We have a lot of kids playing, particularly younger teens. I understand they don't have control over whether or not they become customers as a credit card or PayPal account is required (we do accept by-mail payments, but its not a popular option.)
Just today we got a from a player who wanted us to make items cheaper because, and I quote "I honestly don't want to spend money for a online game. (No matter how cool the game is!)"
Her honesty is nice, but she is saying explicitly what the cynic in me thinks every time I read a message requesting we give more away for nothing. If she's never going to become a customer, her value to ourWorld is based on her contributions to the community and the number of paying customers she refers to the site. Statistically, that's not a huge value to us, so I have to say no. Over and over again.
We could give more away for free if:
- Doing so will radically increase the retention of Tourists, leading more to eventually become Customers. The numbers don't currently support this.
- We can increase the value of Tourists (through ads, promotional deals, or something else I haven't thought of.)
- The free items lead to additional purchases by the players who do spend.