Our rewards have been subject of debate and controversy over the years, mainly because some players ignore the economics and mathematics behind being able to offer rewards in the first place.
In this article I'm going to try and shed some light about our rewards, both historically and how we plan to change things in the future.
Free Daily Rewards & Free Spins
This is our oldest mechanic.
Back in the day, Daily rewards were something we offered according to the user's level. Every 24 hours, players could claim BUX ranging from 25 BUX to 5000 BUX during double-reward week-ends.
Somewhere around 2017 with the huge influx of users, we had close to 60.000 accounts farming rewards every day. Keep in mind that this was during a time where 500 wouldn't enforce a 1 account/person policy and we didn't have an effective system in place to combat bots and farmers either.
Unfortunately, these numbers were totally unsustainable so we had to cut these rewards in half, causing community backlash. As people embraced the new standard, this remained the rewards system that we had up until late 2020.
In 2020, we "gamified" the Daily Rewards system with multiple layers:
- We increased the base reward for users but we also reworked levels into XP and progression system
- We split that reward into 4 and allowed users to claim rewards every 6 hours (up to 4 times per day)
- The daily reward could also be gambled for a minimum of 1x and for a maximum of 100x, every roll
- Every level up would give players even more free spins on the Wheel
Overall, the community was split in half, but the feedback was mostly positive. And now, almost one year later, this is still a very interesting mechanic that keeps users engaged and active, while also acting as a BUX faucet for many users who don't have any balance.
I remember when we first brought in the "train" as an idea.
Knupt just came to me one day and said "hey, what if we just have people enter a train in the station or something and then the train CRASHES, player's avatars just fall out of it and spread everywhere and it gives them BUX?"
We wanted The Train to be a play on words for the "rain" some of our competitors had, and it was a clever connection with the jargon players use when multiple identical colors draw one after another ("train").
The Train has also helped us host smaller or bigger events and hype up the chat when we wanted to. It also served as a mechanic for other players that won big to give back to the community by participating in the pool. Overall, this was a very positive feature that started from a small idea and at this point we feel like it's one of the nicer features of 500.
The Pros and Cons of offering Rewards
Circling back to the introductory paragraph of this article, some people ignore an obvious fact regarding our Rewards.
Once earned, those rewards are claimable for the long term, every day. There is no predictability for us in any way on how the rewards volume evolves over time and we're just offering them as a legacy, counting on the fact that 500 is profitable otherwise and the house edge and volume of our games is enough to cover everything.
In the future, we might switch these rewards to a more predictable scenario, where players would get bigger rewards in the short term, but more limited over time if they don't level up in the meanwhile.
If you're looking for a specific example, I really like how CSGOEmpire's case-rewards system is crafted. It's very rewarding for players, very predictable from a business standpoint, but it's not as good for inactive users.
There is nothing to worry about right now and you can be assured that we'll think things thoroughly and review the data before considering to change any of these community loved rewards mechanics in the future.
If you have any comments or suggestions, feel free to reach me on Twitter.
Thanks for playing,