Personally I am concerned about selling XMPs as an always-available item because I fear it could significantly undermine local communities. Getting 8 people together to build level 8 portals is challenging enough when everyone benefits, but if one or two of those people decide it's better to buy XMPs than show up to the event, then the rest of the community suffers. And the more often we have builds that fail to attract 8 agents, the fewer builds we have. Selling XMPs as part of a package at an event doesn't have the same impact as just letting anyone buy XMPs whenever they need them.
Resonators are a different story - I don't think many people would be discouraged from showing up at builds just because they could easily get resonators. If anything it might help to make it easier to upgrade others' portals and build community. So that's fine in my book.
Let's see, I've spent over 150 hours on portal recon, diligently validating poi locations, fixing descriptions, supporting development of places for people to play (and spend money on) Pokémon Go and Wizards Unite. At my current billing rate of $100/hour, I figure Niantic's investors "owe" me about $15k. And I'm a middle level opr contributor.
I think someone needs to remind the bean counters that this community creates the foundations for those enormous profits from the successor games. Expecting ingress players to compete with those other games on a pure revenue basis is just counter-productive and the root cause of the feelings ingress players are expressing here. We've got a lot of sweat equity in this system, and seeing that effort ignored in favor of price doublings and sales of items that would shift game play are just a slap in the face to long-term loyal partners.
It would definitely be nice to see CM or something as a reward for spending so much time on OPR and other activities which clearly enrich the game and community.
From a business standpoint, I get their point. If a project is nothing more than a resource sink it's difficult to justify, and as the other games gain the things Ingress once provided (PoI submission) it's even harder to justify.
I think there can absolutely be a middle-ground here - a way to provide purchase options for players that they're interested in and that don't break game balance.
I'd like a fancy badge based in the amount of CMU spent in the store
L8 resonators for sale? I *may* be fine with this...
L8 bursters though... I dunno about that. having the ability to constantly by these changes the dynamic of the game.
Mmmmmm...Bacon Beacons! Also why not let agents buy their badges as beacons? I'd totally beacon a portal with my onyx translator just because I'm there and it's under attack.
Selling XMP- I don't like that there's even low level ones that can be bought, but if your going to sell them I have 2 ideas. Make them stupid costly and make the bought ones a new item that can't be dropped. There was a lot of negative feedback when they were first brought to the store.
Skining- I would throw money at making my triangle/pointer look like a couple strips of bacon.
Badges- agents want to be able to rearrange their badges. $2 and I can play with them for 48 hours before they get locked how I left them? Neat! I'd also pay to make all my badges look blue when agents look at my profile. Maybe I can rearrange my missions for a dollar? Can I hide 3 badges from everyone for $5?
Shards- can I please buy some shards for Baconomaly? I could incorporate a few of those into my events for sure! $5, here's a shard, it's good for 12 hours. Maybe even buy different shards in different colors with different jump timings. Maybe just buy my own mini anomaly kit of targets and shards for $50 bucks? Who knows, but it's exciting to think of.
Hey, why aren't shards just out in the wild for agents to just play with when it's not anomaly season anyway? No targets or goals. Just random shards that reset randomly every week or something. We'd find stuff to do with them for no reason. At least I would.
There's always a lot of agents out to hack the newest items. Make seasonal mods! So an item could be hacked during a few months and if it's not used by the end of it, too bad. Poof. Next new item to play with. Maybe some mods would be game-breaking, but they'd be temporary and/or prone to change. "Happy Hollidays, here's a capsule you can hack and it'll dupe your VR items again. In a couple months it'll change into a regular capsule."
Meh. Happy hacking y'all.
I think a subscription model would much better fit to Ingress players than a model where you constantly have to purchase individual items.
Offer a subscription in multiple levels where players have to pay amount X every month to be eligible.
Benefits for subscribers?
@NianticBrian as there seem to be no longer any OPR Live Events/Tickets, what about additional Submissions via the ingame store? Like 5 Submissions for 9000 CMU, 10 Submissions for 14'900 CMU?
What so you think about that?
@NianticBrian got a few meetup bundles :D really like them now.
I feel level 6 is the sweetspot for selling weapons, and rare for selling shields. Any higher would get gross for sure.
Multihacks and heatsinks are great things to sell since they work well with frackers, both factions can make use of a portal with them, and they do boil down to just being a big time save.
+1. I floated basically this idea a while ago, with the first round of store changes and ensuing torches and pitchforks.
If Niantic needs money for Ingress as it exists today to be sustainable, I'd just flat out give them some money each month. I get lots of enjoyment out of the game, and I spend a fair bit on it (albeit in ways that don't go to Niantic's pockets). I'd chip in $5, maybe $10/mo in order to NOT have Niantic make detrimental changes to the game. If they want to make my name a different colour in comms or give me flair here or something for it, great, maybe it'll drive more subscribers or something to see that, but I'd be interested in paying Niantic money just so they stop making these terrible decisions.
If they want to tier it, sure, so long as there's a) a free option and b) nothing that messes with the game balance, go for it.
I can only comment on my own thoughts on this, in my mind the reason there hasn't been much negative comments on the the anomaly kits is that first and foremost is about the characters and until recently been just a small part of a physical swag package. The recent readiness bundles has maybe slipped under the radar because they are only available for a short period of time and would not be shipped out until just before the anomaly, so not really something you could buy in the heat of the moment. I don't know how many that bought these to stockpile them until needed for the XMP/Resos. What I know is that players locally here kept the codes for the cases when that one player in the community, stuck on a mountain top or on a remote island is out of gear and unable to take out that one strategic anchor, but even then it's rarely about the xmps, it's all about those Jarvis Virus/ADA refactors and the community would supply the code so the OP would not fail because of lack of virus. If you started to sell something like the readiness bundles in the store always available my perception of it is that it goes from a nice bonus in the swag pack to pure pay2win, like the packs that caused the reddit-thread referenced above.
Regarding the price hike on frackers it felt like slap in the face and as one who already spent north of US$700 on CMUs, mostly spent on frackers, it just convinced me to not buy any more. I'd rather spend double the time farming gear then support this type of EA style "surprise mechanics".
So now we are gonna sell gear? Wasn't this an issue before? What did @ace say once upon a time? Something about never selling gear?
Plenty of ways to make money off the game instead of destroying what is left of it. And I do say what is left of it, as the amount of active agents continues to dwindle.
Well, if they are gonna sell gear, maybe we can sell gear back to the marketplace for a little CMU? Help balance this economy where certain prices are getting jacked up. Ya know, supply & demand, right? heh
There is gear they can sell without breaking balance.
I believe the Hanke comment was around AXA shields, but yeah... It hasn't aged well.
Useful, permanent things. See, that's the problem right there. That's what a customer wants, because it is a good purchase. But it is not a renewable income stream. That's why inkjet manufacturers sell printers cheap and charge a lot for ink. It's the razor blade business model.
Frackers are a good income stream. They're a consumable, and what they buy you is time. When you use a fracker, you spend half the time glyphing. Niantic is betting that we value our time enough that doubling the price of frackers will lead to less than 50% drop in sales, so that they'll come out ahead. I know most of us are planning to not purchase any more frackers, but over in HQ, I'm very sure they're adopting a wait and see attitude, and see if we'll eventually cave in.
@NianticBrian Does Niantic use an internal chargeback model by which PoGo and HPWU pay Ingress for its work developing and maintaining the portal network? The ongoing work of reviewing submissions, editing and correcting portal details and removing portals from the game as real-life conditions change is valuable labor performed by Ingress agents. I would think the value of that, if paid for by PoGo and HPWU, could be more than sufficient to sustain Ingress if the true costs and value were recognized and billed appropriately to the other games.
Perhaps some tweaks need to be made to the portal maintainence processes in Ingress to add more value by creating a more accurate network, such as putting portal removal out for review by players with a secondary review by employees if the voting is highly contested (or just rely on the fact that agents can resubmit if the portal is improperly removed by player vote). I would also like the ability in OPR when reviewing edits to flag that the portal is not even valid under current criteria and should be removed. Ingress agents could also be incentivized to do more OPR work by earning CMU or one-time use passcodes for VR gear (as others have suggested). I imagine there is also additional work that Ingress agents perform for all three games such as testing code common to all games that could also be charged to PoGo and HPWU to earn money for Ingress.
This guy gets it. If you wanted to double the price you could have done something to make it more worth considering like doubling the time the frackers lasts and/or improving item output.
Doubling the price of frackers with no prior announcement is politely said, simply a bad play. You have infuriated a large group of dedicated players that gather their communities regularly to build portals and frack and farm gear, who then go out across their arena and PLAY THE GAME. What are you thinking? "Let's restrict their ability to play." "Let's make it twice as expensive for a simple virtual item." "Let's aggravate our most dedicated players." Outside of launching Prime before it was ready to see PrimeTime, this is #2 in your absolute worst move ever.
I, too, am not happy about doubling the price of the frackers. And I notice that the biggest seller of Ingress items on eBay is still active - the seller's eBay name is ingress_store, and they are selling everything in the game as well as accounts and cheat-bots. Why don't you do something about that? (And get a court order to force them to divulge the names of every agent that has bought stuff from them, and ban all those accounts.)
Let's not forget history. Last year's store changes were worse.
I generally don’t use frackers, so I personally don’t care about the pricing, but really the increase seems like a lazy and probably ineffective way to raise revenue.
I’d be more than happy to support Ingress financially to purchase outright a “redacted skin”
Things other players have suggested, or variations, I could also support e.g:
Extra key lockers
Special breeding lockers
expanded key lockers
a charging locker say where you can feed cubes and charge all keys?
a crafting device to convert inventory?
A subscription maybe $6.99 AUD price point is good offering +100-200 inventory and some miscellaneous benefits could work
get creative, many are happy to support the game, we spend a lot to play it!
ps: you’re going to introduce and of the various paid additions, you might want to ensure it’s done before redacted is over, or you have a way to retain players... because I’m not seeing anything to encourage players who value the superior original UI to continue playing
Pack with 5 key lockers and all new agents can buy them.
Hey @niantic, I would buy a CM Locker that let you hold Frackers and Beacons without counting them toward your inventory.
Being a world's top fraker user I would to say that doubling price wouldn't stop me from using frakers. It's already "the most expensive free game" ;)
Very bad now when Niantic dubble the price for Frackers. 😡😭
First of all, thank you @NianticBrian for asking for feedback. And welcome back to Niantic.
I understand the need for finding sustainable sources of revenue to keep Ingress a viable product. I also look back on my history of Ingress play, and I see that I've spent a LOT "on Ingress". By my records, it's over $2500 on swag/merchandise alone over the 6+ years I've played. And add to that Anomaly travel, hotels, and food. And add to that gas for local play and travel. And add to that swag I've created and shipped that left me in the red (thankfully not by much, ever). Add to that events that I've run on my own dime to benefit the community where the costs weren't even CLOSE to being covered by the money that was donated, but which were so SO good for the community that I don't regret it at all.
Of those thousands of dollars spent, Niantic has captured almost exactly $475 of my dollars. Most of that for physical swag. About $10 in CMU for key lockers. And $30 for Intel Ops paid event in Chicago.
I have had plenty of disposable income that I am willing to dedicate to this game. But Niantic has not done a great job of capturing that spend.
I know your question was initially about the price increase on Frackers, and... well, that's not me. I don't buy 'em, so that really has minimal impact on me. Obviously others will have their own opinions on that change.
But what I do know is that there are ways to increase the % of dollars I spend on Ingress that Niantic can capture (or get a piece of). Here are some thoughts:
-A permanent store for physical merchandise, and reinstating the BioCard creation service. Yes, I recognize that physical merch has a much higher COGS and inventory carrying cost than digital goods. But there is a HUGE community of swag traders and collectors in Ingress, and we spend a significant amount on physical swag. Give us opportunities to collect the items, and we will. This is probably small potatoes in terms of revenue and income, though, and I understand if it's just not worth the effort.
-Paid Subscriptions for premium services: An API subscription for personal game stats, inventory and/or key tracking, and/or Unique Portal Hacks/Captures. Or a subscription to a premium version of the Intel Map. The stock map may be good enough for some folks, but having increased functionality for planning operations via better draw tools or greater portal visibility while zoomed out, etc is something many folks may be interested in. Or a subscription to agent stat comparisons to provide services like Agent-Stats or TheGrid does (did before Prime did away with the Share Profile function). Heck...maybe those services would sell their framework to Niantic?
-Temporary ability buffs. Like, pay for a power-up that allows you to place 2 L8 resonators for 30 minutes (followed by a 2 hour cooldown), or a power-up that allows you to fire 2 XMPs for every press of the [Fire] button for 30 minutes (followed by a 2 hour cooldown). Or a powerup that diminishes your own abilities (-10% to XMP damage) but increases the abilities (+20% to XMP damage) of agents within 100m of your location. Some of these mechanics encourage cooperative play, which is a key aspect of Ingress gameplay.
-Paid mini-events, similar to Premium Raids in PoGo. (Perhaps the Field Tests coming Soon™️ could evolve into this?) Events that a local organizer could purchase that allow for a scored mini-game to be played among a group of X players over 1-2 hours, either cooperatively or competitively across factions. Longest link-chain starting with 1 of 2 portals. "Local" version of global shards that would spawn in a cell and need to reach Target portals in the same cell with 15 minute jump windows, etc. These mini-events can bring some of the excitement of anomaly play (or even offer practice scenarios for anomaly play) without the advanced levels of organization or huge travel commitment, plus flexible timing for those who cannot participate on Saturday events.
-Single-faction meetup beacons. If you're having a farm or local meetup, and want to signal that to less-connected players on your faction (but without giving away to players on the other faction), you would place a RES-only or ENL-only beacon. It can be seen in the scanner, but would not appear in COMMs or as an ornament in the Intel Map. If someone on that faction is playing nearby, they might get a push notification (maybe? might be abused?) or could simply see the beacon show in their scanner. Offer these beacons as paid items in the store, and encourage players to coordinate with others on their faction.
-Better sponsorships. I've been rather stunned at how little Niantic has done with their AR platform and their POI sponsorships. ZipCar, Jamba Juice, AXA, and Circle K portals were created, but players were barely encouraged to visit those locations, let alone spend money at them. (CircleK is an exception, but I think the execution was a bit backwards.) While I strongly think it should be OPT-IN, it would be really interesting to have a Media item drop any time a portal was hacked within ~500m of a sponsored store (whether or not that store is also a portal). The media itself would show a coupon (10% off an item, etc), and if you click on the media itself it would provide a Redacted-style "Navigate To" bar that would point you to that sponsored store. These coupons could even be time-specific for when the store is open or a specific occasion. So say Subway restaurant was a sponsor. I'm 300m away from the nearest Subway, and it's 12:45pm local time (lunch time!). I hack a portal and get a Media that offers me 10% off a 12" sub sandwich. I think, "yeah, that sounds yummy" and click the media to get a "Navigate to" that nearest store. It's not even a portal, but I've gotten a chance to not just be more aware of Subway (Niantic's historic sponsorship model), but I've been encouraged to actually make a purchase (direct ROI for Sponsor on that ad placement). If I hack that same portal at 11:30pm when the store is closed, no media drop. You could even tie the redemption of a Media coupon to a monthly report from the Sponsor, and for every coupon that was redeemed, the user gets a passcode for gear emailed to them. ....I'm getting overly complex in my explanation on this one, but IMO there's a lot that could be done to use the AR platform as a vehicle for delivering ads/promotions to consumers that are relevant to their location and time...which is something of a holy grail for digital marketers. (Oh, and getting a gas station/company to sponsor would make GREAT sense considering how much petrol us agents pour into our vehicles in the name of gameplay.)
-Paid OPR Live. Some of us really like to explore and share new POIs with the world, but waiting on OPR and the whims of unseen reviewers is a frustrating prospect. At some anomalies, agents can pay to have X submissions reviewed. Likewise, agents can get a Priority Submission if they get 100 OPR agreements. Why not offer agents the chance to pay $20 to have 10 POI submissions reviewed, or 12 Missions reviewed, on a priority basis by Niantic Employees?
-Pay for a temporary POI spawn (at a relatively high price point). Portal would be "live" at the location of the purchaser's choosing for 30 minutes (as long as it is at least 40m from the next nearest POI). Limit 1 per 24 hours. This could solve the problem of folks losing sojourner while on vacation in a remote location, or having a meetup at a local restaurant that doesn't have any portals.
There are so so so so so so many options for things that would either promote repeat purchases or sustainable revenue streams, and none of them really involve changing the basic mechanics of the availability of XMP or Resonators. The things I'd be most interested in paying for are things that a) make it easier to do the mechanics of organizing/planning gameplay without needing 3rd party apps, b) encourage or promote communities to meet more often or hold more events involving multiple people (co-op or competitive events), or c) things that emphasize one aspect of gameplay for a time.
Thanks for listening. Hope this spawns some ideas at Niantic HQ.
Being a London Resistance agent, I'm a part of the very active local fracking community, which meets up at least once a week - sometimes every day of the week.
And as a result, we went through a lot of frackers.
We aren't buying any damn double-priced frackers, when many of us are already dubious about Niantic's other business decisions. We might experiment with other team farming methods - after all, we all need kit, we all like each other, and we all want an excuse to get a pint in. We won't be buying kit from the store. We won't be buying overpriced frackers.
I would pay, that I can have more then 150 Missions online....
They already do this. It only shows in shop if you have not bought key lockers.
Now they just need to sell the 6th.
Well if you get to buy a 6th, it's only fair I can buy a 7th.
They gave away a free locker at their anniversary.
If you weren't playing then, tough luck.
If you were, you got a free locker.