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Heroes of Destiny - Why I stopped playing it


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A small analysis on the monetization strategy and gameplay of Glu's popular mobile game Heroes of Destiny, and the reasons why I've stopped playing it, with suggestions to enhance the game better for loyal customers.

  • Hey dude! Thanks for the review. I read your presentation. It's so sad that I found it after 2 years. I worked at GLU and I was a game designer for Heroes of Destiny. Just want to let you know that your chances were higher than zero :)
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Heroes of Destiny - Why I stopped playing it

  1. 1. Heroes of Destiny – A brief look at the gameplay and monetization strategy AND WHY I’VE STOPPED PLAYING IT
  2. 2. Heroes of Destiny (HoD) is developed by Glu Mobile, one of the top developers for both Android and iOS games. Some of their top games include Blood & Glory, Contract Killer, Gun Bros, Eternity Warriors, Frontline Commando etc.
  3. 3. Glu Games perception among regular mobile gamers- • All their games are freemium model, meaning free to play. • Graphics are of good quality • Games are engaging, giving users a good gaming experience • In-App Purchase too expensive • For most of their games, it is not possible at all to progress further without making any IAP, as the game becomes impossible to beat
  4. 4. Image source: Freemium - The drug pusher method Offer free samples Once user is hooked, charge certain items “Addicted” users more likely to spend on In-App Purchase
  5. 5. Heroes of Destiny In-App Purchase
  6. 6. Heroes of Destiny In-App Purchase
  7. 7. Rs. 2689 + Rs. 5399 = Rs. 8088 Total amount of money I’ve spent on HoD so far
  8. 8. WAS IT WORTH IT? Heroes of Destiny In-App Purchase
  9. 9. YES! (For a while, that is) Heroes of Destiny In-App Purchase
  10. 10. Take Hill Climb Racing for example. It earns an estimate $40,967 daily* with $1.66 ARPU (data collected from US Market & iOS only). * Source: Freemium advantage - Freedom of choice HCR gives me the option to play from a range of different vehicles, and later if I want to upgrade them, I can make In-App Purchases (or play over and over again to win coins). This works well with me because I can upgrade only the vehicles I truly enjoy playing.
  11. 11. Similarly, HoD also offers me a host of different characters, divided into three main types – the typical slasher melee units, the ranged units, and the healers. Ranged units are further divided into archers and mages. HoD Charaters
  12. 12. All the good characters come at a cost
  13. 13. Which is a good monetizing strategy because your heroes take time to level up so unless you unlock the premium heroes, you cannot play until they complete training.
  14. 14. There are 3 levels of heroes to buy for each hero, and the levels increase as your playable heroes’ levels increase.
  16. 16. Just because you have a lot of Glu Credits for now, you may think buying a higher level premium hero is better than Level 1 premium hero right?
  17. 17. WRONG. If you buy a Level 15, you’ll have 15 skills. But if you buy a Level 1 hero and spend 2 skill points every level-up, by the time you’re Level 15, you’ll have 30 skills!
  18. 18. Yes, if you have a lot of Glu Credits anyway, it is smarter to invest them on skill points when you level up. The rare items that only the higher level heroes have, you’ll find them along the way anyway by the time you reach that particular level.
  19. 19. Skills are extremely important if you want to beat tougher enemies. Even passive skills like “dodge” have played a huge role in winning boss fights. I really regret not investing my premium players on skills in the beginning. And now it’s too late.
  20. 20. Frustrating. But what made me really stop playing this game?
  22. 22. Having a fog-of-war over areas we haven’t explored yet brought out that element of suspense and curiosity.
  23. 23. Yes, putting a tutorial or tip in between a preloading screen was really helpful. Kudos on that.
  24. 24. The daily free prizes also made me look forward to playing it everyday, although this is one of the oldest tricks in the book to lure active players.
  25. 25. Different enemies on different missions make us change our strategy frequently. I once played a boss mission with three healers and won! :)
  26. 26. Hehe… nice… :P
  27. 27. The latest update has a new character, and there are missions in which I can use him before purchasing (test driving) and check out his special powers etc!
  28. 28. Apart from new missions, there are now these weekly quests, which give me special rewards, and this does not affect the main campaign.
  29. 29. The best thing I love about the latest update is the difficulty indicator. Earlier it was quite vague and I couldn’t know if I’m strong enough for a mission or not.
  31. 31. I can understand characters with full xp not gaining any xp, but it really sucks when somebody who was fighting all the while and died in the very last fight or blow, doesn’t gain any xp at all. Maybe half xp?
  32. 32. AND NOW THE CONS
  33. 33. It took me a really long time to figure out which type of boot, shoe, helm, cloak, slipper etc can be worn by which class of Hero. Please label them!
  34. 34. I hate the long wait, in spite of the fact that I have purchased all the heroes via IAP, I am still treated like any other player playing for free.
  35. 35. Irregular pricing. No correlation between an item’s class & cost. Also, an upgraded item doesn’t affect it’s cost! Comon, it is more valuable now!
  36. 36. If I invoke one of my hero’s super power but another hero kills that enemy just before my first hero manages to use his super power, then that super power is wasted! I now have to wait for it to be recharged. I mean, WTF?
  37. 37. Discrepancy in stats. Again, this is something I noticed for every premium Hero. Let’s take Nyxx for example. As the level of your other playable Heroes increases, the level of a Nyxx that you can buy increases too (which makes sense), but take a look at Level 1 Nyxx in all three scenarios below. Why does the stats of the same level 1 Nyxx keep changing? Sense it makes none.
  38. 38. Same in the case of Logan or any of the other premium heroes. I fail to see the logic behind why a character of the same level and same cost will have completely different stats.
  39. 39. And sometimes it borders ridiculousness. The two shots below were taken in the same day. All three pairs of levels are the same, but some of their stats aren’t. Clearly, the calculation or algorithm they’re using is flawed.
  40. 40. Don’t say I’m over-analyzing or anything, because I’m spending my hard-earned money so I’d at least like to know what I’m getting into. It’s not just 50 bucks. It’s 8000 bucks. When I saw the discrepancy in the stats, it almost made me think twice about spending money. Almost. Because to me, it felt like the level designers did not think it through properly. BUT THE MAIN REASON WHY I’VE STOPPED PLAYING IS THIS…
  41. 41. Ridiculously expensive Hero level-up cost! And it’s doubling at every level-up! Level 28 Level 29 Level 30
  42. 42. Completing just one mission, especially from world 10 onwards, fills up even a Level 30 Hero’s XP by almost 70% in one shot! At this rate, it is impossible to proceed without buying more silver coins to level up a Hero.
  43. 43. Which is so wrong! I’m already spending a lot of money on In-App Purchase by buying Glu Credits (I’m even willing to buy more Glu Credits in the future if it will enhance my game playing experience), but NOW I have to make a different In-App Purchase to buy more silver coins at the same time? Seriously, WTF? This gave me nothing but an extremely annoying feeling that I’ve been royally screwed, while the developers at Glu are laughing their asses off at me.
  44. 44. At this point, it didn’t make any more sense for me to keep playing. Yes, new characters, new missions, new weapons etc etc may enhance my gameplay experience, but what’s the point when it’s going to be impossible to proceed once my Hero reaches around Level 30? Why would I wanna play till there and then suddenly stop? I’m just wasting my time (and money) then. * Image Source:
  45. 45. SUGGESTIONS TO GLU I know the chances of Glu reading this small grievance presentation I have made is zero , but if they’re truly interested in feedback, here are a few suggestions I’ve made to retain loyal players – • Increase the number of XP it takes for higher level heroes to level-up. Sure you may say technically, that’s the same as playing a Hero with a maxed-out XP for a few missions. Well, gameplay experience-wise, it’s a totally different ballpark. • Reduce the number of silver coins needed to level up! Doubling it is ridiculous at a higher stage. Even if I keep playing, that means Level 32 I require 40,000, to reach Level 33 I require 80,000, and to reach Level 34 I require 1,60,000? That’s BS man. • Increase the number of silver coins one can win in a mission. Seriously, we need that! • Last but not the least, don’t offer me two forms of IAP please! It just gives the consumer a feeling of being screwed over and makes Glu look extremely profit oriented only (We all are of course, but there’s a limit to that too, naw?)
  46. 46. If Glu makes some changes regarding this silver coins issue which everybody’s seem to be facing and fixes it in their next update, then I am so going to purchase this bad boy! Until then, I’m not playing this game. Hope this presentation can serve as a warning to other gamers, to let them know what they’re getting themselves into…
  47. 47. THANK YOU