Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Launching a Free-to-Play Game: Strategies, Risks, and Pitfalls

8,770 views

Published on

Launching a Free-to-Play Game: Strategies, Risks, and Pitfalls

Published in: Entertainment & Humor

Launching a Free-to-Play Game: Strategies, Risks, and Pitfalls

  1. 1. Launching a Free-to- Play Game: Strategies, Risks, and Pitfalls Eric Benjamin Seufert VP of User Acquisition, Rovio Owner, Mobile Dev Memo
  2. 2. Who am I?
  3. 3. Who am I?
  4. 4. Who am I?
  5. 5. Who am I?
  6. 6. Presentation Structure
  7. 7. Presentation Structure I. State of the Market / Current Challenges
  8. 8. Presentation Structure I. Product Positioning StrategyII. State of the Market / Current Challenges
  9. 9. Presentation Structure I. Product Positioning StrategyII. State of the Market / Current Challenges Three case studiesIII.
  10. 10. Presentation Structure I. Product Positioning StrategyII. State of the Market / Current Challenges Three case studiesIII. ConclusionIV.
  11. 11. Presentation Structure I. Product Positioning StrategyII. State of the Market / Current Challenges Three case studiesIII. ConclusionIV.
  12. 12. Why is it difficult to launch a Free-to- Play game in 2015?
  13. 13. Why is it difficult to launch a Free-to- Play game in 2015? ● Advertising costs are high
  14. 14. Why is it difficult to launch a Free-to- Play game in 2015? ● Advertising costs are high
  15. 15. Why is it difficult to launch a Free-to- Play game in 2015? ● Succeeding on the App Store is difficult by design.
  16. 16. App Store Discovery is Not Broken January 2015 1.43MM apps 1.21MM apps
  17. 17. App Store Discovery is Not Broken
  18. 18. App Store Discovery is Not Broken
  19. 19. Top Downloaded, iPhone / US June 1, 2015 (6 ) (2 ) (2 )
  20. 20. Top Downloaded, iPhone / US June 1, 2015 * * * * * * X X * X Existing, pre-mobile network; beneficiary of the “Great Unbundling” Temporary viral / paid blip Truly Viral phenomenon (6 ) (2 ) (2 )
  21. 21. Top Downloaded, iPhone / US July 29, 2015 (6 ) (2 ) (2 )
  22. 22. Top Downloaded, iPhone / US July 29, 2015 * * b * * X * X Existing, pre-mobile network; beneficiary of the “Great Unbundling” Temporary viral / paid blip Truly Viral phenomenon (6 ) (2 ) (2 ) * b Brand integration X
  23. 23. Existing Networks 6 5 Facebook 2 4 Google 2 1 Other 2 1 Viral Phenomena 2 2 Temporary Blips 2 2 Top Downloaded, iPhone / US July 29, 2015June 1, 2015
  24. 24. Advertising vs. Existing Networks ● Advertising costs are going up…
  25. 25. Advertising vs. Existing Networks
  26. 26. Advertising vs. Existing Networks ● Advertising costs are going up… …because the largest developers are monetizing their networks…
  27. 27. Advertising vs. Networks
  28. 28. Advertising vs. Existing Networks ● Advertising costs are going up… …because the largest developers are monetizing their networks… …and retaining them within their portfolio via cross- promotion…
  29. 29. Advertising vs. Networks
  30. 30. Advertising vs. Networks
  31. 31. Advertising vs. Networks ● Advertising costs are going up… …because the largest developers are monetizing their networks… …and retaining them within their portfolio via cross- promotion… ● With a single title, you’re not competing with large developers on the basis of LTV > CPI (game quality), you’re competing on the basis of network size.
  32. 32. Presentation Structure I. Product Positioning StrategyII. State of the Market / Current Challenges Three case studiesIII. ConclusionIV.
  33. 33. Positioning vs. Marketing
  34. 34. Positioning vs. Marketing • Irrelevant to consider competition with networks in terms of money;
  35. 35. Positioning vs. Marketing • Irrelevant to consider competition with networks in terms of money; • F2P market stratified into a multi-segment model based on marketing tactics;
  36. 36. Unpaid Growth Paid Growth NoBalance Sheet Requirement Balance Sheet Requirement 1 2 3 4
  37. 37. Unpaid Growth Paid Growth NoBalance Sheet Requirement Balance Sheet Requirement ?
  38. 38. Unpaid Growth Paid Growth NoBalance Sheet Requirement Balance Sheet Requirement
  39. 39. Unpaid Growth Paid Growth NoBalance Sheet Requirement Balance Sheet Requirement “Gimmick” Games Fast-follow Clones Lightweight graphics-driven experiments
  40. 40. Unpaid Growth Paid Growth NoBalance Sheet Requirement Balance Sheet Requirement “Gimmick” Games Fast-follow Clones Second- screen Extension Lightweight graphics-driven experiments IP Co-brands
  41. 41. Unpaid Growth Paid Growth NoBalance Sheet Requirement Balance Sheet Requirement “Gimmick” Games Fast-follow Clones Second- screen Extension Full F2P Economy Games Lightweight graphics-driven experiments IP Co-brands
  42. 42. Unpaid Growth Paid Growth NoBalance Sheet Requirement Balance Sheet Requirement “Gimmick” Games Fast-follow Clones Second- screen Extension Full F2P Economy Games Lightweight graphics-driven experiments IP Co-brands ?
  43. 43. Positioning vs. Marketing • Irrelevant to consider competition with networks in terms of money; • F2P market stratified into a multi-segment model based on marketing tactics; • Traction without billions on the balance sheet has to come from product positioning.
  44. 44. Product Positioning Greenlight Questions for Quadrants 1 – 3:
  45. 45. Product Positioning Greenlight Questions for Quadrants 1 – 3: ● “Does this game have a large potential Total Addressable Market?”
  46. 46. Product Positioning Greenlight Questions for Quadrants 1 – 3: ● “Does this game have a large potential Total Addressable Market?” ● “Can I partner with someone to reach that market? Who?”
  47. 47. Product Positioning Greenlight Questions for Quadrants 1 – 3: ● “Does this game have a large potential Total Addressable Market?” ● “Can I partner with someone to reach that market? Who?” ● “Is this game unique enough to produce viral growth?”
  48. 48. Product Positioning Greenlight Questions for Quadrants 1 – 3: ● “Does this game have a large potential Total Addressable Market?” ● “Can I partner with someone to reach that market? Who?” ● “Is this game unique enough to produce viral growth?” ● “Can the essence of the game be communicated quickly and clearly?”
  49. 49. Presentation Structure I. Product Positioning StrategyII. State of the Market / Current Challenges Three case studiesIII. ConclusionIV.
  50. 50. Assumption Challenge (Strawman)
  51. 51. Assumption Challenge (Strawman) A successful game launch will look like this on the Top Downloaded chart:
  52. 52. Unpaid Growth Paid Growth NoBalance Sheet Requirement Balance Sheet Requirement
  53. 53. Crossy Road
  54. 54. Developer Hipster Whale (AUS) Hipster Whale (AUS) / Yodo1 (CHI) Release Date: November 19, 2014 January 10, 2015 Top Downloaded Rank Reached (US): 4 2 Days from Release to Top Downloaded Rank: 4 8 Crossy Road
  55. 55. Top Downloaded, iOS (US)
  56. 56. Top Grossing, iOS (US) #225
  57. 57. Top Downloaded, iOS (US)
  58. 58. Quadrant 1
  59. 59. Quadrant 1 Strategy: Virality. Highly differentiated graphics, low- friction monetization, novel gameplay.
  60. 60. Quadrant 1 Strategy: Virality. Highly differentiated graphics, low- friction monetization, novel gameplay. Risks: Inability to monetize. Not enough gameplay depth to introduce true game economy. Once novelty (virality) wears off, growth will stop. Ad monetization experiences rapid decay.
  61. 61. Quadrant 1 Strategy: Virality. Highly differentiated graphics, low- friction monetization, novel gameplay. Risks: Inability to monetize. Not enough gameplay depth to introduce true game economy. Once novelty (virality) wears off, growth will stop. Ad monetization experiences rapid decay. Pitfalls: Viral misfire. Game doesn’t take off due to lack of resonance and / or untenable depth.
  62. 62. Marvel: Contest of Champions
  63. 63. Marvel: Contest of Champions Developer Kabam Kabam Release Date: December 10, 2014 December 10, 2014 Top Downloaded Rank Reached (US): 3 11 Days from Release to Top Downloaded Rank: 2 7
  64. 64. Top Downloaded, iOS (US)
  65. 65. Top Grossing, iOS (US) #10
  66. 66. Top Downloaded, iOS (US)
  67. 67. Quadrant 2
  68. 68. Quadrant 2 Strategy: Subsidized marketing costs through brand recognition.
  69. 69. Quadrant 2 Strategy: Subsidized marketing costs through brand recognition. Risks: Brand mismatch. Brand doesn’t resonate with fans of the game type (match 3 / build and battle / etc.).
  70. 70. Quadrant 2 Strategy: Subsidized marketing costs through brand recognition. Risks: Pitfalls: Brand mismatch. Brand doesn’t resonate with fans of the game type (match 3 / build and battle / etc.). Onerous IP licensing terms prevent profitability of marketing. Social media reach of IP owner is overestimated.
  71. 71. Cookie Jam
  72. 72. Cookie Jam Developer SGN (USA) / NetEase (CHI) SGN (USA) Release Date: February 27, 2014 March 29, 2014 Top Downloaded Rank Reached (US): 15 17 Days from Release to Top Downloaded Rank: 36 141
  73. 73. Top Downloaded, iOS (US)
  74. 74. Top Grossing, iOS (US) #26
  75. 75. Top Downloaded, iOS (US)
  76. 76. Quadrant 3
  77. 77. Quadrant 3 Strategy: Sustainable growth driven through profitable unit economics.
  78. 78. Quadrant 3 Strategy: Sustainable growth driven through profitable unit economics. Risks: Inability to scale unit economics beyond a minimal threshold.
  79. 79. Quadrant 3 Strategy: Sustainable growth driven through profitable unit economics. Risks: Pitfalls: Inability to scale unit economics beyond a minimal threshold. Lack of organizational commitment to reach consumer “break through” on IP. Lack of analytical sophistication.
  80. 80. Presentation Structure I. Product Positioning StrategyII. State of the Market / Current Challenges Three case studiesIII. ConclusionIV.
  81. 81. Take-aways
  82. 82. Take-aways • Consider your quadrant and build marketing strategy accordingly, pre-product;
  83. 83. Take-aways • Consider your quadrant and build marketing strategy accordingly, pre-product; • Initial download velocity / chart position is not a prudent goal unto itself;
  84. 84. Take-aways • Consider your quadrant and build marketing strategy accordingly, pre-product; • Initial download velocity / chart position is not a prudent goal unto itself; • Product / Market fit is a better way to think about scale than LTV / CPI;
  85. 85. Take-aways • Consider your quadrant and build marketing strategy accordingly, pre-product; • Initial download velocity / chart position is not a prudent goal unto itself; • Product / Market fit is a better way to think about scale than LTV / CPI; • Don’t try to emulate a competitor’s title unless you know their financials.
  86. 86. Thank you, Priori Data! • Provided the data used in this presentation • Berlin-based app store analytics start-up • http://prioridata.com
  87. 87. Thanks! eric@mobiledevmemo.com @eric_seufert

×