Dessecting World of Tanks

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Dissecting the monetization of World of Tanks.

This is my most booked talk from the past and has been held in various edits on GDC USA, Nordic, Casual Connect & more.

The talk finds the cause why World of Tanks has such a high conversion of 25-30% and sheds light on their systems and monetization mechanics.

Dessecting World of Tanks

  1. 1. Game Analysis By Teut Weidemann Online Games & Monetization Consultant
  2. 2. Who am I?  Working on Games since the 80’s (yes, I mean since 1980!)  Over 100 titles on C64, Amiga, Atari ST, PC, Consoles, Online …  Jobs: Graphic Artist, Programmer, Designer, Development Director, CEO, CTO  Now consulting as an Online Games & Monetization Expert  Senior Online Games Supervisor @ Ubisoft Blue Byte  Also teaching “games” at various Universities  Companies: Rainbow Arts, Softgold, Lucasfilm Games, Apple, Microsoft, Wings Simulations, Psygnosis, Jowood, CDV, Ubisoft  Katakis, R-Type, Turrican, MUDS, X-Out & many more
  3. 3.  All free to play MMOs  Running in all internet browsers  Technology: Adobe Flash TheSettlersOnline.com Creating Online Games: Anno-online.com Heroes-Online.com SilentHunterOnline.com
  4. 4. Further Involvement  PvP monetization & pricing (AC4)  Post Launch monetization strategy (Anno 2070)  Online Mechanics & Monetization Supervision (Panzer General Online)  Monetization optimization The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot  F2P Education & Training for Ubisoft world wide panzergeneral.com
  5. 5. OVERVIEW Nutshells
  6. 6. WoT game play in a nutshell • World War II • Tanks as “classes” – Light, Medium & Heavy – Tank Destroyers (TD) – Self-Propelled Guns (SPGs or Artillery) • Team Arena PvP gaming – 15 vs 15, 7 vs 7* – TDM, CTF – ‘Slow-paced Counterstrike’ • Groups limited to 3 players – But why? (answer later) • Progression based – Tech tree – Tank modifications – Crew progression • No avatar or levels • Multi-match feature • Clan wars Teut: “WoT is a Counter Strike for old men”
  7. 7. Runs on medium performance machines Wargaming: ‘40% of our users run below recommended system specs’ Low System Specs key to wide reach Latest version 9.0 scales nicely to high end as well
  8. 8. Tactics
  9. 9. Key to tactics and depth of WoT: 1. Visibility & LOS system 2. Camouflage plays a major role! 3. Spotting & Radio signaling to team members
  10. 10. Maps Map availability by tier Game modes varies by map and per map Some maps are cycled in and out Major patches bring new maps while deleting old
  11. 11. Hit Zones
  12. 12. Clan Wars (beta)
  13. 13. Battle Report & Medals
  14. 14. THE METRICS PR vs. Metrics
  15. 15. WoT Traffic metrics Source: CMK Paris, January 2014 **MUV= Monthly Unique Visitor Careful how Comscore measures traffic!
  16. 16. WoT Traffic metrics Source: http://wot-news.com/stat/server/eu/norm/en Registrations per month Players per month (5% error) EU: RU: US: EU+RU+US+SEA: Total players: ca. 33m WAU: 7.4m (status Q4/2013, no new data available) CN: no data SEA: see below
  17. 17. WoT Traffic metrics Source: http://wot-news.com/stat/server/eu/norm/en Registrations per month Players per month (5% error)
  18. 18. WoT “PR” metrics Source: Wargming.net & their PR 848 000 + 1.5m on vk 78 000 000 1 284 000
  19. 19. WoT PR translated • 75m players = registrations, not active users • 1.1m PCU in RU → ca. 4-5m monthly active users in RU – Including EU & US & SEA that PCU is ca. 1.7m – Rule of thumb: ~4-5x PCU = MAU – i.e. 1.7*5 = 8.5m MAU • 25% conversion rate → ca. 2.1m payers • → 52m monthly revenue (~ $630m/year) – assuming ARPPU of $25* – Confirms CEO’s “double digit million revenue” statement
  20. 20. Another calculation • Their ARPU is assumed $7.58 • With 8.5m MAU leads to 64m monthly revenue • Or ca. $768m per year* • Matches earlier calculation • ** assumes ARPU is identical globally (it isn’t) Source: Superdata Research $7 confirmed by Wargaming CEO in an interview
  21. 21. Research Source: • Careful with these WoT numbers • WoT is Western only (i.e. w/o Russia) • SuperData later corrected this by posting PCU/ARPU Data of WoT Source: Superdata Research
  22. 22. Main Game Flow
  23. 23. Tech Tree Progress Loop Until new (better/different) tank unlocked:
  24. 24. Tier IVTier IIITier IITier I Progress Loops XP is basically their currency for progression!
  25. 25. Tech Tree Here: German Tech tree There are currently seven: DE, CH, RU, US, UK, FR, JP
  26. 26. Tech Tree Zoom Collected XP for this tank Elite status, i.e., XP goes into free XP Gold Tank = paid Credit price XP price to unlock Tiers (10, i.e. I-X)
  27. 27. Tech Tree Unit Mods Unit in detail and its mods
  28. 28. Tiger I Excerpt from WoT Wiki
  29. 29. Tank Crew
  30. 30. Crew Skill & Perks
  31. 31. Tank Service
  32. 32. Tank Service
  33. 33. The Matchmaker  Balances tank Tiers +/- 1  i.e. no player skill balancing!  Some Gold tanks have preferred match making  Also balances user platoons!  Also balances Premium tanks → allows selling of power items! Matchmaker “tiers” WoT power nicely  even has exclusive maps for certain tiers  In PvP team vs. team games the match maker is key to success!
  34. 34. But sometimes … Sometimes randomness can produce crap match making Happy player!
  35. 35. MONETIZATION 25% conversion rate, wtf?
  36. 36. Gold Tanks • “Power items” for Gold • Crew does cost extra! • Generate more free XP** • Not modable / upgradeable • Jump start to earn credits • Giftable to other players
  37. 37. More Space Barracks need space to crew not being used. Same with the slots for tanks: the more the merrier as you can earn more XP faster due to the “daily mission XP” This is only a minor part of their revenue and due to server load savings Crew training If you don’t grind your crew 200 Gold per crew member gets you Elite status to start to train perks (which can’t be paid) Again this is minor revenue as players don’t use this often per month
  38. 38. Consumables “Gold ammo” generally does identical damage (“Fair play”) but has higher penetration. Note: Use Credit OR Gold to pay for Premium ammo, keeping it fair! Premium consumables are better and have passive effects. Note: since end of 2013 many of these can be gained as mission rewards
  39. 39. Convert XP to Free XP As XP is in fact a currency to be spend by the player AND is the main progress driver This money sink is huge over time. Convert Gold to Credits •Tanks become more and more expensive and need to be maintained •Equipment is very expensive (up to 500k credits) and demounting it costs 10 Gold. •Economy tips over after Tier VIII (i.e. battle expenses > credit income)
  40. 40. Premium Accounts Their key to 25% conversion rate: as XP and credits is the main progression currency the premium accounts 50% gain is a major speedup. Note their cost/time acceleration! Why 50%?
  41. 41. Clans Founding a clan costs 2500 gold Wargaming create their own league with $2.5 million prize money
  42. 42. Sales Estimates Estimates of revenue percentage of their key monetization Sales XP Conversion Premium Gold Tanks Credit Conversion Consumables Crew Training Garage Notes: Premium Accounts are conversion drives, not monetization drivers Premium is their mass monetizer in value (low ARPPU, high reach) while XP conversion is their whale monetizer (high ARPPU, smll reach)
  43. 43. Q & A? Lets play this thing @Teut Teut.blogspot.com
  44. 44. Appendix WoWp Traffic
  45. 45. ARPPU Trends
  46. 46. WoT Interview Sources http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-08-08-the-russian-invasion-meet-the-man-bringing-free-to-play-to-xbox - Microsoft needed convincing about F2P principle for consoles - he sees F2P on consoles as “the beginning of new era” - XboX WoT won’t be totally F2P, as players have to pay Microsoft the Live Gold 5 USD per month subscription - average player spends 3 hours per day in WoT - global average monthly payment per user is 7 USD - the Japanese players spend the most, followed USA and China http://venturebeat.com/2012/06/09/with-1-3b-tanks-obliterated-and-30m-players-wargaming-net-plans-to-conquer-the-online-gaming-world- interview/ Kislyi: It differs a little bit across China, Russia, Europe. I guess our average revenue per paying user (ARPPU) is somewhere around between 30 and 40 dollars.

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