Monday, July 25, 2016

Gaming Insights - Marvel Avengers Academy P2P Profiles - "Stormy"

Being F2P (Free-to-Play) in online games, I am very interested in how paying players (P2P or Pay-to-Play) approach the games. This anonymous survey looks at alias "Stormy", a P2P player for the game Marvel Avengers Academy.
Our stock questions are in bold. Because Stormy only became P2P because of a particular event, and more specifically because of a particular purchase, some of the answers will seem redundant.
  1. How did you find Marvel Avengers Academy and what made you commit time to the game? 
    • I find the game addicting to be honest, I also like the recruiting and levelling up the characters. I'm aware that some of the characters I like in the MCU are premium characters. My commitment to the game is due to my boredom from my previous games I played as well as the small secret hiding in the time fog that never seems to see light of day.
  2. How much time are you able to spend playing the game compared to: What you initially expected; the amount of time you actually play the game; and what you would like your time investment to be?
    • I expected the game to be a doddle to be perfectly honest, something that wouldn't take up all my time. That was up until some major events like the Guardians of the Galaxy and Civil War events. I would love my time investment to be drastically reduced, but that won't happen until the events aren't timed. I feel the timed events pressurise [sic] people into spending every little moment that they can onto the game to get some early unlock characters.
  3. Does this have any influence in your decision to spend money? 
    • I've only spent money on the newest event, the Spider-Man Event. I didn't want to but the Act I heroes available made me change my mind just on this event; then I’ll return to being a free to play, F2P, player.
  4. What keeps you coming back to the game / what do you like about the game itself? E.g., The actual mechanics of the game and events such as crafting items and fighting bosses; or collecting characters or decor; or laying out your Academy campus; or following the various story/one particular story; etc. 
    • I love how I can rearrange the academy, give or take, and also the reason behind this timefog mystery. I enjoy the levelling up of all the students, heroes and villians, and seeing how their outfits change. Speaking of outfits I like how there are new outfits for different events such as the Symbiote Spider-Man outfit for fighting The Lizard.
  5. What specifically about the game makes you spend money?
  6. Do you compare your purchases in the game or your reasons to spend money, to any other type of expense (e.g., it's part of your entertainment budget not different from watching a movie, or it's like buying a service with no physical goods you take away, or it's a consumable like eating at a restaurant, etcetera)? Do you feel this comparison is key to understanding why people spend money?
    • My purchases were really based on getting what I want, like the Symbiote Spidey. It does come out of my personal spending budget I give myself each payday.
  7. When did you first buy Shards and what made you decide to? E.g., Did you decide to do so as soon as you saw the game, right when you started playing, when the "Buy One, Get One" quest ["Buy a Box of Credits and get US$5 of Shards for free!"] appeared, some experience later in the game, etc...
    • In a way the quest Buy One Get One did have a play in it, which I feel it shouldn’t have, as it was bugging me being there and not being able to complete it without spending money. The first time I used my [free] shards, which I earned by watching videos, was to complete and get Black Knight from the British Invasion event. Then I purchased shards to get Symbiote Spidey.
  8. Do you have a budget or other heuristic to determine how much you spend per unit time (e.g., per week); do you have a maximum amount you are willing to put into this game in total after which you will definitely not spend any more? What is your decision process / reasoning?
    • I started buying shards during the Spider Man Event, and I'm only doing it for this event. Whatever shards I have remaining afterwards will be rationed, unless it's a hero I really want and am convinced to get it, like if it's a limited time offer. 
  9. How much have you spent so far and how do you think you compare with other P2P in the game? How does it compare to your other online game purchases and do you use those purchases to decide how much to spend?
    • I must have spent just over £100 on this game which I think is about average in comparison to the other Pay to Play, P2P players. In all honesty if I didn’t buy the shards on this game I would have bought a game via my console. 
  10. How much commitment to the game do you have now that you have spent money, and does that commitment increase the more you spend? What would make you walk away now?
    • I'm more frustrated with the game, some of the heroes should be so expensive. I mean I know Spider-Woman is cheapish (260 shards) but Hulk is 1495 Shards or unlockable at level 35. As far as I can divulge I won't be spending my money on shards after the Spidey Event. Currently I’m not sure what could make me walk away, I’m generally happy with game besides the constant need of shards
  11. How do you feel about F2P players in general? How do you feel about F2P players able to get Shards without paying (e.g., through levelling up or watching advertisements)? How does this influence your purchases? Other than having spent real money in the game, how else do you think you differ from F2P players?
    • F2P players are lucky to get the advertisements, I think that if [you're] only buying shards like me for one event they should still have the option for everyone to earn shards. As mentioned previously, I'm not buying any shards after this event. F2P players seem to not actually care if they don't get a certain character. I'm a person that likes to complete a collection, like unlocking and "buying" the heroes and villains.
  12. What are your expectations / what do you feel you should be entitled to compared to someone who is F2P? How would you feel / what would you do if at some point the game stops developing and no further content is created. Do you feel this is part of the natural life cycle of a game and to be expected?
    • My expectations as in game progress and what to add should be the Defenders, the X-Men, a repetition of previous events so that people who start the game now can get the Guardians of the Galaxy and Civil War heroes. I still reckon P2P should be allowed to earn shards by watching videos. If the game stops there's not much I can really do about it. I'll end up playing another game and is a natural part of the game's life cycle. I'll be a little bummed out that I didn’t get all the characters, but until everyone ever stops buy shards I don't think Avengers Academy will end but I may be wrong. 
If you also play Marvel Avengers Academy and have spent money on the game, we'd love to interview you too and compile more insights into P2P player for all the F2P out there.

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