Well the website: Goko tried to launch the Dominion web site, but web site couldn’t handle the load, so the site was shut down for more testing. You can read more about it here and here at BoardGameGeek.
I have some problems with this whole mess…
1) As far as the web site failing to handle the traffic, well I have some understanding that stuff happens but it looks like to me they didn’t stress test the system well enough to make sure they could handle the traffic. It makes you look bad, but let’s move on.
2) There have been a number of reports of security problems with the web site on these links. Easy errors, like passing passwords in clear text. At this point until I hear something about it from Goko I’m not considering the site secure. It would be nice if it met something like PCI Standards before I give it some money.
3) Speaking of money, people are saying that they want $12 to buy new Dominion card sets. Really? Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer is on sale for $.99 right now and each extra card set is also $.99. It’s not as good as Dominion, but fills the gap very nicely at a fraction of the price. People are not used to pay that kind of money and I don’t see this pricing getting them too far.
4) On top of that, due to the tech they are using (HTML5), they are not going to offer off-line gaming. Well, not my cup of tea, but I understand. HTML5 will make their programing easier because it can cross platforms, but the users aren’t going to care about that.
So, in summary of my thoughts, Tablets and Smartphones have changed the world of gaming. People expect cheap games and they expect to play them anytime they want, on or off line. If you want to beat this model, you have to at least, IMO, offer them some advantage that other games don’t have.
So set aside that the web site is not working or secure right now, that can be fixed (hopefully these guys know how, but that’s a different issue). Assuming this site does work someday, will it make money?
I’m sure I’ll play for free, but I’m not buying cards at $12 a pack and playing only when I have internet is going to limit my time. To be honest, I think that Dominion isn’t THAT good a card game to overcome these limits. I think they are going to need to make some adjustments to get people to buy into this.