Before I say anything, I 'm going to say I love drug wars. I love it so much, in fact, I was planning on making my own Mafia Wars clone for Steem for months now. I never got far in coding it, but I really wanted to bring this game to Steem and someone beat me to it. I have no hard feelings, I'm actually glad because it allows me to see how it plays out and see if it would be successful or not and how they handle the issues I struggled with in my mind.
Either way, I can see do it as I had a completely different theme and twist on the game that would set it apart from both Mafia Wars and Drug Wars.
Now for the bitter truth
I have a habit of analyzing everything and avoid the fluff and pretty packaging. Something I have been doing since Drug Wars was announced.
One thing that concerned me is how the reward pool works. When the game launched, all transactions paid to the Drug Wars game goes to what I will refer to as the reward pool.
From the reward pool the funds are split:
- 20% to developers
- 80% to players
From that 80%, 8% is used on a daily basis. Initially, this was set to 7% to the daily prize pool which is a passive reward system for active players and 1% to the daily heist, the burn mechanism of the game to prevent economy inflation.
Burn is a necessary evil in games to prevent inflation. While this is normally just virtual coins that have no real value in the real world, Drug Wars is different. In Drug Wars you spend and earn real money in the form of Steem. This changes the dynamics of the game a lot, the majority of players will play for economic reasons and not for entertainment purposes.
Here's the thing about those economic reasons. When you look at Drug Wars it is very hard to separate it from the underlying economic and sustainability issues.
Drug Wars pays players to play the game using 80% of the money coming in. In fact it's right in the logo.
All players expect they will make money playing the game, and I'd venture most people are playing with expectation of an ROI.
If you spend 100 Steem to play the game, at some point most players expect to have 101 Steem at some point in the future as a direct result of the game but only 80 Steem is in the reward pool to fund that. Where does this money come from?
The moment you say new players you have just described a Ponzi Scheme. I really hate using that word, I really love Drug Wars and I want to see more like it, but when you remove the game from the equation, the game pays old players with money coming from new players. At some point when there are no new players old players do not get paid. If you got in early, you are going to do really well. You get in late, well not so much. In fact, you will likely lose money.
But it is a game!
It is, and that's why I really hate using the P word. The last time I checked, 21 people spent over 1,000 Steem on Drug Wars. The number in reality is far far higher as many are running alts and it is hard to know the total spend. The majority of these people didn't spend this money "because it is a game", they spent it because the potential return on investment or ROI.
But what does that ROI look like?
This is my projection of the ROI in the next 30 days. If you made 100 Steem today playing Drug Wars, tomorrow you will make around 91.50 Steem without investing more money. The next day 83.72 Steem. In a week or two when battles are re-introduced, that 100 Stem will be anywhere between 58.68 Steem to 31.51 Steem a day. Depending if it takes one or two weeks.
In 30 days, your daily 100 Steem/day profit will actually be around 7.61 Steem. If users upgrade their buildings using in game resources and do not use Steem, your ROI will be even less.
30 Day ROI projection
If you spent 100 Steem to upgrade your Drug Wars character 5 days ago you would make 8.7 Steem or 9% ROI. Today you would have made 5.961 Steem or 6.41% ROI.
This is based on purely upgrading drug production and nothing related to Alcohol, Weapons, or Troops and purely playing for maximum ROI.
100 Steem 5 Day ROI Analysis
But it is just a game
If you play it such and enjoy, awesome! I plan on playing it and I am looking forward to Clan battles. But you need to know before you get too "invested" in the game the reality of how the economics work (or ultimately don't).
Unless the developers inject more than 20% of the initial spend into the game, many people will come out below their "investment". I made one suggestion on how to do this, but it isn't enough to cover the size of the reward pool (12,790 Steem today) and the investment debt being built.
I had a lot of concerns about posting this, I don't want to spoil the fun or rain on anyone's parade, but I also think it needs to be said and people need to understand the risks.
In the end, it comes down don't invest more than you can afford to risk.
See you on the battlefield.