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Pay for Pleasure, Not Pain | Greg Costikyan

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Delivered Casual Connect USA 2016. As our audience becomes more sophisticated about free-to-play gaming, the crude monetization techniques of the past – hard gates, painful pinches and spammy calls to monetization – become less tolerable, and negatively impact retention. We need to get more sophisticated about how we approach monetization. Games have always been about delighting players; can we make the call to monetization delightful as well, and leave our payers feeling that their money is well spent?

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Pay for Pleasure, Not Pain | Greg Costikyan

  1. 1. PAY FOR PLEASURE… NOT FOR PAIN GREG COSTIKYAN CASUAL CONNECT 2016
  2. 2. WHY DO WE MAKE GAMES?
  3. 3. BECAUSE WE LOVE THEM. If you got into this industry, for the money, you made a mistake.
  4. 4. WHY DO WE LOVE THEM?
  5. 5. BECAUSE THEY SURPRISE AND DELIGHT US
  6. 6. FREE TO PLAY IS EEVIL? • You face commercial pressures regardless of your business model.
  7. 7. I ♥ FREE TO PLAY BECAUSE….
  8. 8. WE’RE LIKE ROBIN HOOD!
  9. 9. PAYING FOR PAIN • Timers • Roadblocks • Pinches
  10. 10. THIS WORKS, BUT…. • Negative impact on retention • Where’s the love?
  11. 11. ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE • Cultivate the community
  12. 12. PAY FOR PLEASURE • Reward generously • Offer tempting rewards • Remember to let them into your heart… then you can start.. to make it better.
  13. 13. MONTHLY CARDS
  14. 14. GACHA IS GOOD FOR YOU
  15. 15. ALLOW DIRECTED PURCHASE (SOMETIMES)
  16. 16. VARIED EVENTS THAT FOSTER GRIND
  17. 17. PUT THE CALL TO MONETIZATION ON REWARDS, NOT PENALTIES
  18. 18. SOCIAL FOR THE WIN
  19. 19. DON’T SLAP USERS IN THE FACE
  20. 20. BE CAREFUL TO THINK YOUR ECONOMY THROUGH
  21. 21. WHEN DEVELOPING NEW CONTENT, DON’T IGNORE YOUR FREE PLAYERS
  22. 22. ALWAYS HAVE ONE VECTOR OF PROGRESS THAT YOU CAN’T BUY • Reassures non-payers, but also… • POSITIVE impact on monetization. • Getting $500 over 6 months is better than getting $500 on D1
  23. 23. HARD CURRENCY-ONLY CONTENT IS OKAY • As long as non-payers get a trickle of gems
  24. 24. PAY TO WIN IS OKAY TOO – IF IT IS PERIPHERAL • Trophies in Clash of Clans • PvP in Dungeon Boss
  25. 25. YES WE CAN! • Monetize effectively. • Make payers feel like they got value for money. • Keep non-payers happy and active. • As players, feel love for the developers. • As developers, feel great instead of cynical.
  26. 26. YOU JUST NEED TO: • Design with conscience and care. • Feel empathy for your players – payers and non-payers alike. • Think things through.

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