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Inside Mobile Freemium Gaming

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Matt Tubergen reveals the fascinating and complex world of mobile freemium gaming. Learn how freemium game developers leverage game mechanics, virual goods, social features and analytics to create kick ass profitable games for iOS.

Matt Tubergen is a mobile content expert with a decade of experience working with brands that include Disney, NFL and LucasArts. Matt heads up W3i’s wholly owned publishing arm and investment fund, Recharge Studios

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Inside Mobile Freemium Gaming

  1. 1. Mobile St Cloud<br />Inside Freemium Gaming<br />
  2. 2. Overview<br /><ul><li>Quick Intro
  3. 3. What is a Freemium game?
  4. 4. History of Freemium Mobile Games
  5. 5. Market Overview
  6. 6. Core Fundamentals of Freemium
  7. 7. Freemium Game Mechanics (Jimi Van Guilder)
  8. 8. Making it Social
  9. 9. Post Launch Strategies
  10. 10. User Acquisition
  11. 11. Monetization
  12. 12. Analytics and Measurement
  13. 13. Questions</li></li></ul><li>Quick Intro<br /><ul><li>Ringtones (MIDIRingtones)
  14. 14. Mobile Videos Games (THQ Wireless)
  15. 15. Recharge Studios</li></li></ul><li>What is a Freemium Game?<br />Free = Freemium?<br />Not quite….<br />
  16. 16. What is a Freemium Game?<br />Free to download and play<br />Freemium =<br />+<br />Virtual Goods, In-App Purchases, Virtual Economy, Premium Currency, Cash Transaction, Ad Revenues, Freemium Game Mechanics, Social Interactivity, Etc……..<br />
  17. 17. What is a Freemium Game?<br />50% Game Design<br />50% Business Intelligence<br />
  18. 18. History of Freemium Mobile Games<br />Mobile Games<br />Social Games<br />
  19. 19. History of Freemium Mobile Games<br />Mobile Games<br />Social Games<br />2008 Apple Allows In-App Purchases<br />
  20. 20. History of Freemium Mobile Games<br />Social Games<br />Freemium <br />Mobile Games<br />=<br />+<br />
  21. 21. Market Overview<br />Mobile app revenue is expected to rise by another 81.5 percent in 2011 to hit $3.9 billion.<br />A key driver of growth is the “freemium” business model<br />As application stores become more and more crowded, studios are opting to release their content for free. <br />Freemium purchases will count for around half of all North American app revenues by 2014, up from 24 percent in 2010. Freemium’s share will be even higher for games.<br />Source: IHS<br />
  22. 22. Market Overview<br />Mobile Freemium Content = $10Billion+ Industry by 2014!<br />Yes, That a “B”<br />Source: IHS<br />
  23. 23. Market Overview<br />
  24. 24. Market Overview<br />Android vs. iOS Freemium Games in Top Grossing<br />
  25. 25. Market Overview<br />iTunes Top Grossing 3/31/11<br />
  26. 26. Market Overview<br />
  27. 27. Market Overview<br />Estimated Monthly Revenues<br />
  28. 28. Core Fundamentals of Freemium<br /><ul><li>Sources and Sinks
  29. 29. The Compulsion Loop</li></ul>- The Virtual Economy<br />
  30. 30. Sources and Sinks<br />Definitions<br />Sink: Investment<br />Source: Value Creation<br />Examples: <br />Sink: Purchase Wheat Seeds to Grow Wheat<br />Source: Waiting 5 minutes to grow 10 Wheat<br />Source<br /> Sink<br />Core Fundamentals of Freemium<br />
  31. 31. The Compulsion Loop<br />Source<br /> Sink<br />Core Fundamentals of Freemium<br />
  32. 32. Sample Compulsion Loop<br />Celebrity<br />Publications (journal, news)<br />Players<br />votes, visits, buy<br />$<br />Ingame<br />money<br />$<br />Inscription<br />Competitions<br />(massive) <br />Visits<br />Services<br />(many to many)<br />Lignage<br />(one to one)<br />MP<br />Horse customization and training<br />$<br />Catalog<br />Allow <br />Farm Stum customization<br />Solo<br />Activities<br />Horses + skills<br />Farm services<br />$<br />Catalog<br />Friends<br />Boost activities<br />$<br />Catalog<br />
  33. 33. The Virtual Economy<br />Is not just the shop…..<br />Core Fundamentals of Freemium<br />
  34. 34. The Virtual Economy<br />It involves every transaction in the game…<br />Core Fundamentals of Freemium<br />
  35. 35. Top 10 Freemium Mechanics<br />Taken from the <br />Recharge Studios Freemium Playbook<br />Jimi Van Guilder, Mobile Games Producer<br />
  36. 36. 1. Tutorials<br />Retention<br />
  37. 37. 2. Leveling/Experience Points<br />Retention<br />
  38. 38. 3. Daily Reward<br />Retention<br />
  39. 39. 4. Decay<br />Retention, Monetization<br />
  40. 40. 5. Reward Schedules<br />Retention<br />
  41. 41. 6. Local Notifications<br />Retention – do not abuse!<br />
  42. 42. 7. Disincentives<br />Retention<br />
  43. 43. 8. Leaderboards<br />Retention<br />
  44. 44. 9. Achievements <br />Retention<br />
  45. 45. 10. Modifiers<br />Monetization<br />
  46. 46.
  47. 47. Viral Game Mechanics<br />
  48. 48. Viral Game Mechanics<br />Interacting Real-time with friends!<br />
  49. 49. Viral Game Mechanics<br />Reinforced social sharing - Allowing your users to results will not only drive awareness, it will drive downloads!<br />
  50. 50. Viral Game Mechanics<br />Envy – Allow your users to brag!<br />
  51. 51. Viral Game Mechanics<br />Gifting – Reinforces user behavior and drives the economy<br />
  52. 52. Viral Game Mechanics<br />Companion Gaming – Give reasons for users to play with each other <br />
  53. 53. Back to Business<br />
  54. 54. Post Launch Strategies<br /><ul><li>Beta Launch
  55. 55. Dynamic Content
  56. 56. Dynamic Game Balancing
  57. 57. Tutorial Optimization
  58. 58. The Evolving GDD</li></ul>Core Fundamentals of Freemium<br />
  59. 59. Beta Launch<br /><ul><li>Launch in
  60. 60. Test, Measure, Revise
  61. 61. Build Ability to Balance on the Fly
  62. 62. Plan for it!</li></ul>Post Launch Strategies<br />
  63. 63. Dynamic Content<br /><ul><li>Introduce story lines, characters and levels
  64. 64. New features need to be carefully introduced
  65. 65. Carefully calculate level progression
  66. 66. New content = more $ from the whales</li></ul>Post Launch Strategies<br />
  67. 67. Dynamic Game Balancing<br /><ul><li>Small test, be careful to change to many variables
  68. 68. Let the data speak for itself, don’t assume
  69. 69. Focus first on rate of play
  70. 70. Be careful of giving away too much</li></ul>Post Launch Strategies<br />
  71. 71. Tutorial Optimization<br /><ul><li>Spend %50 of focus on making tutorial more effective
  72. 72. Tutorial can be long tail
  73. 73. Effective education vs. fluid gameplay</li></ul>Post Launch Strategies<br />
  74. 74. The Evolving GDD<br /><ul><li>Continual updates keep users engaged
  75. 75. Game depth changes over time
  76. 76. Stay focused to strategy and theme
  77. 77. Changes in economy structure need special attention</li></ul>Post Launch Strategies<br />
  78. 78. User Acquisition<br /><ul><li>CPI (Cost Per Install)
  79. 79. CPC, CPM (Banner Placements)
  80. 80. Barter Installs
  81. 81. Pre Launch Awareness
  82. 82. Blogs, Social Media, Review Sites
  83. 83. Apple/Google Feature
  84. 84. Operator Feature</li></li></ul><li>User Acquisition<br />
  85. 85. User Acquisition<br />Its important to build sustainable and scalable means of user acquisition<br />
  86. 86. User Acquisition<br />Bursting can help drive down your cost of user acquisition<br />
  87. 87. Monetization<br /><ul><li>In-App Purchase
  88. 88. Subscription
  89. 89. Ads
  90. 90. Typical Banners
  91. 91. Interactive Banners
  92. 92. Video Pre/Post Roll
  93. 93. Incentivized
  94. 94. App Installs
  95. 95. Alternative Offers (Lead Gen)</li></li></ul><li>Sales<br />Sales will not only drive monetization, they will also drive re-engagement.<br />
  96. 96. Analytics and Measurement<br />Lifetime Value Analysis<br />And Everything Else….<br /><ul><li>Tracking Engagement
  97. 97. Consumption Patterns
  98. 98. Funnel Tracking
  99. 99. Understanding Pitfalls
  100. 100. Conversion
  101. 101. Tools
  102. 102. Cohort Analysis</li></li></ul><li>Cohort Analysis<br />asdsd<br />
  103. 103. Questions?<br />
  104. 104. Recharge In the News<br />
  105. 105. Recharge Results<br />Dolphin Play<br /><ul><li>First marketed Recharge product
  106. 106. Launched on December 2010
  107. 107. Roughly 1,300,000 installs
  108. 108. Highest Achieved Top Ranking in Free Apps = 10
  109. 109. Days in Top Overall Free Apps = 31
  110. 110. Days in Top Overall Free Games = 36
  111. 111. Days in Top Overall Free Simulation Games = 84
  112. 112. 100,000 Daily Active Users</li></li></ul><li>A Few Of Our Partners<br />Jenkat Games<br />Riptide Games™<br />Hive Media<br />SkyVu Pictures<br />Veiled Games<br />Purple Talk<br />TrioDesign Studio<br />InEarth<br />
  113. 113. About W3i<br /><ul><li>20 Years of app distribution and monetization expertise
  114. 114. Install IQ: advanced technology, optimized onmore than 500 million installs - 120 million in 2010
  115. 115. Founded in 2000, W3i is majority-owned by the founders, and backed by Alta Communications
  116. 116. Profitable for 36 consecutive quarters
  117. 117. 70 employees, HQ in St. Cloud, Minnesota</li></ul>Interested In a Partnership?<br />Contact Matt Tubergen<br />Matthew.Tubergen@w3i.com<br />Phone: 612-803-8143<br />

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