GDC Mobile Social Freemium Games


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This is the presentation I gave at GDC in San Francisco on 6th March 2012.

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GDC Mobile Social Freemium Games

  1. 1. grgetherhMobile Social Freemium Games Oscar Clark Evangelist PapayaMobile Inc
  2. 2. State of the Mobile MarketWe all know its big...• 5.6B mobile subscribers• 900M Smartphones• 575M Smartphone “app” users• 120m people play Social games• 81m play every day• 49m play multiple times a day• 31m have bought virtual goods• 38% play on a mobile phone
  3. 3. Why is mobile different?Players use different devices for a reason• Mode of Use• Context and mood• Fragmentation• Reliability of connection• The most social device?
  4. 4. Why Social on Mobile?Gamers who play together pay together• Social discovery• Low-pressure sharing• Retention• Social Capital• Unlock True Fan potential
  5. 5. Case Study: Zombies… OMGSocial Effect last beyond the initial promotion• 500k installs in 4 weeks• 3 days of Pmail promotion• Social Accelerator effects
  6. 6. Talking Mobile: Apple AppStoreApp Store is the one everyone wants to be• 25bn downloads• 575k+ apps; 100k + Games• 100’s of new apps/day• 17 of top 20 US Freemium• Increasingly difficult to get noticed
  7. 7. Talking Mobile: Android Market Place Android market place is the place for pushing boundaries • 700k+ Daily Activations • 400k+ apps (25.6% Games) • Polished new games can win • Billing is challenging • Alternative AppStores
  8. 8. Talking Mobile: Challenging CampaignsGetting discovered is only going to get more difficult• Typical campaign starts at $20k• Free App of the day less effective• Users need a reason to download• Competition is getting fiercer• Being Free isnt enough
  9. 9. Talking Mobile: FragmentationGetting on mobile is a different technical challenge• Device OS (upgrades)• Screen size/resolution• Controls? back button?• Processor performance• Backward compatibility
  10. 10. Talking Social: Games as a ServiceSocial games need to be services• Measure Measure Measure• Designers need to understand the data• Iterative improvements deliver a narrative• Minimum Viable Product must still be polished
  11. 11. Talking Social: Who are your players?Different Players buy for different reasons• Collector: – "Got to catch them all"• Explorer: – "Where can I go today?"• Socialiser: – "I want to be popular"• Competitor: – "Im going to Pwn ya!"
  12. 12. Talking Mobile: Who are your players? Mobile Players play based on Mood & Mode • Entertain Me: – "Keep me from going mad" • Max my time: – "Just two minutes to fill" • Show and tell: – "Too cool for you" • Habit Forming: – "My guilty pleasure"
  13. 13. Talking Social: Pricing is everythingMaximise the opportunity• Purchases will be a barrier• Reduce the risk to the user• Understand Price Elasticity• Consumable vs Durable• Billing models affect gameplay
  14. 14. Talking Social: Pricing is everythingMaximise the opportunity• Purchases will be a barrier• Reduce the risk to the user• Understand Price Elasticity• Consumable vs Owned goods• Billing models affect gameplay
  15. 15. Talking Money: PremiumAnticipation is essential and it buys loyalty• Players have to crave your game• You cant measure the players you turn away• Few brands can sustain Premium• Players are invested in game
  16. 16. Talking Money: AdvertisingBrand sponsored experiences• Monetize those who wont pay• Media buying is getting much better• Most effective when relevant to the game• Needs to be increasingly smart
  17. 17. Talking Money: FreemiumGive players a reason to spend money• Free-players are a vital audience• First $1 spend must be easy and rewarding• Consumable goods (short term)• Durable Goods (longer term)• Make it possible to spend $100+ * Apologies to Nicholas Lovell
  18. 18. Talking Social: Understand the True FansTrue Fans are happy to spend money• Whales can be 1-4% of audience but <60% revenue• 86.9% of purchases are to accelerate play• 96.65% of purchases are on consumables
  19. 19. Talking Social: Total Lifetime ValueWe dont just want a one night stand• True fans can take 8-12 days to start spending• Nagging payment requests take their toll in time• Work with the user lifecycle to keep them engaged• Avoid the hangover Typical number of Games an X-City player where spends money
  20. 20. Talking Social: Compulsion LoopsGive Players a reason tokeep coming back•Schedule of reinforcement•Grinding & flow•Visible achievement stream•"Just one more turn"•What happens between sessions?
  21. 21. Talking Social: Social AchievementPlaying the game should grant me ‘Social Capital’• Let players show off• Different reward behaviours• Gifting and Reciprocation• Not social if I cant share• The Poke effect
  22. 22. Talking Social: Buy Better Play Buying things should help me love the game • Each purchase must improve the game • Linking gifts to purchased goods • Exchange time for money, but keep it fair • Ambiguous strategy boosts value
  23. 23. Talking Social: Tread carefully! Easy to damage games with poor Monetization • Preserve Game balance • Free Demo & Level packs generally dont work • Don’t annoy Free-players • Nagging quickly gets dull
  24. 24. HTML5 + Flash Do we focus on a Native or Browser? • HTML5 + WebGL browsers on Android • Will we get consistent performance • Needs app-like simplicity • Papaya Social Splash (Flash + HTML5 for Android/iOS)
  25. 25. the end its all about the game
  26. 26. Who is PapayaMobile? The leading social gaming network for mobiles with 55 million users and 300+ games. •Founded in 2008 with $22M raised through DCM and Keytone. •90 staff with offices in San Francisco, London and Beijing •More than 80% of users come from US and Europe •Popular games earn more than $1 million per year.
  27. 27. Any Questions? Thank you :) Twitter: @Athanateus