On Friday, June 27th we released Vampiric Lockboxes into Dawn Web, along with the associated Keys. Very quickly, the new items were met with heavy criticism and concern for their implications in regard to the game. However, we didn’t want to pull a brand new sales item prematurely without getting a longer view of the full impact on the game, especially since the numbers we were seeing were contradictory in comparison to the feedback: players were buying keys. LOTS of keys. Setting aside the aspect of profitability, these numbers showed that a large portion of the playerbase was embracing the new lockboxes, and we needed to investigate to compile the whole story and make informed choices.
As a business we must always be conscious and aware of different avenues for monetization and growth, it’s what keeps the servers humming and funds new projects and features. However, the more we reviewed the feedback and discussed the reactions of our players here in the forums, in private messages, and in chat, the more clear it became: we needed to make serious changes. We spoke to you in an earlier post about needing to experiment with new methods of presenting sales and items, and a vital part of experimentation is to learn from a failed experiment.
We founded 5th Planet as a company for gamers by gamers, and we had dealt that foundation a disservice with the way we handled the first experimental lockbox, and the Premium within it. For that, we apologize. We screwed up, so we need to fix it.
From the feedback received and long internal discussion, we’ll be taking the following actions:
- Tollo Darkgaze will be offered for direct purchase in September as opposed to being exclusive from the Vampiric Lockbox. We’re going to treat this similar to Kezeera as a pre-release.
- Based on the feedback we have received from the Community and on the way Tollo was designed, we’re going to release Tollo for 200 PC instead of 100 PC when he goes up for direct purchase. We really like his abilities and don’t want to nerf him, but when he was designed he was done so under the idea that he would be harder to acquire and potentially more expensive since you had to get him via Lockboxes. We want to continue to explore non-invasive monetization methods that are still scalable to the power of the item being offered and feel that direct purchase pricing is a good - yet still accessible - place to try that.
- This impacts those players who purchased the new lockbox in good faith, and to make this change, we need to make this right by those players. If you feel removing the exclusive nature of Tollo has reduced the value of your Vampiric Lockbox Key purchases, we will reverse those purchases: we will refund you the PC spent on Keys purchased previous to the time of this post, restore your free key received from daily login if applicable, and remove all items received from the Vampiric Lockboxes from your inventory. You may contact our support staff and request a refund for up to one week from today. Please see below for important details on how to request your refund.
- Key purchases have been disabled for this one week while we receive and process your requests.
Lastly, regarding premiums and the decision to release a premium exclusive to a single lock box and a single method of purchase. Many referred to an unwritten rule that all premiums in Dawn Web be available for direct purchase at some point. We agreed internally that, following what we have learned from the release of this premium, a written rule would work better, so here it is: While direct buy prices may fluctuate or change, and the ability to directly purchase a premium will not always come before the ability to acquire that premium through luck or chance, every premium will be available by direct purchase in some fashion during that premium’s lifetime. You can now quote us on that.
Messaging is something that we fell very short on with this feature and something we will continue to work on improving as a whole.
We want Lockboxes to feel like a natural part of the game like any other item, not an intrusive or alien experience, and we feel we can still achieve that through continued revision and adjustment. This wasn’t a good first step towards that goal, but we hope you’ll work with us to make the next one better. Your feedback has always helped us shape Dawn into a better product that can be enjoyed by everyone, and this case is no exception. We look forward to shaping the future with you for many years to come.
CEO, 5th Planet Games
To receive a refund for your opened Vampiric Lockboxes , please send a support ticket to firstname.lastname@example.org with “Vampiric Refund” as the title. In the body of the email, you will need to include the following for efficient processing:
*Facebook ID/Kongregate Username/Newgrounds Username