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Inside Mobile Freemium Gaming

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Matt Tubergen reveals the fascinating and complex world of mobile freemium gaming. Learn how freemium game developers leverage game mechanics, virual goods, social features and analytics to create …

Matt Tubergen reveals the fascinating and complex world of mobile freemium gaming. Learn how freemium game developers leverage game mechanics, virual goods, social features and analytics to create kick ass profitable games for iOS.

Matt Tubergen is a mobile content expert with a decade of experience working with brands that include Disney, NFL and LucasArts. Matt heads up W3i’s wholly owned publishing arm and investment fund, Recharge Studios

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  • Welcome the user, reward them for finishing, minimize the amount of text, let them skip, hand hold with currency, instruct in future levels, alert for not completing.
  • Basis for the economy of the game. XP never goes away, lifetime achievement. Levels keep the game moving, show them what they unlock!
  • Reward every day, higher reward for consecutive days, let them spend PC to keep the consecutive days streak!
  • Pushes sinks, keeps users coming back when crafting is complete
  • Create opportunities for users to gain XP & currency. Notify them when things are ready
  • Created by the application when certain things happen. Don’t alert too much though, it may cause users to disable alerts from the app
  • Use negatives, the user will feel an emotional connection to return, via notification.
  • Competition is key, must have local leaderboard. compare the stats and return to the game and try to dominate until you are number 1
  • Easy to build in, very high reward. Gamers are programed to fulfill achievements. Some achievements could offer currency and XP rewards in game
  • Spend money to increase income rates or player abilities. Buy this gemstone for 10 Unicorns pellets and increase your farming ability by 50%
  • Transcript

    • 1. Mobile St Cloud
      Inside Freemium Gaming
    • 2. Overview
      • Quick Intro
      • 3. What is a Freemium game?
      • 4. History of Freemium Mobile Games
      • 5. Market Overview
      • 6. Core Fundamentals of Freemium
      • 7. Freemium Game Mechanics (Jimi Van Guilder)
      • 8. Making it Social
      • 9. Post Launch Strategies
      • 10. User Acquisition
      • 11. Monetization
      • 12. Analytics and Measurement
      • 13. Questions
    • Quick Intro
      • Ringtones (MIDIRingtones)
      • 14. Mobile Videos Games (THQ Wireless)
      • 15. Recharge Studios
    • What is a Freemium Game?
      Free = Freemium?
      Not quite….
    • 16. What is a Freemium Game?
      Free to download and play
      Freemium =
      +
      Virtual Goods, In-App Purchases, Virtual Economy, Premium Currency, Cash Transaction, Ad Revenues, Freemium Game Mechanics, Social Interactivity, Etc……..
    • 17. What is a Freemium Game?
      50% Game Design
      50% Business Intelligence
    • 18. History of Freemium Mobile Games
      Mobile Games
      Social Games
    • 19. History of Freemium Mobile Games
      Mobile Games
      Social Games
      2008 Apple Allows In-App Purchases
    • 20. History of Freemium Mobile Games
      Social Games
      Freemium
      Mobile Games
      =
      +
    • 21. Market Overview
      Mobile app revenue is expected to rise by another 81.5 percent in 2011 to hit $3.9 billion.
      A key driver of growth is the “freemium” business model
      As application stores become more and more crowded, studios are opting to release their content for free.
      Freemium purchases will count for around half of all North American app revenues by 2014, up from 24 percent in 2010. Freemium’s share will be even higher for games.
      Source: IHS
    • 22. Market Overview
      Mobile Freemium Content = $10Billion+ Industry by 2014!
      Yes, That a “B”
      Source: IHS
    • 23. Market Overview
    • 24. Market Overview
      Android vs. iOS Freemium Games in Top Grossing
    • 25. Market Overview
      iTunes Top Grossing 3/31/11
    • 26. Market Overview
    • 27. Market Overview
      Estimated Monthly Revenues
    • 28. Core Fundamentals of Freemium
      • Sources and Sinks
      • 29. The Compulsion Loop
      - The Virtual Economy
    • 30. Sources and Sinks
      Definitions
      Sink: Investment
      Source: Value Creation
      Examples:
      Sink: Purchase Wheat Seeds to Grow Wheat
      Source: Waiting 5 minutes to grow 10 Wheat
      Source
      Sink
      Core Fundamentals of Freemium
    • 31. The Compulsion Loop
      Source
      Sink
      Core Fundamentals of Freemium
    • 32. Sample Compulsion Loop
      Celebrity
      Publications (journal, news)
      Players
      votes, visits, buy
      $
      Ingame
      money
      $
      Inscription
      Competitions
      (massive)
      Visits
      Services
      (many to many)
      Lignage
      (one to one)
      MP
      Horse customization and training
      $
      Catalog
      Allow
      Farm Stum customization
      Solo
      Activities
      Horses + skills
      Farm services
      $
      Catalog
      Friends
      Boost activities
      $
      Catalog
    • 33. The Virtual Economy
      Is not just the shop…..
      Core Fundamentals of Freemium
    • 34. The Virtual Economy
      It involves every transaction in the game…
      Core Fundamentals of Freemium
    • 35. Top 10 Freemium Mechanics
      Taken from the
      Recharge Studios Freemium Playbook
      Jimi Van Guilder, Mobile Games Producer
    • 36. 1. Tutorials
      Retention
    • 37. 2. Leveling/Experience Points
      Retention
    • 38. 3. Daily Reward
      Retention
    • 39. 4. Decay
      Retention, Monetization
    • 40. 5. Reward Schedules
      Retention
    • 41. 6. Local Notifications
      Retention – do not abuse!
    • 42. 7. Disincentives
      Retention
    • 43. 8. Leaderboards
      Retention
    • 44. 9. Achievements
      Retention
    • 45. 10. Modifiers
      Monetization
    • 46.
    • 47. Viral Game Mechanics
    • 48. Viral Game Mechanics
      Interacting Real-time with friends!
    • 49. Viral Game Mechanics
      Reinforced social sharing - Allowing your users to results will not only drive awareness, it will drive downloads!
    • 50. Viral Game Mechanics
      Envy – Allow your users to brag!
    • 51. Viral Game Mechanics
      Gifting – Reinforces user behavior and drives the economy
    • 52. Viral Game Mechanics
      Companion Gaming – Give reasons for users to play with each other
    • 53. Back to Business
    • 54. Post Launch Strategies
      • Beta Launch
      • 55. Dynamic Content
      • 56. Dynamic Game Balancing
      • 57. Tutorial Optimization
      • 58. The Evolving GDD
      Core Fundamentals of Freemium
    • 59. Beta Launch
      • Launch in
      • 60. Test, Measure, Revise
      • 61. Build Ability to Balance on the Fly
      • 62. Plan for it!
      Post Launch Strategies
    • 63. Dynamic Content
      • Introduce story lines, characters and levels
      • 64. New features need to be carefully introduced
      • 65. Carefully calculate level progression
      • 66. New content = more $ from the whales
      Post Launch Strategies
    • 67. Dynamic Game Balancing
      • Small test, be careful to change to many variables
      • 68. Let the data speak for itself, don’t assume
      • 69. Focus first on rate of play
      • 70. Be careful of giving away too much
      Post Launch Strategies
    • 71. Tutorial Optimization
      • Spend %50 of focus on making tutorial more effective
      • 72. Tutorial can be long tail
      • 73. Effective education vs. fluid gameplay
      Post Launch Strategies
    • 74. The Evolving GDD
      • Continual updates keep users engaged
      • 75. Game depth changes over time
      • 76. Stay focused to strategy and theme
      • 77. Changes in economy structure need special attention
      Post Launch Strategies
    • 78. User Acquisition
      • CPI (Cost Per Install)
      • 79. CPC, CPM (Banner Placements)
      • 80. Barter Installs
      • 81. Pre Launch Awareness
      • 82. Blogs, Social Media, Review Sites
      • 83. Apple/Google Feature
      • 84. Operator Feature
    • User Acquisition
    • 85. User Acquisition
      Its important to build sustainable and scalable means of user acquisition
    • 86. User Acquisition
      Bursting can help drive down your cost of user acquisition
    • 87. Monetization
    • Sales
      Sales will not only drive monetization, they will also drive re-engagement.
    • 96. Analytics and Measurement
      Lifetime Value Analysis
      And Everything Else….
    • Cohort Analysis
      asdsd
    • 103. Questions?
    • 104. Recharge In the News
    • 105. Recharge Results
      Dolphin Play
      • First marketed Recharge product
      • 106. Launched on December 2010
      • 107. Roughly 1,300,000 installs
      • 108. Highest Achieved Top Ranking in Free Apps = 10
      • 109. Days in Top Overall Free Apps = 31
      • 110. Days in Top Overall Free Games = 36
      • 111. Days in Top Overall Free Simulation Games = 84
      • 112. 100,000 Daily Active Users
    • A Few Of Our Partners
      Jenkat Games
      Riptide Games™
      Hive Media
      SkyVu Pictures
      Veiled Games
      Purple Talk
      TrioDesign Studio
      InEarth
    • 113. About W3i
      • 20 Years of app distribution and monetization expertise
      • 114. Install IQ: advanced technology, optimized onmore than 500 million installs - 120 million in 2010
      • 115. Founded in 2000, W3i is majority-owned by the founders, and backed by Alta Communications
      • 116. Profitable for 36 consecutive quarters
      • 117. 70 employees, HQ in St. Cloud, Minnesota
      Interested In a Partnership?
      Contact Matt Tubergen
      Matthew.Tubergen@w3i.com
      Phone: 612-803-8143