Buying Triggers in F2P

1) Loss Aversion: Protecting what players believe they’ve earned.
E.g. Lose progress in game: "Out of lives, pay to continue with 3 extra lives"
E.g. Loss of value: "Tinder charging for UNDO of swipe left"

2) Endowed Progress: If people have made progress, they want to get to the end.
E.g. Level progress bar shows you that you're ALMOSt at level 3.
E.g. Progress bar to tell you you're almost at the end of the story.
- IF progress bar offers MILESTONES, then user has more reasons to reach end goal
-Also great so users would get attached to the game and NOT want to leave for a competitor!

3) Envy/Embarrassment: Showing off to other players in the game OR being jealous of something
E.g. Episodes: Do you want to show up at the party in this rag or this hot dress?

4) Reciprocity: Responding to a positive action with a positive action. If someone GIFTS you, you want to give back.
E.g. Get a gift (make sure users KNOW it's a gift)
- Might work better IF in a social environment

5) Scarcity: Wanting things that are RARE
E.g. Limited time offers (false scarcity)
E.g. Scarcity + loss aversion: One time offer, but if you close you won't be able to get this offer again! Are you sure you want to skip it?
E.g. You only have 2h to read this story!
E.g. HQ Trivia

6) Competitiveness: Wanting to dominate the game or other players

4) Impatience: Wanting to make progress quickly
5) Investment: Investing a small amount early which reaps greater rewards in the future
6) Social: Spending for the benefit of others

Buying Triggers in F2P


  1. Have a Dual currency system IF there are a lot of purchases to be made. One type of currency limits the user's spending flexibility.
  2. If only one currency earned, then user will have to pay out of pocket for EVERY ACTION.
  3. On a good day, only 2-7% that users are actually willing to pay out of pocket.
  4. We have to PAY to let users keep playing.

2) Balancing soft/hard currency
Soft currency: players earn through gameplay
Hard currency: purchase through IAP
Allow ONE soft currency and ONE hard currency for dual. Ask user to pay in both soft and hard currency.

3) Balance sinks and sources:
- How do users EARN currency? Sources
- How do users SPEND currency? Sinks

4) Let users have MANY ways to earn currency, so that we can increase engagement and increase user loyalty.

5) Let users be collection hungry and spend savvy in the beginning.
- Users hoarding gems? That's good! Users will then want to earn more.
- Let users be spending savvy, make sure they know what they're paying for and what they can buy.
- How many is 20 gems worth? what can I buy with it?

6) Make sure your store is DYNAMIC
- Add new items from time to time
- Store content progress as the user progresses

How to build a SMART Game Economy


Using the five whys method: why do people use this app? What emotions are associates? (Eg email associated with fear of missing out) 

Research just enough: stop asking what people want and study what they do, if there’s a discrepancy then there’s an interesting habit to study 
The 5 whys

Action = Motivation + ability + trigger
- always seek to create trigger, then decrease ability (make product simpler and easier to use), then increase motivations

Four heuristic/biases
1. Scarcity heuristic: users view scarce items as more valuable. Wine that cost more (fewer people can buy) are perceived as better quality  
2. Anchoring: anchor one piece of info when making decision. Buying clothes: 2 for 99 but if you buy one it’s cheaper, users associate the loud signs as cheaper
3. Delayed progress: punch cards with punches that are already punched a bit vs blank punch cards (already have made some progress). 
- tap can asks users to save some stories or show progress somehow for new users!!

- the hunt: 
- Different types of rewards
    - Hunt: uncertainty, people love to hunt and get variable reward
    - Tribe: social feedback, want validation from social
    - Self: alignment with internal goals and triggers 
        - Gamification: do people even have an itch? If it helps people get rid of their itch then YES! Does it align with people’s internal triggers? 
        - ***”But you are free to accept or refuse”, freedom to choose makes users more likely to agree. “But you are free” means they’re not forced to do anything.