Was thinking that would it be feasible to update the concept of the free demo a bit. As you know it is currently free for 7 days in the dedicated demo world...
I was thinking that maybe the dedicated demo world could be removed alltogether and all players would play the free trial in the full game worlds. This could be the beginner world (BW) as it is usually guaranteed to have a good availability of airports, slots and used planes, and easy economic settings. And available player spaces too (which is most important thing)...
Demo could still be the 7 day trial, or alternatively it could be unlimited but with restriction to your company size (number of planes perhaps).
Some benefits that come to mind are:
- player could continue with his "real" airline after the trial ends, no need to join a new game world and start fresh.
- if "demo world" is BW, players are directly in the proper game world for their skills and avoid the often costly mistakes of joining modern times world just when all planes and capacity is out (= hard for newbie). We try to focus on BW already currently but this way it would be more automatic if they continue the same airline there.
- player gets the full world, all airports and features to use right away, and sees how "real" game with actual competition works, demo is rather empty in this sense. This can be good or bad.... But in case of BW, I just looked, there are plenty of routes, slots and airports (game is at 65% time at the moment, two weeks to go)
- one less game world to manage at our end (minor)
- the game world joining would be also streamlined and when player moves to game area he is automatically signed up for the BW and free trial mode is activated. Currently he is presented with list of all games (demo is on top of the list) and has to join it manually, some decide to skip the demo which is bad for their learning.
The two options would be:
#1: retain current 7 day free trial. After that your credit balance is automatically reduced 1cr/week for the membership in that world. If no credits, you are out immediately after the trial period is over. Naturally you can leave the game and join any other world too if you have the Cr for it (= not "locked" to play bw by any means once you are paying)
#2: allow "unlimited" trial duration (= to the end of that particular game world? in case of BW max about a month). This would apply as long as your fleet is less than (let's say) 5 planes. If you try to get more planes a warning for the trial mode / credits purchase requirement would pop up. After credits have been bought the trial mode is unlocked. This is a bit of "tablet game" / "facebook game" approach common to many games (pay to advance), but could perhaps help to increase player counts as here you could learn the tricks will it's still free.
#3: something else?
(note that you get the game joining fee for free in both cases when you join the BW to use your trial, this can be done only once. So in other words your demo equals to 5 free credits, in case of option #1 at least)
Effects to existing players in BW would be rather minimal in my mind. Max player count in BW would be increased a bit and there would be more small airlines around.
The goal is to bring in more new players who decide to stay in after the trial. (similar topic has been discussed some years ago too)