Path of Exile April Fools' Joke Made Grinding Gear Games Over $25K
If you're a frequent visitor of the site, you may be aware that I love Path of Exile. It's one of the few free-to-play games done right – no pay-to-win, not even anything to speed up leveling or provide buffs. Aside from a few account boosts, like an extra tab slot, everything developer Grinding Gear Games sells is purely cosmetic, earning it the moniker, Pay-to-Glow. Knowing the trials and tribulations of developing a free-to-play game in today's market, Grinding Gear decided to mock it for April Fools' Day.
"We're always looking for ways to improve Path of Exile's monetisation so that we can bring you more content more quickly. Thankfully, microtransaction design was a very heavily discussed topic at the Game Developers Conference in March. We asked many highly successful developers how we should improve our monetisation, and their answer was unanimous: allow players to Pay to Win."
As a result, Grinding Gear created consumable fireworks – because nothing says winning like fireworks. The fireworks could only be purchased yesterday in ten-packs for 15 points (roughly $1.50 in real money, or $0.15 per firework), but there was no limit to how many people could buy. The developer even made a video to entice fans to be :CueCharlieSheenVoice: Winning!
The result? An insane amount of money for Grinding Gear Games! While the studio typically doesn't comment on microtransaction sales, it decided to make an exception this one time. When the one-day sale ended, 18,583 bundles were purchased for 27,8745 points. In essence, Grinding Gear made nearly $28k in one day...from a joke.
Brilliant. Just brilliant.