Best Practices in Free-to-PlayWinter Nights Mobile Games Conference 2013 Chris Williams, VP & GM of F2P at Big Fish
Who is Big Fish?Big Fish is the world’s largest producer and publisher of casual games.•   Founded in 2002.•   Has distrib...
You will learn today:• How Big Fish is succeeding in F2P Casual• How F2P is different than Premium Casual• Best practices ...
F2P Terminology:• KPI – Key Performance Indicator• DAU – Daily Active User• MAU – Monthly Active User• ARPDAU or DARPU – O...
Free-to-play Casual Today                Mobile                                   PC / MaciOS                             ...
Big Fish Free-to-play Casual Today                Mobile                                 PC / MaciOS                      ...
Big Fish 2012 F2P Game Bookings                         With only 3 F2P games, Big Fish grew F2P bookings by 275% in 2012 ...
Big Fish Casino                                        The #1 Mobile Social Casino App in the World for over 12 monthsU.S....
Fairway Solitaire         Ongoing updates since launch have improved monetization by 300%                                 ...
Found: A Hidden Object Adventure                                        Hit #1 Free game on iOS at launch. Strong and cons...
Premium vs F2P Casual Games                           Premium       Free-to-Play                            Casual       C...
Premium vs F2P Technology                                                  Premium                Free-to-Play            ...
Premium vs F2P – Revenue                          Premium     Free-to-Play                           Casual     Casual (F2...
Premium vs F2P – Your Team                                           Premium             Free-to-Play                     ...
F2P RetentionThe most important Metric for success in F2P is your game’s retention.  Q: Is my game’s retention 10%, 50% or...
F2P Retention                                 Tracking a user’s in game activity every day since first install.           ...
F2P Engagement & RetentionFrequency of play and long term retention will vary by game type.                               ...
Fairway Solitaire Retention          Tracking the % of active users who are retained month to month.                      ...
Fairway Solitaire RetentionDaily courses dramatically improved retention and monetization
F2P Retention Best Practices• Focus on the First User Experience: < 5 mins.• Provide a benefit for users to play constantl...
How important is Social?• Big Fish Casino players have created over 9.6  million friendships.• Over 100,000 players have >...
F2P - MonetizationWith ARPDAUs improving, some F2P games can now succeed with fewer usersDAU100                           ...
F2P Revenue Concentration                     100%                     90%                     80%                     70%...
F2P Monetization Best Practices• Show users a FREE way to success and reward.• Don’t think of monetization as a trick or a...
F2P on Big Fish’s Global PC App Store•   Reach 1.2 Billion PC Users•   14 million unique Gamers visiting each month•   Fir...
F2P on Big Fish’s Global PC App Store             Big Fish Confidential
Found: A Hidden Object Adventure                                        Avg revenue per daily user on PC is 4x the same ga...
What you learned today• F2P represents a big opportunity, but with high risk and  a steep learning curve.• F2P services ar...
THANK YOU!
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Opportunities in Free to Play: How Big Fish is expanding into Free to Play gaming on Mobile and PC

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Chris Williams, VP & General Manager of Free-to-Play (The Winter Nights: Mobile Games Conference http://www.wnconf.com/en)

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  • To provide context and background for those of you who are unfamiliar with Big Fish, Big Fish is the world’s largest producer and publisher of casual games. We were founded in 2002, we launch a new game everyday, and we’ve distributed more than 2 billion premium casual games to date. We have more than 3,000 games in our catalog and work with more than 550 third-party developers worldwide. Many of you in this room are already familiar with Big Fish and work with members of our team, including Developer Relations and Production.
  • Opportunities in Free to Play: How Big Fish is expanding into Free to Play gaming on Mobile and PC

    1. 1. Best Practices in Free-to-PlayWinter Nights Mobile Games Conference 2013 Chris Williams, VP & GM of F2P at Big Fish
    2. 2. Who is Big Fish?Big Fish is the world’s largest producer and publisher of casual games.• Founded in 2002.• Has distributed more than 2 billion casual games.• Launches A New Game Everyday!® for PC & Mac.• 3,000+ games, 550+ game developer partners worldwide.• Games sold in 150+ countries in 12 Languages.• 250+ unique mobile games and 800+ SKUs across iOS, Android, and others.• Offices located in Seattle, WA; Oakland, CA; Vancouver, Canada; Cork, Ireland; and Luxembourg.
    3. 3. You will learn today:• How Big Fish is succeeding in F2P Casual• How F2P is different than Premium Casual• Best practices in F2P Retention & Monetization• Why Big Fish is the best global partner for F2P casual games
    4. 4. F2P Terminology:• KPI – Key Performance Indicator• DAU – Daily Active User• MAU – Monthly Active User• ARPDAU or DARPU – On average, how much money am I making per day per user?• CPI – Cost Per Install (paid)• LTV – Life Time Value – Total money spent by a user while playing a game.
    5. 5. Free-to-play Casual Today Mobile PC / MaciOS Facebook• Top grossing charts dominated by F2P • Facebook games are losing users• Hit driven business - #10 grossing • ARPUs on are lower than iOS makes 10x the $ of #100. • User acquisition costs are high• Cost per paid install >$4 • Developers are shifting to Mobile• Market is saturated, devs need a publishing partner with users and customer reachAndroid• A lot of users and devices, but ARPUs are < 20% of iOS• Device Fragmentation makes development a challenge
    6. 6. Big Fish Free-to-play Casual Today Mobile PC / MaciOS Big Fish PC App Store is now launching:• 1.5M New Installs per Week • Ports of Mobile & Online games• 3 very successful F2P Games: • Original Partner Content • 2 very successful F2P Games are Live:Android• Casino is has shown strong results.Big Fish is ready to fund, publish, and distribute your F2P games ideas!
    7. 7. Big Fish 2012 F2P Game Bookings With only 3 F2P games, Big Fish grew F2P bookings by 275% in 2012 $4,000,000 $3,500,000Net Bookings Per Month $3,000,000 $2,500,000 $2,000,000 +275% $1,500,000 $1,000,000 $500,000 $-
    8. 8. Big Fish Casino The #1 Mobile Social Casino App in the World for over 12 monthsU.S. App Store Top Grossing Rank 1 20 40
    9. 9. Fairway Solitaire Ongoing updates since launch have improved monetization by 300% Daily Revenue UPDATE UPDATE +300%6/1/12 7/1/12 8/1/12 9/1/12 10/1/12 11/1/12 12/1/12 1/1/13 2/1/13
    10. 10. Found: A Hidden Object Adventure Hit #1 Free game on iOS at launch. Strong and consistent ARPDAU. Average Revenue per Daily Active User $0.25Average Revenue per Daily Active User $0.20 $0.15 $0.10 $0.05 $- Found on iOS
    11. 11. Premium vs F2P Casual Games Premium Free-to-Play Casual Casual (F2P)Game Product ServiceContent Static DynamicReasons to Play Relaxing Collecting Customizing Competing CollaboratingPlay with others? Single Player SocialAverage Weekly Play 10 hours 20+ hoursAverage Session Length 1-2 hours 10 mins
    12. 12. Premium vs F2P Technology Premium Free-to-Play Casual Casual (F2P)Technology Client Client Big Fish Provides this for Partners + Server Social Features Game Configuration Content Download In Game PromotionsF2P requires daily iteration. Waiting 3 – 4 weeks for approved client updates is too slow.
    13. 13. Premium vs F2P – Revenue Premium Free-to-Play Casual Casual (F2P)Risk of no Revenue Low Very HighPeak Revenue Month Month 1 Month 6 +% of Paying Users 20% + < 5%Revenue per Paying User $5 - $20 $1 - $5,000+
    14. 14. Premium vs F2P – Your Team Premium Free-to-Play Casual Casual (F2P)Team Before Launch 5 - 10 5 - 10Team After Successful Launch 0 10 +Team Roles Production Production Engineering Engineering Design, Art Design, Art Quality Assurance Quality Assurance Customer Support Customer Support Localization Localization Big Fish Provides this for Partners Launch Marketing Customer Acquisition Game Data Analyst Consumer Insights In Game Marketing
    15. 15. F2P RetentionThe most important Metric for success in F2P is your game’s retention. Q: Is my game’s retention 10%, 50% or 90%? A: It can depend on how you measure it.
    16. 16. F2P Retention Tracking a user’s in game activity every day since first install. 100% 90%Retained User Percent (Active) 80% 70% Most users will only play for a day or two 60% 50% 40% 30% Some users will play every day for a very long time 20% 10% 0% 1 5 9 13 17 21 25 29 33 37 41 45 49 53 57 61 Days Since Install
    17. 17. F2P Engagement & RetentionFrequency of play and long term retention will vary by game type. Source: Flurry
    18. 18. Fairway Solitaire Retention Tracking the % of active users who are retained month to month. MAU Retention 100% 90% Churn 80% New 70% 60% 50% 40% Typical Range Users Users 30% 20% 10% 0%Month 1 Month 2
    19. 19. Fairway Solitaire RetentionDaily courses dramatically improved retention and monetization
    20. 20. F2P Retention Best Practices• Focus on the First User Experience: < 5 mins.• Provide a benefit for users to play constantly. BAD: PLAY WAIT PLAY WAIT PLAY GOOD: PLAY WISH I WAS PLAYING PLAY• Create anticipation around upcoming content, events, promotions, and updates.• Have daily bonuses and motivations to play• Notifications can drive 20%+ of all sessions.• Social connections will benefit long term retention.
    21. 21. How important is Social?• Big Fish Casino players have created over 9.6 million friendships.• Over 100,000 players have > 10 friends.• The most popular player has over 13,000 friends.• Players with > 100 friends are much more likely to have purchased and play regularly. Big Fish Confidential
    22. 22. F2P - MonetizationWith ARPDAUs improving, some F2P games can now succeed with fewer usersDAU100 Example Game 1 DAU 100,000 ARPDAU $0.05 Daily Revenue $5,000 Example Game 2 DAU 10,000 ARPDAU $0.50 Daily Revenue $5,00047% of the Top 1000 F2P games have > $0.25 ARPDAU Source: Flurry
    23. 23. F2P Revenue Concentration 100% 90% 80% 70%Percent of Revenue A large number of paying users will pay very little 60% 50% 40% 30% 20% A small number of paying users will pay a lot 10% 0% Percent of Paying Users
    24. 24. F2P Monetization Best Practices• Show users a FREE way to success and reward.• Don’t think of monetization as a trick or a tactic. – It is a user expressing appreciation for your game.• Retention first, monetization second. – Allows users time to love your game before asking them to monetize. – Create a “rhythm of play” before disrupting it.• Users will value: – Their time and convenience – Creating ownership and pride – Items that are scarce or rare – Status and rank
    25. 25. F2P on Big Fish’s Global PC App Store• Reach 1.2 Billion PC Users• 14 million unique Gamers visiting each month• First F2P games with in-app purchasing have launched• Both online and PC downloadable F2P opportunities Apple’s iOS App Store 2010 2012 Premium F2P Premium F2P
    26. 26. F2P on Big Fish’s Global PC App Store Big Fish Confidential
    27. 27. Found: A Hidden Object Adventure Avg revenue per daily user on PC is 4x the same game on iOS. Average Revenue per Daily Active User $0.70Average Revenue per Daily Active User $0.60 $0.50 $0.40 $0.30 $0.20 $0.10 $- Found on iOS Found on Big Fish PC App Store
    28. 28. What you learned today• F2P represents a big opportunity, but with high risk and a steep learning curve.• F2P services are very different than Premium Casual.• Retention is your most important measure of success.• Big Fish is the best global partner for your F2P games. – Proven track record of hit F2P games and growth – Distribution on both Mobile and PC – 4x iOS ARPDAU – Large existing user base of paying users – Long term view of F2P game services and partnerships – Development, technology, and live ops support
    29. 29. THANK YOU!

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