Auctions with Budget Constraints in the Xbox Live Marketplace
Auctions with Budget Constraints in the Xbox Live Marketplace Andrew Nizamian and Jeff Herman Overview
20 million members Uses Games on Demand Exclusive Content Video Store Indie Games Zune
Points sold in discrete packages Approximately 80 points = $1 Why Auction? Let us impose a sealed-bid auction where participants have affiliated valuations and private budget constraints
Why? Xbox Live points are non-redeemable People have leftover points, since purchases are made in discrete packages Plays into the gamer mentality More profitable than the current first-come-firstserve basis for new content release
Objective Find the auction model most profitable to the Xbox Live Marketplace Find the optimal bidding strategy for the consumer The Literature
Andelman, Nir, and Yishay Mansour. "Auctions with Budget Constraints." CiteSeerX. School of Computer Science, Tel-Aviv University, 23 Dec. 2003. Web. 6 Nov. 2011. . Borgs, Christian, Jennifer Chayes, Nicole Immorlica, Mohammad
Mahdian, and Amin Saberi. "Multi-unit Auctions with Budget- Constrained Bidders." Http://research.microsoft.com/. Microsoft, 16 Oct. 2001. Web. 6 Nov. 2011. . Kotowski, Maciej H. "First-Price Auctions with Budget Constraints." Department of Economics, University of
California, Berkeley (2011). Web. 5 Nov. 2011. . Hard budget constraints These introduce two competing effects on bidding The direct effect: Depression of bids as participants hit their spending
limit The strategic effect: Aggressive bidding from participants with larger budgets Experiment
Two-part question Determine which model maximizes profit for Xbox Live Investigate which strategies are best for agents within a given model Answer using computational simulation Evaluate performance of bidding
strategies/heuristics Test multiple auction environments e.g. First-price vs. Nth-price Implement novel strategies and/or strategies found in literature
Expected Results We anticipate that the most profitable auction scheme for selling multiple units of a good (e.g., a limited release of a map-pack) will be a sealed-bid Nth-price auction For single goods, a standard sealed-bid second-
price auction should be the most effective Caveat: Xbox Live doesnt profit from the points being spent, they profit from the points being bought We expect the most effective bidding strategy will be aggressive bidding with a large initial
budget Side Note: Perception of the Winners Curse Further Research? Simulation with human participants, and qualitative measures of valuation Simulations (digitized and real) allowing for
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