- Myth: Branching stories (whatever production level) are expensive
Even when our design model limits the branching from becoming an unmanageable process, it still requires a wide range of decision trees, which scares people away. They believe branching is expensive.
Expensive is a relative term, it depends how much available budget you have, and what kind of revenue you are expecting in return.
Let's assume that our branching requires us to produce 10 times more material than that required for a linear story. It may seem that the ratio is 1 seen (by the players) to 10 produced, but our market tests have shown that people re-play the experience on average 5 times, enjoying different paths of the simulation. So the ratio is not really 1 to 10, but 1 to 2 which may sound much more acceptable.
Another approach is to think that in some degree we're creating 10 stories that will appeal to different audiences, the same way different books appeal to different people. We're increasing the audience and therefore the return. As long as the return is greater than the investment, it is viable business.
Finally, being the active protagonist of a story and getting an exciting alternative life for a while, is a powerful (and somewhat unique) proposition therefore more people will be willing to pay more for it.
We're expecting to recover many times the production cost of every web story (simulation). So, if the return exceeds the investment, this is worth it. We believe this cost-benefit relationship can be maintained as well on most delivery platforms.
You have to approach this issue from a business perspective.