Yesterday I read the most intelligent and least douchy thing I’ve ever read about making money from free-to-play games, in an interview with social game designer Brenda Brathwaite:
Brathwaite explains [her studio’s] approach to monetization with a metaphor: A lone mariachi playing a song on one side of the street and someone asking for money on the opposite side of the street. She’d stop and pay the mariachi money, maybe even pay him to hear another without him ever asking her for anything because she appreciates the experience. But she wouldn’t feel good about giving money to the beggar on the other side of the same street.
“We’re going for the mariachi’s side of the street,” she says. “We don’t want you to feel there’s a panhandler begging you for money in the middle of the game.”
It’s tempting to elaborate, but additional elaboration won’t make the point more clear.
But let me add this: Metaphors are magnificent and powerful.