Designing in-game purchases

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In-game purchases are here to stay. Now more than ever it is clear that players are comfortable spending money in browser, mobile, and download games. But just because players are willing to pay does not mean game developers know how to give them something worth buying. This talk gives practical, hands-on guidelines and processes for designing your game’s monetization. Core loops, feature design, economy design, user interface tips, user experience flows, and forecasting tools are all covered in this actionable talk from a 11 year design veteran who has successfully made the leap from designing paid games to freemium games.

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Designing in-game purchases

  1. 1. gdc next | nov 13 ethan levy | monetization design consultant | @FamousAspect Designing in-game purchases FamousAspect.com
  2. 2. FamousAspect.com
  3. 3. FamousAspect.com
  4. 4. FamousAspect.com
  5. 5. FamousAspect.com
  6. 6. FamousAspect.com
  7. 7. FamousAspect.com
  8. 8. a practical guide to in-game purchases • Is my game a good fit for freemium? • Is my design built for freemium? • Am I selling the right things? • What examples should I follow? FamousAspect.com
  9. 9. is my game a good fit for the freemium model? Am I ready for MTX? FamousAspect.com
  10. 10. mo’ fun == mo’ money Turning players into veterans is key to making money FamousAspect.com
  11. 11. value lies in vets 86% of revenue comes from Vets FamousAspect.com
  12. 12. conversion takes time 23 sessions before spend in multiplayer FamousAspect.com
  13. 13. ideal player progression Newb Player Vet Early Game Mid Game Elder Game FamousAspect.com
  14. 14. great elder games are • social • competitive • infinitely replayable • involve social organization FamousAspect.com
  15. 15. is my design built for freemium? My core loop FamousAspect.com
  16. 16. what is a core loop? • Key set of activities a player takes each session • Path of least resistance • Actions - main interactive elements • Gates - elements that block progression • Sinks - where player spends currency • Taps - where player gains currency FamousAspect.com
  17. 17. purchasing not present Major Mayhem FamousAspect.com
  18. 18. purchasing not present Major Mayhem FamousAspect.com
  19. 19. purchasing not present Major Mayhem FamousAspect.com
  20. 20. purchasing not present Major Mayhem FamousAspect.com
  21. 21. purchasing not present Major Mayhem FamousAspect.com
  22. 22. purchasing not present Major Mayhem FamousAspect.com
  23. 23. purchasing made present Despicable Me: Minion Rush FamousAspect.com
  24. 24. purchasing made present Despicable Me: Minion Rush FamousAspect.com
  25. 25. purchasing made present Despicable Me: Minion Rush FamousAspect.com
  26. 26. purchasing made present Despicable Me: Minion Rush FamousAspect.com
  27. 27. purchasing made present Despicable Me: Minion Rush FamousAspect.com
  28. 28. am I selling the right things? My offer catalog FamousAspect.com
  29. 29. purchase makes a promise Kingdom Rush FamousAspect.com
  30. 30. crossing the penny gap Card Hunter FamousAspect.com
  31. 31. out of context upsell Call of Mini: Infinity FamousAspect.com
  32. 32. danger of linear content Bloons Tower Defense 4 FamousAspect.com
  33. 33. danger of linear content Example data from level based game FamousAspect.com
  34. 34. permanent vs consumable goods Consumables create a path to infinite monetization FamousAspect.com
  35. 35. ask for dollars Kingdom Rush: Frontiers FamousAspect.com
  36. 36. ask for dollars Kingdom Rush: Frontiers FamousAspect.com
  37. 37. luxury items Cater to high value players FamousAspect.com
  38. 38. currency package pricing The Last Stand: Dead Zone FamousAspect.com
  39. 39. what examples should I follow? UI/UX best practices FamousAspect.com
  40. 40. teach players to spend Batman: Arkham Origins FamousAspect.com
  41. 41. teach players to spend Batman: Arkham Origins FamousAspect.com
  42. 42. teach players to spend Batman: Arkham Origins FamousAspect.com
  43. 43. teach players to spend Batman: Arkham Origins FamousAspect.com
  44. 44. teach players to spend Batman: Arkham Origins FamousAspect.com
  45. 45. teach players to spend Batman: Arkham Origins FamousAspect.com
  46. 46. first taste is always free CSR Classics FamousAspect.com
  47. 47. first taste is always free FamousAspect.com
  48. 48. first taste is always free CSR Classics FamousAspect.com
  49. 49. level the playing field Clash of Clans FamousAspect.com
  50. 50. advertise your goods Fairway Solitaire FamousAspect.com
  51. 51. more fun with friends Bejeweled Blitz FamousAspect.com
  52. 52. more fun with friends TinyCo report jun ’12 FamousAspect.com
  53. 53. community based elder game Life is Crime FamousAspect.com
  54. 54. optimize the path to purchase Tiny Castle FamousAspect.com
  55. 55. optimize the path to purchase Tiny Castle FamousAspect.com
  56. 56. optimize the path to purchase Tiny Castle FamousAspect.com
  57. 57. optimize the path to purchase Tiny Castle FamousAspect.com
  58. 58. optimize the path to purchase Tiny Castle FamousAspect.com
  59. 59. optimize the path to purchase Backyard Monsters: Unleashed FamousAspect.com
  60. 60. optimize the path to purchase Backyard Monsters: Unleashed FamousAspect.com
  61. 61. short sessions, long treadmill Defender II FamousAspect.com
  62. 62. mobile = comfort gaming FamousAspect.com
  63. 63. mobile = comfort gaming FamousAspect.com
  64. 64. mobile = comfort gaming FamousAspect.com
  65. 65. continue the conversation • Email: ethan@FamousAspect.com • Twitter: @FamousAspect • Articles, tools and templates: FamousAspect.com FamousAspect.com

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