognizes that $30 a loaf is way out of line compared to other food products (other computer games and entertainment offerings) and sets its price more around $3 a loaf of white bread and maybe $3.50 for the French bread. Every once in a while they offer one of the two products on sale for $2 and $2.50 but not at the same time. And every once in a while the marketing mind features something different like pastries, pies, tarts or donuts at a premium price sometimes and on sale. It all depends on how well the overall company performance is going (the Ferrari Fund).

Now if the sales department had their way, everything would be on sale all of the time. “Let’s get everyone to buy our bread”. And that is why the sales department and the IT (information technology) department never get along. They just do not understand each groups approach to business.

So the reason why the new approach exists for now in online computer games is because the programmers are creating the product without the help of marketing minds because they honestly think their approach works. It does for a time until the customers get fed up and go to another bakery. Instead of trying the marketing approach they push for bread at $50 a loaf and beyond to try and meet their cost and profit goals.

And soon they go out of business wondering what they did wrong. Simple, they tried to do something in isolation of the real world business market where the basic rules of economy apply and the consumer will always go to what they see as a reasonably priced product for what they want or need and computer games are just a diversion and not a necessity like food.

So why do they think that $50 dollars for a bunch of game tokens/gems/diamonds/coins that only give maybe $5 of value compared to other entertainment products? It is simply because they think their product is better than everyone else’s offering because they developed it and they need more money to keep it going. The consumer market will tell them soon enough if it is worth anything.

Don’t order your Ferrari’s anytime soon boys.