In Gamasutra's latest feature
, GamersFirst SVP of Product and Platform Development Frank Cartwright outlines six essential elements that every MMO developer should seek from its publishers.
"Who you choose to publish your massively multiplayer online game is more important than who you choose to marry. Seriously," Cartwright writes.
One of the most important aspects is a solid monetization plan. "Monetization is all about having a solid pricing strategy, along with events and promotions that will drive users to get in-game and spend money. Monetization and gameplay go hand-in-hand, because if your users are dissatisfied with their in-game experience, it's highly unlikely they're going to open up their wallets. Ensure your publisher has a strong monetization plan by asking about how they determine item and premium pricing," he writes.
He writes that contemporary wisdom can be misleading: "If you've attended any game conferences in the last year, you're probably convinced that monetization is all about surveys and offer walls. This couldn't be further away from the truth."
Also important is making sure that you are part of an integrated solution on the publisher's side, to help attract paying players from its other games. "It's also important that your publisher have a virtual currency or e-wallet that can be used across all of their games. This will give you instant access to players that have already paid and are deciding what they want to buy."
There's more to the monetization issue, and much, much more to the overall discussion, in Gamasutra's latest feature
, Crucial Demands: What MMO Developers Require From Publishers.