Game Design as Marketing: Business/Game Developer's Dilemma

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A brieft presentation given at Games-As-Service (GAS) seminar

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  • Dollars: http://www.flickr.com/photos/twenty_questions/2888453842/
  • M-dollars: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mellyjean/3200035895/sizes/l/
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/29487767@N02/3288942594/sizes/l/
  • Wikipedia commons
  • Game Design as Marketing: Business/Game Developer's Dilemma

    1. Game design as marketing: Business/game developer’s dilemma Juho Hamari @ GAS Seminar 2.3.2010
    2. Juho Hamari – M. Sc. (Econ) Researcher @ HIIT Information System Science / eBusiness Scope: Business models related to selling virtual goods
    3. <ul><li>Our game is </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>not big enough to be sold in a box </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>too big to be sold in a box </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>What then is our business model? </li></ul>15cm 10cm
    4. Willingness-to-pay Problem with flat pricing models: How can we meet the WTP
    5. Let’s sell in-game artefacts!
    6. Virtual goods Microtransactions
    7.  
    8. Differences in main b.models Degree of integration between game and biz design Revenue model Service design emphasis Marketing emphasis Pricing Customer relationship emphasis Retail Large amount of initial content Advertising Single price Acquisition Subscription Long-term engagement of users Time-based Retention “ free-to-play” / Virtual good sales Monetisation through incentivising service design Creating demand via game mechanics Microtransactions - emphasis on meeting the willingness-to-spend by price discriminating Acquisition, retention, monetisation
    9.  
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    11. <ul><li>You… </li></ul><ul><li>Amass in-game wealth </li></ul><ul><li>Make new friends </li></ul><ul><li>Generate content </li></ul><ul><li>Keep coming back everyday? </li></ul>
    12.  
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    16. You are locked in, literally <ul><li>Lock-in: You are too deep into the game </li></ul><ul><li>Loss aversion: You don’t want to loose your hard earned stuff </li></ul><ul><li>You don’t want to be left behind… </li></ul><ul><li>… you pay up. </li></ul>
    17. <ul><li>Tempting to make players end up in jail more frequently -> $$$ </li></ul>
    18.  
    19. <ul><li>Not especially fun… </li></ul><ul><li>Not fair for non-paying users? </li></ul>
    20. Dilemma #1: How to balance between: <ul><li>Aggressive marketing VS Fun </li></ul><ul><li>Monetization VS Retention </li></ul><ul><li>Selling stuff VS balancing the in-game (virtual) economy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>No silverbullet – monitor, adjust, iterate to maximise both </li></ul></ul>
    21.  
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    23. OH NO!! MUDFLATION! – ECONOMIC CRISIS
    24. Faucet -> Sink <ul><li>Sink stuff out </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Consumables </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Repair costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Etc </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Not fun either? </li></ul></ul>
    25. Dilemma #2: How to balance between: <ul><li>Paying customers still wanting to get their money’s worth </li></ul><ul><li>Non-paying customers still wanting to fare in the game </li></ul>
    26. Evening out the playfield between paying and non-paying customers <ul><li>Separated games for spenders and non-spender </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Matchmaking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Separated servers (ZT Online) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Get things a lot easier, only a bit later (monetising early adaptors and novelty value) </li></ul><ul><li>Make it easier for losers (No one cares if noobs get a bit helped) </li></ul><ul><li>Enabling trade between earned and bought content </li></ul>
    27. <ul><li>Abstracting functions of items (KartRider) </li></ul><ul><li>Not selling performance related items </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Selling functionality (convenience) – makes the gamplay easier and less time consuming </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Selling only aesthetic items </li></ul></ul>
    28. Thank you
    29. References: <ul><li>Pictures: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Slides 3-20 - by Mark Strozier: http://www.flickr.com/photos/r80o/sets/40318/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Slide 21 – by twenty_questions: http://www.flickr.com/photos/twenty_questions/2888453842/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Slide 22 – by mellyjean: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mellyjean/3200035895/ </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Slide 23-25 – by alles-schlumpf: http://www.flickr.com/photos/29487767@N02/3288942594 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Slide 27: Wikipedia commons </li></ul></ul>
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