I hit a major milestone in my day job.

So, at work, we launched this:

I don’t want to toot my own horn too hard, but… no, actually I do want to toot my own horn. TOOOOOOOT. I was one of the principal engineers on this effort. It was a stonking amount of work. I have spent months butt-deep in incomprehensible payment APIs. My team kicked a lot of ass and built a lot of infrastructure to make this work at all. This has been, without question, our most complicated launch since the launch of the game itself.

Which is funny, because the features involved don’t seem like much at all - give us money, get a few trifles in return. The visible part of this is the tip of a vast iceberg.

And… I shouldn’t talk about it too much on my personal blog.

So, while I have a wild overabundance of thoughts on the topic, I’ll keep it brief:

  • Deciding what to put into a subscription product, and how much to charge, for a freemium offering that already has an active player-base, is hard. It’s a knife’s edge between “putting too much behind a paywall, people feel like the core game experience is actively worse” and “not putting enough behind a paywall, people feel like the subscription doesn’t offer any value”. The fact that we have people who are angry for both reasons suggests that we’re doing an okay job with the balance so far.

  • Some people will loudly announce that our game is not worth ever spending money on, for any reason. These people, of course, can be safely ignored.

  • We definitely shipped less than we wanted to.

  • Everyone on the team worked really hard on this.

  • Servers and employees are more expensive than most people seem to think that they are.

  • More people are buying in than we expected - so far it has been a wildly successful launch. We haven’t broken even, yet, but it seems more like a possibility than ever.

  • We’re extremely thankful to our community.

  • Especially some smaller communities who have way-higher-than-average conversion rates.

  • The positive response to this has been energizing and in some cases roadmap-altering.