In a recent Develop interview, Valve head honcho Gabe Newell said that his company is looking for new ways to charge customers. One of the more novel payment schemes involves a community member’s popularity. Apparently, if you are a social pariah in the Valve community, it may cost you more money if Newell’s payment idea takes hold. Newell says that the "same price for everyone" model is a "bug."
"The industry has this broken model, which is one price for everyone. That’s actually a bug, and it’s something that we want to solve through our philosophy of how we create entertainment products."
Instead of basing the price on what a product is worth, Newell wants to base it on "what the player is worth."
"Some people, when they join a server, a ton of people will run with them," Newell continued. "Other people, when they join a server, will cause others to leave."
"So, in practice, a really likable person in our community should get DotA 2 for free, because of past behavior in Team Fortress 2. Now, a real jerk that annoys everyone, they can still play, but a game is full price and they have to pay an extra hundred dollars if they want voice."
Newell went on to say that some users that are an asset to the community are often charged negative costs. In other words, those users pay less because they contribute to the community is some way.
"Their cost for Team Fortress 2 is negative $20,000 per week," he said. "You’re never going to see that in a retail store … It’s people who make hats get paid. People who are really popular play for less, or free."
It’s an interesting idea but – no doubt – there are plenty of downsides to it too. We’ll leave it to you to discuss what those negatives might be.’
Source: The Escapist