New Supporter Prices
|This is an official Hattrick Editorial originally published in 2013-11-08 10:00:00.|
Today we announce new prices for Hattrick Supporter, as well as the possibility to auto-renew subscriptions. The changes will happen on the 14th of November.
As you probably already know, the rights to Hattrick was bought back by us founders in August. This was because Zattikka, the company we sold Hattrick to 18 months ago, ran out of money. We are very happy to be back and it’s been a busy few months for us, working through the transition to an independent company again, planning our product roadmap and also reviewing how the business is doing.
The main problem for us is that before going bankrupt, Zattikka spent all the money that had been paid in advance for Supporter. It went into the Zattikka group as any other revenue and was used up. Now both Zattikka and this money is gone. This means that when we started operating Hattrick again, we did so with a big debt to our Supporters. In other terms, our users have a lot of Supporter that we will keep delivering for years, but we will see no income from these subscriptions until it is time to renew again. Since Zattikka was very aggressive in selling extensions of Supporter through discounts, we also have an unusually large amount of Supporter in the system and we know our income will be much lower than usual for a long time to come.
We have analysed the situation to see what we can do to ensure that we can run Hattrick for many, many years to come. We want Hattrick to have a safe source of revenue today as well as in the future. It is well known that Hattrick is no longer a growing game and we want to be able to operate even if we are a smaller game than today. To do that we have to look at ways to get more revenue out of the users that care the most for the game.
There are some options available to us that we don’t want to consider.
We will not make Hattrick a pay-only game. At the very least, this would have reduce our costs and maybe “forced” some non-paying users to become Supporters. But this is really something we don’t want to do, since we have always promised that Hattrick will be free to play.
And we will not introduce new for-pay features that give a decided advantage in the game. We want Hattrick to be a fair game, where you can still have as good a chance to win as a for-free user as a paying user, even if you have to work more for it as a non-paying user. So we won't do that either.
Instead, we have decided to raise the price for Supporter. And it will be a significant increase.
We know that price increases are never popular, but we also know that over the years Supporter has been priced considerably lower than what users are prepared to pay for the service in reality. We have just made a price study that shows that this is still the case, and this is a time when we need to make use of that extra income.
This will help us continue to invest in the game as well as in Supporter, rather than risking introducing new business models to Hattrick. And while we have no new Supporter version just now, improvements for Supporter has an important place in our roadmap for the coming year.
When Supporter Platinum was launched, the intention was that this should be an exclusive subscription type, and that no more than one quarter of the supporter subscriptions should be Platinum. Today, more than half of the Supporters have Platinum, which indicates the two packages are too close in price. We want Gold to be the best value package and have therefore decided to increase the price difference between Gold and Platinum as part of the price review, so that it will be about 25% - 30% more expensive to buy Platinum than Gold.
In parallel to the increased price, we will also introduce a way to pay using automatic monthly payments. We hope this new subscription method, by avoiding an up-front annual payment, will make it easier and more attractive to support the further development of Hattrick. With a monthly subscription, Supporter will be available for less than €3.50 for Silver, €7 for Gold and €9 for Platinum. It will still be possible to get Supporter as one-off payments, for 6 or 12 months, with big discounts to the monthly rate. And users in lower-income countries will continue to have substantially lower prices than this.
The new prices and auto-renewal will not be active until November 14, which means all our users have the chance to extend their Supporter subscriptions over the coming six days at the old prices if they so choose.
Again, we realise these changes may not be popular, but we think it is the best way forward to ensure a long life for Hattrick and we are hoping for your understanding.