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Games vs money


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Introductory talk on life cycle of F2P games from business perspective, given at the opening of Ganymede Academy.

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Games vs money

  1. 1. GAMES VS MONEY Maciej Mróz CEO Ganymede WWW.GANYMEDE.EU
  4. 4. GAME LIFE CYCLE Greenlight Production Operations Sunset
  5. 5. GREENLIGHT It's a game, so we have to ask: Is it fun? But it's also business, so the second question is: Why should we build it?
  6. 6. GREENLIGHT Do the homework Who is the game for (target group)? What is the target platform? What is the unique selling point? IP licensing opportunities?
  7. 7. GREENLIGHT Do the homework What our competition is doing? Do we have any benchmarks for similar products? What are alternative projects we could do? Do we have the resources?
  8. 8. MARKETING PLAN What is the marketing budget? How are we going to acquire users? How are we going to keep them? How are we going to monetize?
  9. 9. DEVELOPMENT Keep it short! If you keep it under wraps, you are: • Not learning about your real users • Not validating assumptions made at greenlight • Not adapting to market changes • Possibly just burning money Canceling project early can be a success!
  10. 10. Validate your game idea first •Everything else usually can be deferred •MVP is probably half of what you think it isEvery game is a learning opportunity Be prepared for the unexpected Careful about future proofing by developers DEVELOPMENT PROCESS “Lean startup” approach
  11. 11. Team dedicated to a game may actually grow post release Users expect new content/features to be delivered on regular basis A lot of effort spent on optimization • A/B testing experiments • Exploratory analytics Successful games are serving players for many years 11 DEVELOPMENT PROCESS Release is only the beginning...
  12. 12. F2P- DOMINANT BUSINESS MODEL F2P is nothing new - Dropbox, Evernote, etc Revenue opportunity vs marketing opportunity • Top spenders/hardcore fans vs casual players vs non- spenders • No such thing as "average player" • Value perception is subjective
  13. 13. BEING CLOSE TO PLAYERS Focus groups Community management Customer support Data analytics!
  14. 14. VALUE OF DATA Provide actionable insights Provide great content recommendations Provide more accurate ad targeting
  15. 15. VALUE OF DATA Optimize pricing Make operations more efficient Improve categorization/tagging/ sentiment analysis
  16. 16. BASIC KPIS Basic metrics and their meaning • MAU/DAU • Retention (D1/D7/D28) • Avg. session time, Avg. sessions • Conversion, ARPPU • ARPU o Incorporates other sources of revenue than direct payments • Virality, social interactions
  17. 17. LTV One metric to rule them all LTV - Life Time Value LTV for users who already left is definite, but not really useful We have to predict! There's no such thing as universal LTV formula • Too many moving parts • So we build models
  18. 18. OPTIMIZING PLAYER LIFE CYCLE LTV is an outcome of massive and never ending work • New content • A/B testing of game features • Funnel analysis • User segmentation/classification • CRM systems • Community management
  19. 19. USER ACQUISITION Game will not be successful without great marketing o Don't bet your life on being one of the outliers! CAC - Customer Acquisition Cost If LTV > CAC, you're good Organic traffic is not really free, CAC > 0!!!
  20. 20. USER ACQUISITION In reality it's a bit more complex than that: • LTV varies by user cohort • CAC varies by acquisition channel, targeting, even time • LTV vs CAC is predicted and tracked per campaign • Can even be predicted per user (RTB)
  21. 21. ADVANCED TOPICS Recommendation systems Classification/clustering of players Fraud detection Cross promotion inside portfolio of games • Optimal path of player • Indirect acquisition • Amortizing CAC across multiple games