Millennial Musings QPR Drop Post-mortem
I am writing this on the 19th of December, the morning after the second drop for Quidd’s QPR mintable as a post mortem. Hoping that the hype for Quidd and the remaining QPR drops has not been destroyed too badly, the issue is that’s an unrealistic thought given the current situation. Particularly when you compare it to other NFT drops that have taken place where the hype (and re-sell-ability) is tied to how quickly the drop sells out. Neither of the two drops has sold out and cards from both sets can be bought for less than pack value. This is not due to getting a bad pull instead it’s due to the landscape of Quidd and how the drop was managed.
So, let’s go back to the start, Quidd as expected dropped free $10 cash to users who signed up hoping that this would get people to open packs with it. The issue is the only way that you would know that its non — withdrawable is to be actively looking at the discord, however, there isn’t much of an incentive to do so. As a result, we can guess a large number of users are still holding onto this balance. The smaller number of informed users who know it’s not withdrawable now have a decision to make over how to best use the funds. Some pass the funds back and forth with a discord friend (Or Alt account sorry… I mean Family member) to make it withdrawable. Some people making it very obvious that they are doing it by swapping overpriced items on the tax-free marvel channel so we can see that this approach to the bonus is very widespread and normal customers are very happy about it.
Others have bought cards off the market, and some will open packs. But what packs are they opening, sure some will buy the new QPR packs if they are interested in soccer, but I already wrote most of the users collect the channels they like and will open gallery or star trek. As a result, a very small amount of this stimulus payment has gone to its intended purpose to get a quick sell-out of the first drop to create a snowball effect and FOMO on the next drops.
Between the free cash and the QPR drop. I took another look at the number of people that were signed up for the event. We had risen from 16 to 22 users, was that really good value for the money spent on the cash drop for Quidd?
But these dedicated 22 users along with the lurkers was enough demand to make the app unusable. For the first 20 minutes, app users were greeted with error messages and blank pages. Once people finally could make it to the store page, they were greeted with permanent spin wheels and requests timing out.
However, as I have later learned some of these purchases would be retroactively going through hours after you are no longer on the app. I intended to buy one pack to get a Charlie Austin (or enough in trade value should the drop be a success to buy on the secondary market) and ended up with three packs charged to my account. Other users have had considerably more unintentional purchases than this! This killed the hype and the excitement of seeing what was in the pack. The reason packs can be sold for more than their value and why people watch TCG unboxings on YouTube.
In Quidds defence they tried to rectify this situation, making it a one-card draw that you still couldn’t see what you packed and later adding multiple different packs that you could choose from. These seemed to make the servers better (or maybe it’s from the drop in demand as everyone is giving up).
The side effect of all this lag was the market impact it was having. People were making mistake purchases as they couldn’t see what they needed from the set. The lag on listings was causing people to list their lowest card for cheap rather than a duplicate. This had two effects, the user is annoyed for losing value and rank and two the history page sends a message to the market that these cards are less and less valuable. This would not be a problem if flippers and investors could hold up the bottom of the market however due to the lag they can’t get on the market (and had a big increase in risk due to potentially listing the wrong card for the wrong price).
Then the most controversial part of the drop happened, out of nowhere Quidd started giving out free 100 packs to firstly people who had completed the set then later to anyone who opened a pack, obviously to try and get it to sell out. A goal that two days later they still have not accomplished. This was pretty bad supply flooding. Some users, who pulled lows were grateful for this freebie however they didn’t understand the economic issue that is put on the market. Now rather than supply being limed due to the 25 cents a card price the set was flooded with supply at a value price of 0. Cards went from having 100 cards being offered for sale mostly at or above the 25 cents purchase price to having 400 cards offered for sale at the 10 cents minimum listing price and not selling. Rather than acting as a freebie the value that you got from the new pack was paid for from the value decrease that the cards that you had already paid to pull or buy from the market. Anyone who was holding up the bottom of the market was rewarded by holding now worthless cards from no fault of their own, as a result of the following day when the next drop happened. No one was buying to hold the pack value from the market and prices have been bid down to under pack price which will remove the incentive to pull from any future drops.
What could Quidd do to rectify this?
In my option there are lots of things that Quidd could do:
1. Use a cash injection to buy up all the drop one cards between 10 cents and the pack purchase price so that they remove the extra supply.
2. Better communication IN APP to say that this new cash is only to buy QPR packs (or whatever any future incentive is for)
3. Reverse all the obvious cash funnelling and keep the tax and give some kind of temporary time out.
4. Slow the releases down so they have more time to react
5. Get more servers to cope with the demand (AWS?) or don’t try and cause a hype spike and drop in a way that better suits the server architecture.
6. Take more time in addressing issues and the impact “fixes” will have on both the affected customers and the market.
7. Refund multiple unintended purchases and anyone that bought off the market before the mass supply
8. Maybe don’t send everyone a push notification when neither set has sold out even with all the supply flooding you have done. It just annoys users more.