"LOYAL MEMBERS GAMES" ON ERO-MANIA
Note: this is copied from a blog post on Ero-Mania
Before this was put into place, it was something that had been planned for in order to fix a few problems that's been an issue for Ero-Mania for a while, and has become more apparent over the years. First, let me explain some of the reasons this solution came into being:
Over the years, Ero-Mania's content has grown, and being a membership-based site, people automatically get access to everything the site contains from their first day of membership. This is mainly how membership sites work, but with constant growth there are a few "dilemmas" that occur, and which I've noticed that other membership owners solves in different ways:
Dilemma #1: People who stick around on a recurring membership plan, and thus keeps supporting the site month by month, still gets the same "slice of cake" as those who, say, sign up for a month once a year.
While sticking on a recurring plan is optional, many people who do are doing so because they know it helps keeping the site up and running with consistent updates (thus literally funding the site's survival). However, I have on more than just a few occasions received feedback from loyal members who feel it's a little unfair that they literally "pay more" for the same content as someone who subscribes every now and then. And in many ways, that's perfectly understandable.
The problem has been to find a solution that combines both the "reward" of loyal members but is also fair to new members...which has been difficult. After all, most "rewards" towards loyal members can sometimes come off as "punishing" new members, which is not the point at all! So I've done some research into what others have done, and combined these to find my own way.
When I tried to find my own solution, I quickly found out that there are many ways to somehow "solve" this, and many membership-based site owners already do. The most common solution I've found, is to only allow the content to be streamed or used if the member has an active subscription, and most membership-based websites do this these days. However, that's not possible for Ero-Mania's content as of today. If you download content from Ero-Mania, it's yours to keep even after your subscription expires. And personally I'd like to keep it that way ^_^
There is also another solution, which I've seen being used on some artist paysites: so-called "Limited Access". In other words: they only give access to new content after a certain amount of recurring payments. Personally, I find this solution problematic. First of all, it does not take into account wether the member has been around before, since access to new content is only given after at least 1 recurring membership plan, which means the members need to stick around for more than 1 month at a time. Not everyone has a financial situation to do so. And if you need to off-subscribe (or get a decline on a subscription), you need to start "from scratch" before getting access to the newly released content. I'm sure it may work well for those who have chosen to use such a system, but personally I'm not too fond of it and would never use it on my own site. I find this solution to be quite punishing towards newly registered members.
Another solution that's been in my mind, is giving the most loyal members the ability to get custom made projects based on their own ideas (for example a game). The problem is, however, that doing so will require so much time that I'd literally have to put everything else on hold! So...that simply would not work at all. Ero-Mania's membership plan already includes the ability to request drawings which is available to all members ^_^
This leaves few solutions...however, before explaining my chosen method, I'd like to explain the second dilemma (which helped finding the proper solution to both issues):
Dilemma #2: Credit card fraud and other fraudulent activites
Imagine getting a new member that downloads all of the newest content from the site, only to get a notification a few days later that the credit card used for the subscription was reported stolen. Yeah, I'm sure you can imagine that this is not a nice feeling. Also, adult sites are punished with additional fees if a certain amount of transactions over a period of time are reported as fraudulent/used with stolen card details. And while you can block their details, it's no problem for them to do it again (after all, they used stolen card details, and people who already display such low morale as to abuse someone's credit card rarely do so just once, and they're probably doing it on a larger scale on multiple websites).
With Ero-Mania giving access to every single product upon the first day of your membership, it's a pretty easy target for these kinds of people, since their user behaviour tends to seek the newly published content only. Which brings us back to the solutions mentioned in the first dilemma (not giving out access to all new content from the first subscription). While this should be the best solution to solve both issues, I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out a solution that works in a way that does not feel like a "punishment" towards new members.
So, the solution is something I'll simply call "Loyal Members Games" ^_^
Now that Ero-Mania has grown considerably large, signing up for your first month gives a lot of content (over 80 games, more than 1000 drawings, over 800 comic pages, plus animated gifs, animated movies and a blog with previews, demo downloads and "behind the scenes" updates). With the content that's currently there, the first signup should give a pretty good value for the money spent on that subscription ^_^
In order to combine a solution to the problems described above, I decided to add something called "Loyal Members Content" on Ero-Mania. This solution does not only reward loyal members, but also starts rewarding newly registered members from their first subscription! It does not require anyone to stick on a recurring plan either ^_^
Below is a short summary of how it works:
* As a "soft opening", the first "Loyal Members Game" I released, "Lost Hearts 2", will be available on request even for brand new members ^_^
*If you've ever been a member on Ero-Mania before, you can use your old subscriptions to add to your total "Loyal Members Games" request amount!
* "Loyal Members Content" will only involve games that already belongs to a series. This means that brand new game concepts will never be "loyal members content" games, only games that already belongs to a certain series (for example "Futa Spell", "Vanja's Worlds", "Annie's Adventures", etc.). And if I start a new game series, the first game in that series will always be non-loyal content ^_^. The reason I've chosen to do so, is because a brand new member will then already get access to the first games in every game series I've created, and will then easily figure out their favorites and such.
*Even if "Witchcraft" belongs to a series, it will not be a loyal members content game, since it's got monthly updates.
* When a new "Loyal Members Content" game is released, you can request a download for it. For each completed month of membership, you will be able to request 1 "Loyal Members Game".
* Buying a subscription for multiple months (the 3-month or 6-month plan) will still require to have each month completed before requesting a new game (which means if you registered a 6-month subscription on for example 10th June, you can request "Lost Hearts 2" immediately (since this one is available upon request to everyone at any time), and on 10th July you can request another game of your choice, and on 10th August yet another one of your choice, etc.). It needs to be done this way in order to prevent that credit card thieves and chargebackers won't abuse the system.
* Members who have been around for more than 7 months combined (does not have to be recurring, and does of course include old subscriptions) will receive access to all "Loyal Members Games" without needing to request them (info about how to obtain them will be sent by e-mail).
While there may be some people who does not like this solution, I hope you can understand the reasons for it and pay mind to that I've tried to make it as fair as possible for everyone.
Thanks for your support and for helping me keeping the site alive and with new releases! Feel free to ask any questions regarding "Loyal Members Games" if you think any of this is confusing, you can do so in the comments field on the Ero-Mania blog or by sending me an e-mail ^_^