Microtransactions: A Love Story (part 2)

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  • Thanks to Simon, Wes, Jason, Renaldas. Amazing visual effects, guys. Always amazed by what’s possible with our tech. Another year, another GDC. First with Unity. And boy am I excited. Shout out and thanks to David/Joachim/Nicholas for starting this amazing company. And a big thanks to you developers for giving what we do meaning. We wouldn’t be here without your support. (Clap) Quick question before we get started: Who here saw my talk at GDC Online last year in Austin, or my talk at Unite last year? Thanks for coming back.  For those that didn’t come, I ran through the history of How Games Monetize
  • From Paid Download to Advertising to Subs to MTX. And I arrived at how MTX have captured the zeitgeist of the games business. Then I went through some broad strokes on best practices, but I didn’t go into too much detail. So rather than run through that history again, I’ll just give you the Cliffs Notes version.
  • This is a video of my talk from Unite 2011. The awesome people that run the Unity3D website put it up. So check it out at your leisure. bit.ly … MTX … love
  • So again, welcome to MTX: A Love Story…
  • Part Deux!
  • For those of you who don’t recall, that’s an image from Hot Shots: Part Deux. Also, doesn’t this picture of Charlie Sheen make a lot more sense in light of recent events? The signs were all there I tell you.
  • I got a lot of feedback on part 1 of this talk. Everyone had their favorite slides and sections, but this graph really resonated with a lot of people. I think it’s the most salient point, so it bears repeating. (Explain graph)
  • High friction, decent revenue
  • Low friction, low revenue
  • * friction spread: f2p (Puzzle Pirates, Star Trek Online, WoW just went f2p) to pay up front (SW:TOR) * good revenue potential
  • Best revenue... what about friction? MTX can go F2P or Paid Download - this sets the Friction point Let’s talk about MTX and F2P. They’re not the same, but they do complement each other.
  • Do you need f2p? Not always. General rule is that a casual game is better positioned f2p, core game as a paid download. But we ’ re seeing “ premium ” casual games positioned as paid downloads too.
  • Going back to our graph
  • That’s the place you want to be. Free is great, but let’s talk about MTX, b/c that’s why we’re here.
  • Things change so fast in this industry that any Best Practices are antiquated in just a few months. If you start building a game now with today’s best practices, your game will look like a Fast Follow at best. Stale at worst. Rather than Best Practices…
  • Let’s talk about What’s Hot in Product Let’s peer into the Zeitgeist, the here and now. Let’s examine what people are doing well, what people aren’t doing at all, and what we can do better. So, what’s hot in product right now?
  • Seems obvious, but let’s look at the history here.
  • Ultima Online: 1997 Bejeweled: 2001 (Java), then Flash took over the web Facebook platform: 2007 Mobile: How many of your friends/colleagues jumped to a mobile gaming company in the past few years?
  • Ultima Online: 1997 Bejeweled: 2001 (Java), then Flash took over the web Facebook platform: 2007 Mobile: How many of your friends/colleagues jumped to a mobile gaming company in the past few years?
  • Ultima Online: 1997 Bejeweled: 2001 (Java), then Flash took over the web Facebook platform: 2007 Mobile: How many of your friends/colleagues jumped to a mobile gaming company in the past few years?
  • Ultima Online: 1997 Bejeweled: 2001 (Java), then Flash took over the web Facebook platform: 2007 Mobile: How many of your friends/colleagues jumped to a mobile gaming company in the past few years?
  • Ultima Online: 1997 Bejeweled: 2001 (Java), then Flash took over the web Facebook platform: 2007 Mobile: Wait, hasn’t this been around for years?
  • Yes, this is what it used to be. And then the first App Stores came out. And you had this.
  • Higher quality games with touch screen inputs. But still, only a paid download. It wasn’t until Apple came up with IAP that this market really heated up.
  • Going back to our hotness timeline…. It should really look like this:
  • Mobile with MTX. That’s what hot now.
  • We’ll get to what’s next later. For now….
  • Yes. Still. City simulators, Restaurant simulators, and…
  • Zoo simulators. But actually, these aren’t hot anymore. You know what’s hot?
  • Sequels. New and improved! Not really. And it goes on…
  • I searched for Zoo on iOS. Here are the first 20 titles. Note that 15 of 20 are f2p and thus monetize via MTX. 75% are f2p. And let’s not ignore the one big Zoo game recently released.
  • Zynga’s Dream Zoo. Fast following the success of the indies. Now, these games are clones. We all know Zynga clones. Restaurant City/Café World. Pet Society/PetVille. They do it on mobile with Tiny Tower and Dream Heights. But looking at this we can see that almost everyone is guilty. So, what is still hot?
  • I’ll get no arguments here. Cloning was the trend on Facebook and now on mobile. If you can’t differentiate yourself with content, how do get ahead? Marketing and distribution, for sure. But the main way is this:
  • Dominant model on Facebook is now the dominant model on mobile. And will be for a long time. Besides simulation games, what else is hot?
  • Temple Run Running Fred Jetpack Joyride Robot Unicorn
  • Temple Run. Running Fred. Jetpack Joyride.  f2p with mtx Rope & Fly. Gravity guy.  paymium with mtx Robot Unicorn. Paid download. FAIL. 5 min of play. All demos (Esp. kids). Easy to learn. Lend themselves to mtx with powerups and customization. They’re the perfect mobile game.
  • First we have poker apps: Zynga poker, Texas Poker Then Card Ace: Casino. This is where it gets interesting: Not just poker, but full on gambling with slots, roulette, blackjack, and more. Then Slotomania. Owned by Harrah’s/Caesars Entertainment. All 4 of these are in the top 25 on iOS.
  • What do I mean by that? Well, this is a famous quote by Marshall McLuhan. He was famous for 2 things:
  • One, he was in Annie Hall.
  • There he is. Kind of looks like John Waters, right?
  • Most successful iOS core game: Infinity Blade. Most successful iOS casual games: Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja Dual stick shooters? Yes, Dead Space, Shadowgun, some games from Glu. Talk about iphone vs. ipad as well.
  • Go on rant about OpenFeint, Game Center, etc. Talk about GREE and the next wave of social.
  • Servers-side sharing, client-agnostic. Words With Friends, Zynga Poker. We’re going to see a ton more of this in the next couple of years.
  • Who’s 30% is it? Facebook? Apple? GREE coins? When Multi-platform takes off, this discussion will go from a murmur to a shout.
  • Call them Smart TVs. Call the IPTVs. I’m calling them App TVs. The install base of these App TVs is going to be in the hundreds of millions in a few years. Union is bringing content to LG TV this year.
  • Slowly but surely, online gambling for real money will be legal in full force.
  • Microtransactions: A Love Story (part 2)

    1. 1. Microtransactions: A Love Story
    2. 2. How Do Games Monetize?• Paid Download• Advertising• Subscriptions• Microtransactions 09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    3. 3. How Do Games Monetize?• Paid Download• Advertising• Subscriptions• Microtransactions http://bit.ly/MTXlove 09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    4. 4. Microtransactions: A Love Story
    5. 5. Microtransactions: A Love Story Part Deux!
    6. 6. Microtransactions: A Love Story Part Deux!
    7. 7. Revenue Lack of Friction 09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    8. 8. How Do Games Monetize?• Paid Download• Advertising• Subscriptions• Microtransactions 09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    9. 9. Revenue Lack of Friction 09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    10. 10. Revenue Paid Download Lack of Friction 09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    11. 11. Revenue Paid Download Advertising Lack of Friction 09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    12. 12. S u b s c r i p t i o n sRevenue Paid Download Advertising Lack of Friction 09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    13. 13. M i c r o t r a n s a c t i o n s S u b s c r i p t i o n sRevenue Paid Download Advertising Lack of Friction 09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    14. 14. F2P vs. MTX• F2P removes barrier to entry• MTX removes cap on revenue/customer 09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    15. 15. M i c r o t r a n s a c t i o n s S u b s c r i p t i o n sRevenue Paid Download Advertising Lack of Friction 09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    16. 16. F2P MTX M i c r o t r a n s a c t i o n s S u b s c r i p t i o n sRevenue Paid Download Advertising Lack of Friction 09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    17. 17. Best Practices09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    18. 18. Best Practices09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    19. 19. What’s Hot in Product?09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    20. 20. Mobile!09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    21. 21. Hotness Timeline09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    22. 22. Hotness Timeline• Online Core (15 years ago)09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    23. 23. Hotness Timeline• Online Core (15 years ago)• Online Casual (10 years ago)09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    24. 24. Hotness Timeline• Online Core (15 years ago)• Online Casual (10 years ago)• Social (5 years ago)09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    25. 25. Hotness Timeline• Online Core (15 years ago)• Online Casual (10 years ago)• Social (5 years ago)• Mobile (here & now)09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    26. 26. J2EE + Feature Phones09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    27. 27. iOS: Paid Download only09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    28. 28. Hotness Timeline• Online Core (15 years ago)• Online Casual (10 years ago)• Social (5 years ago)• Mobile (here & now)09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    29. 29. Hotness Timeline• Online Core (15 years ago)• Online Casual (10 years ago)• Social (5 years ago)• Mobile w/MTX (here & now)09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    30. 30. Hotness Timeline• Online Core (15 years ago)• Online Casual (10 years ago)• Social (5 years ago)• Mobile w/MTX (here & now)• What’s next?09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    31. 31. What’s hot in mobile?09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    32. 32. Simulation Games09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    33. 33. Simulation Games Tiny Zoo Tap Zoo Zoo Story09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    34. 34. Simulation Games Tiny Zoo Tiny Zoo Friends Tap Zoo Tap Zoo 2 Zoo Story Zoo Story 209/15/11 U nite te m p late
    35. 35. Zoo Games09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    36. 36. Zoo Games Zynga’s Dream Zoo09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    37. 37. Cloning09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    38. 38. 09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    39. 39. Quant09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    40. 40. Clone & Quant09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    41. 41. Endless Runners09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    42. 42. Endless Runners Temple Run Running Fred Jetpack Joyride Rope’n’Fly Gravity Guy Robot Unicorn09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    43. 43. Play Gambling09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    44. 44. Play Gambling Zynga Poker Texas Poker Card Ace: Slotomania Casino09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    45. 45. The Medium Is The Message09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    46. 46. 09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    47. 47. 09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    48. 48. The Medium Is The Message09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    49. 49. What’s Hot in Mobile• Simulation Games• Clone & Quant• Endless Runners• Play Gambling• The Medium Is The Message09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    50. 50. What Will Be Hot Soon09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    51. 51. What Will Be Hot Soon• True Social09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    52. 52. What Will Be Hot Soon• True Social• Multi-Platform09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    53. 53. What Will Be Hot Soon• True Social• Multi-Platform• Currency Wars09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    54. 54. What Will Be Hot Soon• True Social• Multi-Platform• Currency Wars• App TVs09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    55. 55. What Will Be Hot Soon• True Social• Multi-Platform• Currency Wars• App TVs• Real Gambling09/15/11 U nite te m p late
    56. 56. What Will Be Hot Soon• True Social• Multi-Platform• Currency Wars• App TVs• Real Gambling • Safeandsecureig.com09/15/11 U nite te m p late

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