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UX for Gamer Acquisition, Retention and Conversion

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A presentation focused on the impact game design can have on the game acquisition, retention and conversion. Subjects covered include freemium design, barriers to acquisition, retention strategies, conversion/monetization tactics, and ethics of freemium design.

Presented at UX Scotland 2014 by Claudio Franco (Senior Research Manager at Dubit) and Esther Stringer (CEO of Border Crossing Media).

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UX for Gamer Acquisition, Retention and Conversion

  1. 1. UX for Gamer Acquisition, Retention and Conversion UX Scotland 2014 Tutorial Claudio Franco @dubit @clauzdifranco Esther Stringer @BCM_Tweets @EstherBCM
  2. 2. Introduction
  3. 3. Introduction: Dubit & Border Crossing Media Senior Research Manager - Games and Media Dubit, digital entertainment studio based in Leeds Ongoing Professional Doctorate (PhD) Digital books, storytelling and audience involvement Managing Director – Border Crossing Media, User Specialists MMRS User research, analytics, facilitator and trainer UX Scotland 2014
  4. 4. Agenda UX Scotland 2014 ● The freemium Empire: o What is freemium? o Some examples o Our focus ● Acquisition: lowering barriers o Home and landing pages o Starting a game ● Retention: strategies o Overview o Examples
  5. 5. Agenda UX Scotland 2014 ● Conversion: monetisation tactics o Overview o Examples o Reflection ● Key take aways
  6. 6. The Freemium Empire
  7. 7. Freemium UX Scotland 2014
  8. 8. FREE + PREMIUM = FREEMIUM Freemium games are games that are free to install and play, but that also contain virtual goods and currencies acquired through in-app purchases yielding functional advantage and status to the player [...] paying players possess an advantage that can only be met by free players if they choose to grind. [T]he freemium business model for games has become the go-to games business model [...] since the 2007 introduction of the iOS App Store. Charles Kriel, game designer and author of the "Concise Dictionary of Freemium and Free-to-Play Game Design. Freemium: What is Freemium? UX Scotland 2014
  9. 9. 200M+ / $77M+ 200M+ / $50M+ 70M+ / $30M+ 2-M+ / $80M+ UX Scotland 2014
  10. 10. UX Scotland 2014
  11. 11. UX Scotland 2014
  12. 12. Freemium: Other Media / Products UX Scotland 2014
  13. 13. “CHEAPMIUM” cheap + premium UX Scotland 2014
  14. 14. ● Distinct UX needs for different kinds of games ● Children MMOs / virtual worlds and apps ● Player acquisition and initial moments UX Scotland 2014 Freemium: Our Main Focus
  15. 15. Acquisition: Attracting players and lowering barriers
  16. 16. UX Scotland 2014
  17. 17. UX Scotland 2014 Acquisition: Targeted approaches
  18. 18. UX Scotland 2014 Acquisition: Targeted approaches
  19. 19. Source: http://fantasy-faction.com Source: http://corpserun.wordpress.com UX Scotland 2014 Acquisition: Meeting expectations
  20. 20. Source: Gamasutra: Mark Robinson's Blog - Why do players leave your game? Top 5 reasons revealed 60-80% of players leave a game for good after a disappointing first session. UX Scotland 2014 Acquisition: The importance of first use
  21. 21. Source: News: Mobile game survey finds players leave fast - CVG UK Speed Dating? "It's a bit like a first date. If it's going to be effective, it needs to be effective quick." UX Scotland 2014
  22. 22. Acquisition: Homepages
  23. 23. Acquisition: Homepages
  24. 24. UX Scotland 2014 Acquisition: Registration
  25. 25. Acquisition: Registration UX Scotland 2014
  26. 26. Acquisition: Starting a game - Tutorials UX Scotland 2014
  27. 27. UX Scotland 2014
  28. 28. UX Scotland 2014
  29. 29. UX Scotland 2014
  30. 30. UX Scotland 2014
  31. 31. Retention: Strategies
  32. 32. ● Balance of difficulty ● Help for not-so-good players ● Social features ● Communication ● Competition, leaderboards ● Collaborative play ● Collectible items ● Achievements ● Leveling-up UX Scotland 2014 Retention: Keeping players coming back
  33. 33. ● The Eternal BETA ● Fine-tune ● Game metrics ● Player research ● Large worlds ● Range of playing styles ● Audience involvement ● Tapping into player creativity UX Scotland 2014 Retention: Keeping players coming back
  34. 34. Conversion: monetisation tactics
  35. 35. ● Walled areas ● Added functionality ● Try your luck ● Slowing progress ● Time gates ● Vanity items ● Collectibles ● Making it social UX Scotland 2014 Conversion: Overview of tactics
  36. 36. ● Walled areas ● Added functionality ● Try your luck ● Slowing progress ● Time gates ● Vanity items ● Collectibles ● Making it social UX Scotland 2014 Conversion: Overview of tactics
  37. 37. ● Walled areas ● Added functionality ● Try your luck ● Slowing progress ● Time gates ● Vanity items ● Collectibles ● Making it social UX Scotland 2014 Conversion: Overview of tactics
  38. 38. ● Walled areas ● Added functionality ● Try your luck ● Slowing progress ● Time gates ● Vanity items ● Collectibles ● Making it social UX Scotland 2014 Conversion: Overview of tactics
  39. 39. ● Walled areas ● Added functionality ● Try your luck ● Slowing progress ● Time gates ● Vanity items ● Collectibles ● Making it social UX Scotland 2014 Conversion: Overview of tactics
  40. 40. ● Walled areas ● Added functionality ● Try your luck ● Slowing progress ● Time gates ● Vanity items ● Collectibles ● Making it social UX Scotland 2014 Conversion: Overview of tactics
  41. 41. ● Walled areas ● Added functionality ● Try your luck ● Slowing progress ● Time gates ● Vanity items ● Collectibles ● Making it social Source: Glu Mobile UX Scotland 2014 Conversion: Overview of tactics
  42. 42. UX Scotland 2014 Conversion: Ethics - money or fun experience?
  43. 43. The OFT’s Principles for online and app-based games and Annexe UX Scotland 2014 Conversion: Ethics - money or fun experience?
  44. 44. Source: PocketGamer.biz UX Scotland 2014 Conversion: Ethics - money or fun experience?
  45. 45. ● Freemium rules ● Lowering barriers to Acquisition is essential (targeting, registration, tutorials) ● Games lose players - retention and ongoing work is essential (eternal beta) ● Current conversion tactics are efficient but have to be used with care ● Player research, prototyping and testing should inform and refine assumptions ● There’s room in the market for more beautiful, creative games! UX Scotland 2014 Key Take Aways
  46. 46. For more information contact: Claudio Franco @dubit @clauzdifranco Esther Stringer @BCM_Tweets @EstherBCM Thank You

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