And Happy New Year to you all. Come and play cards on Sunday night.
So Deal or No Deal has a shiny new set and a new game element – can’t blame them for not trying – in Box 23. Box 23 is a box set aside from the stage with one of five things randomly loaded inside – Double, +10k, Money Back, Half, Nothing. After the main game, the player can elect to buy Box 23 for all their money and receive a return based on what is inside.
Crikey. I’ve been in several minds about this over the last hour, varying from hmmm, to mmm to hmmm again. They’ve been filming with it for months now so other people will have a better idea of how it’s panning out than I, but here’s where I am.
I sort of respect it but think it’s been done too conservatively. The fun of Pacco Matto (the crazy box in the Italian show) is that its game changing effects could come in at any point, here we have high potential for really big Pressure Pad style anti-climaxes.
I maintain that when people come up with these ideas, it’s not enough to consider expected value implications (mathsy people have already worked out that any prize under £20k is +EV and worth going for, over it is not) but also the sorts of real world decisions people make, ideally you want to cause a bit of indecision agony followed by a reasonable percentage of people going for it – this is why the Final Drop of The Million Pound Drop was really poorly thought through.
I reckon the sweet spot for this is going to be where the stake is around £3k-£8k, maybe a little bit more, not mega money but the sort you’d be quite upset to not have and where doubling or halving represents significant utility risk. Below this it’s pretty much a no brainer – the gains significantly outweigh the losses, above this I think most people will walk away and certainly once you get power five I can’t see anybody going for it leading to really awkward win celebration followed by energy sapping pointless epilogue. A really elegant solution should avoid this sort of pitfall entirely.
Perhaps the recent running average has been in that sweet spot – I don’t really know. But I’m interested to see how it plays out. I think they’ve been quite clever in downplaying the half million payoff potential.
I still think the Deal team sets the high bar in the business, but my gut thinks Box 23 in its current form it’s a bit of a misstep.