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Reducing non-pro privileges?

As we can read on the website

" I'm writing this to let you know that after the summer some changes will come regarding how non-pro users can play the game. Basically there will be a simpler version of GeoGuessr for non-pro users as well as limitations on what maps that will be available."

Does it mean non-pro users will be deprived of some features/privileges?
It is very uncommon and I'm sure I won't play nor buy pro if you make this game unplayable by non-pros.


  • The game is in a specific situation where the more players it has, the worse it is. Because Geoguessr uses Google Maps API, the game has to pay a fee every time it loads Google's data. And not a small one: last year, Google multiplied by ~14 the prices since nobody else on the market can make competition. This killed lot of services using Googe Maps as the prices became impossible to endure. I don't know how but Geoguessr actually survived this way longer than expected for me, since every non-pro user is a pure loss for them in terms of money.

    I did some basic calculation by looking at Google prices and one single game of Geoguessr (one game = 5 rounds) should costs them around $0.01~$0.02. It looks like nothing but with thousands of games played daily, you quickly go above $1000 per day. This requires tens of thousands pro players every month to pay Google and I doubt they have enough pro users. Same for advertising revenues, even with the new ads it's not enough.

    So yes, they have to make the game "pro only" to survive. They will still try to keep the game playable free with limitations but we have no idea yet what it will be. It will probably be very bad anyways, since they don't have lot of margin. And if you or anyone thinks this sucks and go away, you'll actually help them by reducing the costs. Remember: Google is who decides here, not Geoguessr. Google as the complete power to do what they want, since there is no alternative for Streetview, which is the core of this game. And just in case it's not obvious, Geoguessr isn't owned by Google, it's just a customer.

    Only the future will tell us how all of this will end, let's hope this won't be that bad.

    PS: I'm not part of the Geoguessr dev team, so I have no actual data for the costs since Geoguessr probably has special pricing for using high volume of data. For the regular price, one game would cost $0.021 so I already did apply a discount in my estimations. Therefor I think my numbers are not that wrong.
  • Hey, thank you for your answer.

    I understand that Google multiplied maps API cost. I know that Geoguessr must pay them a lot to provide us such a good entertainment.
    To be honest if I would play I'll pay - not a problem if game is pro-only but I don't understand such a move when non-pro will get less than they get now. In my opinion, Geoguessr should go full pro without non-pro features 😀
  • Hi Anton

    Thanks for your feedback! I understand your frustration and taking this route hasn't been an easy or a quick decision for us, but it feels like the right one.

    You're right that non-pro will get a more limited experience in some regards, but our conviction is that this instead will allow us to focus more on the pro-experience and strengthen this in many ways. So even if you for some reason don't think that pro is worth the money at the moment, we hope that we can develop pro enough to change your mind!

  • Hello Anton

    Thanks for answering my question.

    I fully understand the reason behind that decision. Well, I think I cannot judge it. And no matter how dissatisfied I am now, hope changing my mind soon. I'll give a chance.

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