DarkOrbit Whales Spend €1,000
NOV. 25, 2011 • Bigpoint GmbH hit it big with a virtual sale of a rare item in its DarkOrbit space action game. Plans to build the Zeus Drone, a very powerful weapons system, were put on sale for four days at a price of €1,000 ($1,335). More than 2,000 of the item were sold during those four days, generating more than €2 million. Obtaining the same plans in the game is possible, but there are many steps to the process and success is not guaranteed. DarkOrbit has 66 million registered users.
Impact: This is a great example of the power of a virtual item model over an all-you-can-eat model. There is that tiny fraction of users that are willing to spend unbelievable amounts of money on the right content. Both the retail model, and the set monthly subscription model, are all you can eat where the user pays a set price and can use the product as much as they like. It is similar to the all you can eat restaurant that loses money when the football team pulls up with a bus load of starved players. You are not capturing revenue from what should be your best customers. An ala carte model allows companies to capture the full spending from the heavy users while at the same time offering options for those with less of an appetite.