Thank You To Our Supporters!!!!!

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Thank You To Our Supporters!!!!!

Postby Greg Thomson » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:23 pm

Hey YoFans!

This is going to be a long post, so grab a drink, a snack, and take a seat! Let the fun begin! :D

First off, I want to give a ginormous thank you from the bottom of my heart to all of our supporters that play YoWorld. Every day it's awesome to wake up and see that YoWorld has such a loyal and amazing group of fans that continue to amaze us with their creativity and support.

This post is in direct response to a number of questions and comments that I have both read on the forum and received via our support system. I believe that being completely upfront with players and explaining why we make the decisions that we do, is the best way to run a game. I will be covering A LOT of ground in this post to address as many of these questions/answers as possible.

When understanding decisions we make, it's important to know where we are coming from. We are a group of artists, developers, designers, customer service, game testers and producers that not only need to support ourselves, we all have families that we need to support as well. Every decision that we make for YoWorld goes against two main criteria. 1) Will the majority of our players like this feature/item/release and 2) Long term, will this feature/item/release make enough money to continue the development of YoWorld.

When we decided to purchase YoWorld, we not only got a loan to cover the initial purchase price, we also have very large ongoing development/maintenance costs. In addition to the initial purchase price, our current monthly staff and server costs are in excess of $150,000/month. These are very real costs, and YoWorld is still in a position where we are losing money. A business decision was made by the previous owner to shut the game down, and we decided to save it with the belief that the community that helped save it would also help support the game financially. We do believe we will get there, but we are not there yet. To those that do support the game, we appreciate it more than you can imagine. To those players who believe that these games are virtual and cost nothing to make, I'll have to respectfully disagree.

Let me explain some of the costs that we incur. Off the top, we have to pay Facebook 30% of ALL REVENUE that players spend in the game. This is part of the cost of doing business on Facebook, and it's something we can only avoid if we also host the game on our own website (http://www.yoworld.com) as well as Facebook. This is something we are looking into for those players that want 100% of their purchases going to Big Viking as opposed to 30% going to Facebook. For those that still want the convenience of Facebook, that would still remain unchanged.

In addition to Facebook, our server costs are almost $40,000/month. This is due to a number of reasons, but a large one is hacker protection, and redundancy to make sure the game is always playable. A service that costs a script kiddie $7/hour to run and take down the game costs us almost $10,000/month to protect against. It's not a fair world, but it's the world we live in. This is precisely the reason why we have law enforcement investigating a number of DDoS attacks and other hacking activity. These hacking attacks are illegal, and we will do everything in our power to see the attackers put in jail. It's happened before, so they are not invincible to legal repercussions.

Now that I have provided some background on our ongoing costs, and the two main criteria we use to make decisions, I would like to go through specific questions/comments that players have made.

:?: 1) One statement we hear a lot is "I supported BVG by promoting #SaveYoWorld".
While we recognize every effort made to save YoWorld from being shut down, we do not see ourselves as the beneficiaries of this. The passionate players are the ones who wanted it saved, and we were willing to help in the effort. Like I have mentioned before, YoWorld is a money losing business unit for us. I like that think of us at BVG as working together with the community to help save YoWorld. YoWorld being saved has benefitted those players who are passionate and play it daily. We are excited to see where we can take YoWorld into the future, but we do not recognize #SaveYoWorld as a form of continued support in the same way as giving a child a puppy without a way for them to feed it isn't a gift.

:?: 2) The new coin items are too expensive.
When we took over YoWorld, we were dealing with a number of coin problems. a) Hackers had billions of coins b) Some legit players have hundreds of millions of coins because they sold legit items for 50+million coins to hackers. c) Not enough ways to earn coins in the game. d) Coins were too expensive to buy through the store.

The first problem we had to deal with were the hackers. We spent the first month of taking over the game just dealing with hackers. This meant patching the security holes, banning accounts, and doing an overall economic cleanup. This is now done for the most part. The second issue is that some legit players have hundreds of millions of coins. While we would never punish these people, we do need to adjust the game in a way that makes it fair to all players. Indirectly, almost all of the coins entered the game through hacked accounts, so we need to do our best to limit the damage. As for ways to earn coins in the game, we are actively working on this problem. We recognize that earning coins is important, and we have a plan. Onto the last point about coin prices, since taking over the game, we have reduced the price to purchase coins by 20x.

Everybody wants things to stay the same as they were, but if that were the case, YoWorld would be shut down. We are pricing new coin items with the forethought to keeping the coin economy healthy and in check. In the short term, they may seem too expensive compared to what they were in the past, but as we introduce new ways to earn coins, this will become less of an issue.

:?: 3) "You don't release enough coin items" or "Too many items are YoCash".
The reality is that we made very little money off of selling coins. The majority of the currency we sell is YoCash. If we priced more items in coins than we currently do, we would be making less money. As it stands, we look to release 2 items for coins for every 1 item we release for YoCash. There are real costs involved in making these items, and we need to make money in order to stay in business.

:?: 4) "Your YoCash items are too expensive"
We are planning to introduce YoCash items that span a wide range of prices. The same way that not every item in the real world costs $5. Fortunately, YoWorld is a game where you can pick and choose which items you want to buy. I would never walk into a jewelry store and expect to be able to afford every item in the shop. Life is about choices, and that's what makes your environment unique. If every person has every item, everybody starts to look the same.

:?: 5) "Why don't you release furniture/decorations? We don't all like to decorate our avatars"
We want to, trust us. We really do. It turns out, great artists don't grow on trees (we've looked). It's taken us more time to find skilled 3d artists than we expected it would. Onto good news, we have a new 3d artist starting next week who will get started immediately on new furniture/decorations and themes.

:?: 6) "What is happening with the player submitted art?"
Great question! While the "contest" isn't closed, we were waiting for July 1st to go through all of the entries and start reaching out to those people who we are interested in featuring. Please note, if you submitted something and never heard back, it's not because we are ignoring you. We have received hundreds and hundreds of submissions, and there is no way I could possible respond to each entry with feedback. Again, a huge thank you to all those who submitted artwork. I really do appreciate it.

--

Now would be a good time to address a change you will notice in the forum as of today. For those players that have supported the game financially in the last 30 days, you will be recognized with either a bronze, silver or gold supporter badge. In order to receive a bronze badge, you will need to have spent between $5 and $25 in the last 30 days. For a silver badge, have spent between $25 and $50 in the last 30 days. And finally, for a gold badge, have spent more than $50.

This is our way of recognizing those players that help support the game, and also to help you recognize your fellow players who help keep YoWorld a vibrant game.

I have mentioned in the past that we tailor the gaming experience to those people that support the game financially. This is not only true, but also vitally important since they are the ones who help fund the development of new features and content. It's very difficult for me to take somebody seriously when they are complaining about coin pricing or releases when they have never supported the game. In general, only 5% of YoWorld players support the game.

I mentioned earlier that I like to provide reasoning for our decisions, and I would like to give two countries as examples of their support. In the first case, we have the United Kingdom, which accounts for 6.75% of all active YoWorld players. The interesting thing about those players in the UK is that they contribute 12% of total purchases. Way to go UK! On the other end of the spectrum, you have Egypt, which also accounts for 6.75% of all active YoWorld players. Egypt, on the other hand contributes less than 0.1% of all revenue :shock: . For those keeping records, in the last 30 days, we have received $180 from Egyptian players. Their portion of server and maintenance costs, however, comes out to roughly $10,000.

It should be no surprise to players that we will target our future release more to UK players than Egyptian players.

I would like to end this post on an up note. Rest assured that Big Viking and YoWorld are going to be around for the long haul. We are going to continue to invest and make improvements to the game for it’s future. I believe that the best YoWorld is still ahead of us, and I’m excited to be a part of it.

And finally, I would again like to thank all of our supporters. If you make one post today, please thank another player on the forum that has done their part to make YoWorld vibrant. The real players that #SavedYoWorld are those who pay to keep it around.

G-Man
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Re: Thank You To Our Supporters!!!!!

Postby SinisterPrime (116808443) » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:26 pm

Nice! Keep up the good work!
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Re: Thank You To Our Supporters!!!!!

Postby Marc YED (109769120) » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:27 pm

Will we see an addition to buying Yocash with Facebook credits in the future? Also, will we see Yoworld Game Cards at Shopping stores in the US/Canada in the future.

Thank you!
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Re: Thank You To Our Supporters!!!!!

Postby Goon (185737325) » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:28 pm

While supporting the game is a great thing to any of us with these supporter things, I would appreciate if my little badge was not visible. It is no one's business but my own what I spend towards this game and I'm willing to bet that I am not the only one who feels that way.

Thank you for all you've done.
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Re: Thank You To Our Supporters!!!!!

Postby TheGeneral(VaultKeeper) (14397783) » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:29 pm

Love it.........great job team!
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Re: Thank You To Our Supporters!!!!!

Postby Doctor Gatsby (136246252) » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:30 pm

Thanks for the updates and the answers. feeling more comfortable now:)
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Re: Thank You To Our Supporters!!!!!

Postby Greg Thomson » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:30 pm

Marc YED (109769120) wrote:Will we see an addition to buying Yocash with Facebook credits in the future? Also, will we see Yoworld Game Cards at Shopping stores in the US/Canada in the future.

Thank you!


Mark, you can purchase and use Facebook Game Cards (https://www.facebook.com/gamecards) in YoWorld. These can be purchased in the US and Canada at almost every large retailer.

Greg
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Re: Thank You To Our Supporters!!!!!

Postby Anthony Ravenshire (102235402) » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:30 pm

Thank you, but I have a question.

Is buying a Facebook gift card, and spending the FB credits on YoCash, supporting you guys in anyway, or does that all go to Facebook?
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Re: Thank You To Our Supporters!!!!!

Postby Sakura Amber (2873681) » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:31 pm

This was so interesting! Question though, will our badges be erased after 30 days if we dont spend yc?
Last edited by Sakura Amber (2873681) on Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thank You To Our Supporters!!!!!

Postby Toink Toink (117686344) » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:31 pm

Thank you so much for the explanation.
Last edited by Toink Toink (117686344) on Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Thank You To Our Supporters!!!!!

Postby Gary Stevenson » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:31 pm

Anthony (102235402) wrote:Thank you, but I have a question.

Is buying a Facebook gift card, and spending the FB credits on YoCash, supporting you guys in anyway, or does that all go to Facebook?


It's no different. 30% goes to Facebook as with other payment methods. :)
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Re: Thank You To Our Supporters!!!!!

Postby Snorty (3054329) » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:32 pm

I am all for supporting the game. I just dont know if i like everyone knowing about it. It almost feels boastful to me. I have never held myself any higher than a non paying player even though I have spent enough to buy a car in the past 6 years! Thank you for appreciating us, but can we opt out of the recognition part?
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Re: Thank You To Our Supporters!!!!!

Postby Anthony Ravenshire (102235402) » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:32 pm

Gary Stevenson wrote:
Anthony (102235402) wrote:Thank you, but I have a question.

Is buying a Facebook gift card, and spending the FB credits on YoCash, supporting you guys in anyway, or does that all go to Facebook?


It's no different. 30% goes to Facebook as with other payment methods. :)


Alright, thanks, I am gonna go and buy that sometimes this week. :)
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Re: Thank You To Our Supporters!!!!!

Postby shadeaux (145701342) » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:33 pm

I would much prefer the money go straight to BVG & not FB.
.

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Re: Thank You To Our Supporters!!!!!

Postby ACE (362266) » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:33 pm

Thank you for the updates and the continuous hard work of improving YoWorld :D
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Re: Thank You To Our Supporters!!!!!

Postby LooLYo (183302531) » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:33 pm

"It turns out, great artists don't grow on trees (we've looked)." Even on a serious post, you guys are hilarious.
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Re: Thank You To Our Supporters!!!!!

Postby Toad (184383823) » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:34 pm

Ah, I was wondering what this "gold supporter" badge was by my username. :lol:

Hope you make good use of my dosh ;)
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Re: Thank You To Our Supporters!!!!!

Postby tink (185739646) » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:34 pm

for those players that want 100% of their purchases going to Big Viking as opposed to 30% going to Facebook

i would like to see this facebook has never been customer service friendly
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Re: Thank You To Our Supporters!!!!!

Postby LooLYo (183302531) » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:36 pm

Yaay.. I'd love to see another UK theme. :P
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Re: Thank You To Our Supporters!!!!!

Postby Bullet (119449813) » Wed Jul 02, 2014 3:36 pm

My money shall remain with me then. It's no one's business what I spend on this game.
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