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Game Design & Business Models

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Presented by Neil Harris, President & COO of HeroEngine, part of Idea Fabrik at Casual Connect Hamburg Feb 9, 2012.

Presented by Neil Harris, President & COO of HeroEngine, part of Idea Fabrik at Casual Connect Hamburg Feb 9, 2012.

Published in: Entertainment & Humor, Design
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  • 1. Game Design & Business Models Neil Harris [email_address]
  • 2. HEROENGINE 3D ONLINE GAMES
  • 3. MY LIFE IN ONLINE GAMES
  • 4. LESSON I WISHED MY FATHER HAD TAUGHT ME
    • NEVER FALL IN LOVE WITH YOUR BUSINESS MODEL!
    • THEY ARE FICKLE AND WILL LEAVE YOU BROKE AND BROKEN HEARTED.
  • 5. BUSINESS MODELS I HAVE LOVED
    • Pay-by-the-minute
    • Monthly subscriptions
    • Buy the box, pay no more
    • Microtransactions
  • 6. BUSINESS MODEL IMPACTS
    • GAME DESIGN
    • AUDIENCE SIZE
    • DEMOGRAPHICS
  • 7. ISSUES FOR GAME DESIGNERS
    • TIME VS MONEY
    • REVENUE VS FAIRNESS
    • ADVANCEMENT SPEED VS CONTENT PRODUCTION
  • 8. BUY THE BOX AND PLAY FOR FREE
  • 9. ONE-TIME PURCHASE ADVANTAGES
    • LOWEST SERVER COST
    • FITS STRENGTHS OF PUBLISHERS
  • 10. ONE-TIME PURCHASE DRAWBACKS
    • No Recurring Revenue:
    • Frequent Expansions & DLC
    • Heavy Focus on PvP = VERY Hard Core
    • P2P = Instanced = Hacking/Cheating
  • 11. WHY I LOVED PAY-BY-THE-MINUTE
    • More Fun = More Time
    • More Time= More Money
  • 12. PAY BY THE MINUTE $60 ARPU!
  • 13. BAD GAME MECHANICS TO MAKE MONEY
      • Increase Travel Distances
      • Slow Healing
      • Training Separate from Combat
      • Punish Players
  • 14. #1 DESIGN CHEAT IN ONLINE GAMES
    • BY SLOWING PLAYER PROGRESS
    • DESIGNERS WORK LESS HARD
    • TIME BECOMES LESS FUN
  • 15. DISADVANTAGE OF BY-THE-MINUTE
    • HIGHEST ARPU BUT
    • SMALLEST AUDIENCE
  • 16. THE FORMULA
    • REVENUE = PRICE * QUANTITY
  • 17. ANNUAL REVENUE POTENTIAL
    • BY THE MINUTE
      • High ARPU, Audience 1,000-50,000
    • SUBSCRIPTION
      • ~$15 ARPU, Audience 50,000-millions
    • FREE-TO-PLAY MICROTRANS
      • <$1 ARPU, Audience potential tens of millions
  • 18. BUSINESS MODEL IMPACT: SUBSCRIPTIONS
    • ARPU HAS A FLOOR AND A CEILING
        • No chance to benefit from “whales”
        • Low value for light users
    • HAPPIEST USERS = LOTS OF TIME
  • 19. PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTIONS
    • GEMSTONE INCREASED ARPU TO $27
      • PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION AT $40/MONTH (35% of audience)
      • SPECIAL EVENT TICKETS (up to $100 each)
  • 20. SUBSCRIPTION GAME DESIGN
      • SLOW DOWN PLAYERS = GRIND
      • HUGE WORLD = HUGE EXPANSIONS = HUGE COST
      • PvP END-GAME (LESS CONTENT REQUIRED)
      • WoW IS SPEEDING UP ADVANCEMENT TO BROADEN AUDIENCE
  • 21. FREE TO PLAY + MICRO TRANSACTIONS
    • Huge Audience!
      • More Casual
      • Needs Low Hurdle
    • Balance Paid Goods with Fairness
      • Annoyances + Cures
      • Speed or Convenience
      • Vanity Items
      • New Areas / Content
  • 22. MAXIMIZE REVENUE & FUN IN FREE-TO-PLAY A MODEST PROPOSAL
    • WHAT IF…?
      • YOU COULD DIVIDE YOUR PLAYERS INTO SEGMENTS
      • AND OFFER EACH GROUP ONLY THOSE ITEMS THAT THEY VALUE MOST HIGHLY?
    • CONJOINT ANALYSIS
  • 23. CONJOINT SURVEY EXAMPLE
  • 24. CONJOINT METHODOLOGY
    • CHOOSE ATTRIBUTES
      • Damage, XP, Specials, Speed…
    • DEFINE ITEMS AS COMBINATION OF ATTRIBUTES
      • Sword, 5 DPS, Fire Spell, etc
      • Attributes can include appearance
  • 25. SEGMENT PLAYER AUDIENCE
    • PER BARTLE:
      • ACHIEVERS
      • EXPLORERS
      • SOCIALIZERS
      • KILLERS
  • 26. MATCH ATTRIBUTE VALUES TO SEGMENTS BEAUTY DAMAGE SPEED TOTAL VALUE ACHIEVERS $4 $3 $2 $9 EXPLORERS $2 $4 $5 $11 SOCIALIZERS $5 $2 $1 $8 KILLERS $1 $5 $4 $10
  • 27. HEROENGINE 3D ONLINE GAMES [email_address]
  • 28. Game Design & Business Models Neil Harris [email_address]

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