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One year of Bejeweled Blitz - Learning to expect the unexpected


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Bejeweled Blitz is one of the most successful, and longest running, cross-platform social games. This talk aims to offer an honest, unadulterated view of what operating a cross-platform social game …

Bejeweled Blitz is one of the most successful, and longest running, cross-platform social games. This talk aims to offer an honest, unadulterated view of what operating a cross-platform social game means, and why "controlled chaos" is the most effective operational method. Attendees can expect to gain an understanding of cross-platform social game operations and the interesting findings that emerged from Bejeweled Blitz operations.

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  • 1. One Year of Bejeweled BlitzLearning to Expect the Unexpected Giordano Bruno Contestabile Executive Producer – Bejeweled, PopCap Games October 10th, 2012 Twitter: @giordanobc
  • 2.  Some quick facts  Launched in late 2000  History: Bejeweled, Bejeweled 2, Bejeweled Twist, Bejeweled Blitz, Bejeweled 3  Key platforms: Facebook, iOS, PC/Mac  Units sold: > 55 million  Installs: > 200 million  MAUs: > 25 million  Total users: 500 million+
  • 3. One Very Long Minute History of Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook & iOS December 2008: Bejeweled Blitz launches on Facebook November 2009: Blitz mode and FB Connect added to Bejeweled 2 iOS client December 2011: Bejeweled Blitz iOS launched as a freemium title 3+ years from launch, still consistently popular: • Facebook: top 10 games by DAU (3M+) • iPhone: top 10 highest-grossing games One of the first games to be fully integrated across FB and iOS
  • 4. OperatingBejeweled Blitz
  • 5. Traditional PopCap model 3. Profit!!!1. Make game 2. Wait (years) for game to be made 3 YEARS
  • 6. Service development model1. Prototype 3. Production! 5. MVP 7. Open beta 9. Keep going! 2. It’s fun! 4. Telemetry first 6. Closed Beta 8. LaunchMONTH 1-3 MONTH 4-9 MONTH 9-12 YEARS 2-10
  • 7. When The Game Is live Capture and analyze data Iterate on features and add content Plan and manage regular events Tweak economy in real-time Change game server-side New (to the games industry) professions: • Data analyst, monetization designer, ops engineer etc.
  • 8. Why We Changed Every game we make is a service • Needs to be updated and improved over time Every game we make is free to play • Reach 10x the audience, need regular events to keep engaged The distinction between product and business has disappeared • One interdisciplinary team • Product innovation drives business innovation, and vice versa
  • 9. What Did We Learn?
  • 10. “Casual” gamers? Frequency of play Once a month Every 2 weeks Once a week Few times / week Every day Multi times / day 86% of active players play every day
  • 11. iOS: A Very Efficient Platform Key Metrics iOS (FB = 100) Daily Active Users Weekly Average 48% ARPU DARPU 229% But iOS players have multiple, shorter, sessions Engagement Games / day 100% Retention 7-day retention 193% Monetization % of paying users 205%iOS performs 2x Facebook in several key metrics
  • 12. Not all mobile players want to be social Approximately 18% of Blitz iOS …but over 40% of DAU downloads have activated use FB Connect Facebook Connect… FB Connect was required to unlock full features Launched “Universal Mode” in June 2012 FB-connected users tend to spend more
  • 13. FB is for friends! ADD ME! ADD ME! I haven’t met you / and this ADD ME! is crazy / but I love Blitz / so add me maybePlayers will always find a way
  • 14. UI matters. A lot Snazzier presentation! We changed Daily Spin UI from this: To this: Satisfying lever pulling! Clearer payouts! Average revenue from Daily Spin increased 131%
  • 15. UI matters. A lot 2X
  • 16. Key Lesson
  • 17. Be metrics-informed, don’t be metrics-driven
  • 18. Specialize, but share knowledge
  • 19. Huge features are dangerous: go for small sprints when you can
  • 20. Leverage Facebook for rapid iteration and A/B testing
  • 21. Cross-platform is hard, but can be worth it
  • 22. Don’t underestimate players’ willingness to spend (but give them fun in exchange)
  • 23. Thanks!Questions? @giordanobc