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13 ideas to change videogame business models


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  • 1. Game In Progress 13 ideas to change videogames business models by Luc Bourcier
  • 2. The console videogame businessenvironment has become quitepredictable, unlike what it was in its earlydays. Publishers should put theirentrepreneurial hat on again and explorethe unpredictable world of online gaming.
  • 3.  Segment the audience in terms of time and money invested in gaming. Consider there are as many ARPPUs as they are gamers. The value of a game is determined by developers but the price paid is determined by each individual player. Adjust the gameplay to the audience not the reverse. Bear in mind that premium full games are first and foremost addressed to a hardcore audience. Base strategy on research, datamining and analytics.
  • 4.  Unbundle content and release game within a planned timeframe. IPs’ main strength is that they generate communities. Manage communities and pay a special attention to enthusiasts and whales. See what Activision is doing with the Call of Duty franchise: 50$/year Elite Subscription, Facebook integration to assemble multiplayer matches with friends, skill tracking, competitions, episodic NoobTube TV content…
  • 5.  Mobile game revenues are expected to reach $16 billion in 2016 (ABI Research) or $18 billion in 2013 (Juniper Research). Invest in SmartPhone and tablet development. These devices will replace (handheld) consoles. Innovate in mobile gameplay mechanisms (integrating geo-localization etc). Think cross-platforms.
  • 6.  Blend casual usage patterns of mobile and elements of high-end console gaming. Make character-driven mobile games. Integratereal-time content and real-world content into games. Keep an eye on what Seismic games and NGmoco will be releasing in the next future.
  • 7.  Optfor the convenience model where the player chooses the way he monetizes: subscriptions, ads, virtual goods… Insert virtual goods in most games but make purchase not compulsory and at user’s discretion. Considerprice as a personal variable to be tracked and monitored
  • 8.  Think of user acquisition and retention as a conversion funnel. Use behavioral targeting and recommendations tools. Set metagame mechanisms (badges, achievement…). The main target should be to transform a novice into an enthusiast player and into an evangelist. Use line-up and/or aggregators’ line-ups to cross- promote games.
  • 9.  Measure engagement with time of use. Use sessions average time and frequency of play as main KPIs. Engage players emotionally. Think stickiness and replay value. Push frequency of use and re-purchase of items.
  • 10.  Narrative and technology should be secondary to game design. Make progressive gameplays: • Make difficulties grow with engagement instead of having them at the beginning of the game. • Skip all time consuming loading and introductory screens and set the player in action as soon as he starts. Think frictionless. Make flexible gameplays: • Make game evolve with players actions and choices. • Make each individual player voyage unique. Invest and innovate in party gaming for static consoles.Keep in mind Ubisoft’s Just Dance and Majesco’s Zumba.
  • 11.  Revive older IPs and give them a new life Microsoft re-launches Flight Simulator as a free-to-play game, Doom is available on XBLA…
  • 12.  Personal recommendations have always been the most efficient discovery tool. Virality existed before Facebook and will continue to exist after Facebook. Encourage virality with mechanisms specific to each demographic sub-group. Use social on fixed and mobile devices for acquisition and loyalty. See Ubisoft free App Autodance to promote Just Dance 3 (1 million downloads and 7 million games sold)
  • 13.  Push contextual advertising: product placement, sponsored goods, actual brand posters etc. Insert offer walls in games. Remember that advertisers are also looking for new ways to interact with their target audiences. See what brands are doing in social gaming (Old Navy with Crowdstar’s It Girl, La Redoute with Ouat Entertainment’s Totally Spies.
  • 14.  Sethigh ambitions to game developers. Games on all formats are a hit driven business.
  • 15. Twitter: @lucbourcier