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GDC presenter talks about $100,000 whales

Have you always wanted to purchase a really expensive in-game whale to be your beloved pet? Then, sadly, this GDC Europe presentation by Reality Squared Games CEO Jared Psigoda probably isn't for you. If you're interested in how Asian game studios manage to attract players willing to spend $100,000 and more on their games, this is just the presentation for you.

Psigoda, a former gold farmer, talked about how Chinese browser games and other free-to-play titles increase the cost of virtual goods depending on the level or power of players' characters. This model is dependent on a smooth pricing curve that gets players used to the idea of microtransactions with low-cost items and exchanges and gradually raises the cost in such a way that players don't dig in their heels at a sudden change.

Check out GDC's Vault for an in-depth look at squeezing money out of players.

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