If you’re gonna do something, do it differently. No-one got anywhere by being the same. (apart from people who do impressions)

That’s kind of the approach I took with Rust’s alpha keys. It’s a dutch auction. A dutch auction is where the price starts high and drops until someone buys it. With Rust we decided to sell only 100 keys a day. This is mainly because we’re still in really early development – and don’t have the capacity to open the floodgates to everyone. We need to ramp it up slowly.

At midnight (GMT) the price is $240 a key. The price drops $10 every hour until it reaches $0.50. On the first day we sold a lot of the keys at around $60. As soon as there were about 20 keys left everyone pounced – and they disappeared in a few seconds. This was around the $35 mark. We ended up making $3,732 from 100 keys.

Selling the keys in this way has a few benefits:

  • The market decides the price (if it’s not worth $30 people will wait until it’s $10)
  • We make the most money possible
  • It’s different and fun for users to get involved in.
  • Everyone gets a chance to buy – not just the fastest.
  • Prevents keys being bought and re-sold (because there’s no profit margin)

It’s still really early days but I think we have succeeded on making the buying process fun. That isn’t something that is easy to do.