One-time compensation gifts for problems usually can’t move the needle significantly. Any financial harm caused by compensation gifts is usually seen as part of the cost of fixing the problem. Even if the gift is generous, it is still a one-time occurrence. It is highly unlikely that we’ll give compensation that is enough to invalidate an entire resource management system forever. The point of creating systems of resources to manage is that we want players to manage them.
The cost becomes a problem to the health of the game if the problems we compensate for become so common that the developer must offer compensation gifts constantly. In such situations, that usually short-circuits the game and reward loops and hurts the game experience for the players. If we’re giving compensation gifts that often, it means that we’re pushing too many problems live. That means that our validation processes need serious re-examination and suggests the game itself is likely in trouble.
Compensation will probably mollify most of our player audience but, depending on the egregiousness of the bad experience, that compensation will likely be insufficient to appease everyone and some of that audience will churn out of the playerbase permanently. The more bad experiences we give, the greater the churn. Getting freebies in a buggy, broken game only goes so far. Many players will eventually stop putting up with it and move on to another game.
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