Published 2018-08-07

Fall 2018 - Time to announce (part 2)

In Part 1 of this blog post I mentioned something about a second meaning of the relaunch of this game. I will in this second part elaborate more about this. But to put it briefly: I’m turning this hobby project of mine into a serious business!

UPDATED August 10th

Part 2 - The business

Over the past year I’ve felt that the game haven’t really progressed as much as I wanted. Not much at all actually. But at the same time I’ve felt that I’ve put in as many hours that I possibly could. This made me feel very frustrated and to be honest it haven’t been as much fun developing this game like it used to when I first started out. With a full time job and family it’s really hard trying to develop and manage a game like this on my spare time without neglecting the true important things in life. This forced me to really consider my options.

In the end it really came down to either call it quits or take the game to a completely new level.

Since I do love developing this game and since the community shown such support and commitment it really was an easy choice in the end. That’s why I will, once and for all, really try to make this game reach its full potential.

Shaka Productions

One vital part of taking the game to the next level is by moving this game out of a hobby project of mine into a serious business. And this is where my long time friend Tobias Glawing comes in.

So with that said I am proud to announce that Game Plan Hockey Manager is now a part of Shaka Productions, a company owned by Tobias.

I am still the majority owner of the game and I will still be the one making most of the shots about future development. But this move will hand me all necessary tools in my strive to make this game as great as I know it can be.

And many of you may already be familiar with Tobias (Glawing on the forums) since he has been helping me out during the past years with both support, project management and discussing ideas. And he will continue to be very active in both the community and the future development of this game. So please consider us both as “owners” of this game. I’m truly grateful for all his help and effort and it feels great to have him aboard as partner on this journey.

So what now?

What I am now about to say have been said before, so please bear with me - it’s no news for most of you. In order to take this next step we need to put more hours into the game, and for that we need to find a sustainable way to finance the game. Right now all our time put in to developing this game is as mentioned several times before free time we could actually spend with families and friends. But this time we’re going for more of a “make it or break it”.

So we have been thinking back and forth on the best way to finance this game. We have been discussing all sorts of options such as ads and sponsors, premium accounts vs general subscription plans, free tiers vs free trials. One thing that goes without saying is that this will NEVER be a "pay to win" game. We also agree on that we want new users to be able to try the game before having to pay any money.

As of current we’re trying out the premium account option with the all star account. This is making enough money to cover the expenses we have at the moment. So a big thank you to all of you all stars! We really appreciate your support and without you we wouldn’t have gotten this far!

But at the same time we don’t feel that this option is going to take us so much further, the features of an all star account isn’t going to be enough appealing for the majority to sign up.

So we are actually going to remove the all star accounts and make all features available for all who play the game. But then we will also have to start charging to a greater extent. To compete in the main competition you would need an active subscription plan. A 30 day free trial will be included to let everyone explore the new competition and to get everyone settled at their new team before deciding.

This means that we will no longer only charge our most generous players. The subscription cost will be $2.99/month and team. (Rates for multiple teams will be revealed later on). We think this is a fair amount. It will only cost you as much as an ice cream per month for playing a game that hopefully gives you a really good time every day!

Special offer to all our current users

We really want to show our appreciation to all of you who currently play this game and to keep as many of you as we possibly can. That’s why all of our current users, that sign up within the first month after the release, will be offered a lifetime $1.99 subscription plan PLUS getting one extra team for free. That is two teams for $1.99/month.

Note that secondary teams must be created in a different game world.

Free leagues

The subscription plan described above is required for participating in the main competition (LIHL -> GHL). But we also want to offer some free to play option.

That’s why we will introduce a separate league structure called Free Hockey Leagues (FHL) within each and every game world. These leagues will be below LIHL level attracting players around 40-60 overall. Leagues will be completely free for users to play in, no subscription required. Teams can not promote from this leagues but there will be a playoff after the regular season with a designated winner.

Most but not all features will be available in these leagues. For instance is youth draft not available but trades are.

Even if separate FHL will play an important part of the game world since teams in the league will interact and sign free agents from the same free agent pool as the competition leagues. This means that they will help create world history, for instance players evolving in free leagues continuing their career in higher leagues.

Summary of Part 2

So I’m really excited to see what the future will bring for this game. There are so many great ideas for more features, many suggested by the community, that I would love to add to the game!

Here’s a quick summary of Part 2

Thanks for taking the time to read this blog post and for your interest in the upcoming release! I’m very hopeful that this can be the beginning of something great and we really wouldn’t be here without all of you supporting and playing this game! Thanks a million!

/Anders