Core Games, Real Numbers:Comparative Stats for MMOs & Social Games    Emily Greer & Anthony Pecorella         GDC - March ...
What is Kongregate?•    Open platform for games•    50,000+ games, 1300 uploaded monthly•    15M monthly uniques, male cor...
Our Players                                 Our PlatformHardcore gaming audience:                   Game discovery:•  85% ...
A Short History of Kreds•  Launched late 2008•  Took off in 2009 with   MMOs & male-oriented   social games•  Currently 10...
Brief Sales Pitch/ContextARPUs generally 60-100% higher than onFacebook for games on both platforms  –  Everyone is a core...
Successful Game GenresMostly multiplayer, some single-player  –  RPGs  –  Collectible Card Games  –  Strategy / Empire Bui...
What makes a game succesful?The advantage of having a platform is thatwe have comparative statsCommon themes emerge with t...
Background•  All stats are lifetime•  ARPU: average revenue per user•  ARPPU: average rev per paying user•  Player: a regi...
ARPU       ARPPU à ARPU             ARPPU
ARPU       % Buyers à ARPU             % Buyers
Buyer Percentage Implications•  Most games cluster around a 0.5%   purchase rate  –  For those games ARPU & Revenue mostly...
A Tale of Two ARPPUs•  Closer look at two games with similar   ARPUs, # of players, and revenue but   radically different ...
Whale of an ARPPUHigh ARPPU game:  •  40% of revenue comes from 2% of players who spend >$1,000  •  90% of revenue from pl...
Still about the WhalesLow ARPPU game  •  54% of revenue from 5% of players spending $100+ (but just 13% from     players $...
First Advice#1 Make sure players can spend $1,000+  –  If you make a fun game someone will want to spend an infinite     a...
How We Look at Retention•  % Repeat  –  What % of players ever return  –  Shows initial impressions/interest in the game• ...
ARPU   % Repeat Does Not Correlate                   % Repeat
ARPU       Regs à Addicts However…                Regs à Addicts
The Most Important LessonLesson #3 – Look first to the end-game•  Every high ARPU and high revenue game on Kongregatehas a...
In Soviet Russia, CCGs Collect You!Tyrant                   Clash of the Dragons•    By Synapse Games    •    By 5th Plane...
CCG v CCG - MonetizationTyrant                           Clash of the Dragons•  Individual cards: $1.5 - $4   •  Rare card...
CCG v CCG – EndgameTyrant                           Clash of the Dragons•  Large-scale endgame           •  Intimate socia...
CCG v CCG – Guild ValueGuilds allow in-game communities to form and applypressure both to return and to spend•  Tyrant    ...
CCG v CCG – Monthly StatsTyrant                      Clash of the Dragons•    Reg à Addict: 59.4%    •    Reg à Addict: ...
Attack of the Tower Defense•  Defender’s Quest (Demo)         •  GemCraft: Labyrinth   –  by Level Up Labs (Jan ‘12)      ...
Attack of the Tower Defense•  Defender’s Quest (Demo)          •  GemCraft: Labyrinth   –  Full version (Acts 3 – 7, 3    ...
Attack of the Tower Defense•  Defender’s Quest (Demo)   •  GemCraft: Labyrinth   –  Purchase rate: 2.17%      –  Purchase ...
Tortoise vs. Hare, Business Sim DuelSwords & Potions          Business Tycoon Online•    By Edgebee Studios   •    By Dovo...
Tortoise vs. Hare - RetentionSwords & Potions             Business Tycoon Online•  Slick and accessible      •  Dense, hig...
Tortoise vs. Hare, Stats (Monthly)Swords & Potions          Business Tycoon Online•  Repeat: 55.6%          •  Repeat rate...
Tortoise vs. Hare - MonetizationSwords & Potions                Business Tycoon Online•  Package prices: $1 - $50     •  P...
Tortoise vs. Hare, Stats (Monthly)Swords & Potions                Business Tycoon Online•  % Buyers: 2.93%              • ...
Fantasy Online: A Coming of Age Tale •  By Pixelated Games    (Jeromy Stroh) •  Launched May 2010 •  4.20 rating •  5.7M g...
Fantasy Online: A Humble Start•  Popular and good retention, but couldn’t   monetize well. Only sold aesthetic equips.•  F...
Fantasy Online: Release the Guilds!•  Guilds launched in Dec 2010•  Monthly ARPPU jumped to $12.93•  Crafting, mining, XP ...
Fantasy Online: Whale Hunting•  Jul 2011, “Gem Packs”, expensive “uber”   items ($30+) were added to court whales•  Monthl...
Fantasy Online: Monthly ARPPU$45.00$40.00$35.00$30.00$25.00$20.00$15.00$10.00 $5.00 $0.00
Fantasy Online: Monthly ARPPU$45.00$40.00$35.00$30.00$25.00$20.00$15.00$10.00                     Dots indicate new “zones...
Fantasy Online: Monthly ARPPU                                                                                Changed Gem P...
Fantasy Online: Summary Stats•  Traffic stayed strong through high rating and   repeated Kongregate promotion•  % Buyers g...
Fantasy Online: Takeaways•    Social elements like guilds drive monetization•    Incentivizing purchases leads to bigger s...
The Value of Developer ActivityKeep feeding your players•  Regular updates, new features, and events yield greater   engag...
The Value of Developer Activity                                                                                 Equips, Gu...
RevenueNov-09Dec-09                                                    Front Page                                         ...
The Value of Developer Activity                                                                                           ...
To learn more visit        dev.kongregate.comContact us at apps@kongregate.com
Kongregate @ GDC 2012
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Kongregate @ GDC 2012

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Comparative Stats for MMOs & Social Games.

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Emily Greer
Anthony Pecorella

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Kongregate @ GDC 2012

  1. 1. Core Games, Real Numbers:Comparative Stats for MMOs & Social Games Emily Greer & Anthony Pecorella GDC - March 5, 2012
  2. 2. What is Kongregate?•  Open platform for games•  50,000+ games, 1300 uploaded monthly•  15M monthly uniques, male core gamers•  Rev share with developers•  Mix of ads & virtual goods•  Acquired by GameStop July 2010
  3. 3. Our Players Our PlatformHardcore gaming audience: Game discovery:•  85% Male, Average Age 21 •  Tons of content, ratings &•  Index very high for console, PC gaming recommendations to surface the best gamesDeep Engagement:•  Average user 40+ plays a month Deep community & social features: •  Profiles, Points, Levels, Achievements •  Friends, Chat, Comments, Forums, etc. Site-wide virtual currency, Kreds: •  Similar to Facebook Credits, APIs & integrations very similar
  4. 4. A Short History of Kreds•  Launched late 2008•  Took off in 2009 with MMOs & male-oriented social games•  Currently 100+ kreds games, majority of revenue
  5. 5. Brief Sales Pitch/ContextARPUs generally 60-100% higher than onFacebook for games on both platforms –  Everyone is a core gamer –  Can pump a critical mass of socially- connected gamers into a game quickly –  Achievements incent players to get far enough into the game to get addicted
  6. 6. Successful Game GenresMostly multiplayer, some single-player –  RPGs –  Collectible Card Games –  Strategy / Empire Building –  Tower Defense –  Deathmatch / Live PvP –  Sim / Management
  7. 7. What makes a game succesful?The advantage of having a platform is thatwe have comparative statsCommon themes emerge with the mostsuccessful games
  8. 8. Background•  All stats are lifetime•  ARPU: average revenue per user•  ARPPU: average rev per paying user•  Player: a registered user who loaded the game at least once•  “Reg”: player with 10+ plays•  “Addict”: player with 50+ plays
  9. 9. ARPU ARPPU à ARPU ARPPU
  10. 10. ARPU % Buyers à ARPU % Buyers
  11. 11. Buyer Percentage Implications•  Most games cluster around a 0.5% purchase rate –  For those games ARPU & Revenue mostly a function of ARPPU•  High % Buyer above reflects a broadly passionate audience –  Revenue always good (especially for multiplayer games) but size still a function of ARPPU
  12. 12. A Tale of Two ARPPUs•  Closer look at two games with similar ARPUs, # of players, and revenue but radically different ARPPUs•  High ARPPU game: –  Average spend is $119, median $16•  Low ARPPU game –  Average spend is $24, median $5
  13. 13. Whale of an ARPPUHigh ARPPU game: •  40% of revenue comes from 2% of players who spend >$1,000 •  90% of revenue from players spending $100+ •  Top whale has spent $6.7k
  14. 14. Still about the WhalesLow ARPPU game •  54% of revenue from 5% of players spending $100+ (but just 13% from players $500+) •  Only 9% of revenue from the 65% of buyers who spent <$10 •  Top whale has spent $1.3k •  Whale spend is smaller, but $$s still dominated by a few high-paying players
  15. 15. First Advice#1 Make sure players can spend $1,000+ –  If you make a fun game someone will want to spend an infinite amount. Don’t create a situation in which spending is capped by availability or utility.#2 Don’t underprice –  There is very little price elasticity below $5. It’s an emotional decision to spend for progress and status, focus on that. –  Use intro paid currency, first time buyer packages & deals to get people into the habit of purchase –  Higher prices allow for sales & special events later
  16. 16. How We Look at Retention•  % Repeat –  What % of players ever return –  Shows initial impressions/interest in the game•  Repeat à Reg –  What % of players who repeat become regulars? –  How strongly is the player hooked in the early-middle parts of the game?•  Reg à Addict –  What % of regulars become addicts? –  Engagement of end-game content
  17. 17. ARPU % Repeat Does Not Correlate % Repeat
  18. 18. ARPU Regs à Addicts However… Regs à Addicts
  19. 19. The Most Important LessonLesson #3 – Look first to the end-game•  Every high ARPU and high revenue game on Kongregatehas a strongly social and competitive end-game.•  Common features (mix and match) –  Guilds/leagues –  Guild warfare or leaderboards –  PvP (either synchronous and asynchronous) –  Visible status & character progression –  Guilds/leagues (it bears repeating)
  20. 20. In Soviet Russia, CCGs Collect You!Tyrant Clash of the Dragons•  By Synapse Games •  By 5th Planet Games•  Launched Feb 2011 •  Launched Nov 2011•  4.33 rating •  3.89 rating•  26M gameplays •  2.8M gameplays
  21. 21. CCG v CCG - MonetizationTyrant Clash of the Dragons•  Individual cards: $1.5 - $4 •  Rare cards: $7.5 - $10•  Booster packs: $0.75 - $4 •  Boosters: $1 - $10•  1st buyer: $10 gets $20 •  Starter decks: $10•  Daily individual deals •  Weekly sales & specials•  Tournament entry: $0.75, •  PvP and Tournaments: or free with 4 packs free - $3, plus packs•  Energy: $1.50 •  Energy: $1
  22. 22. CCG v CCG – EndgameTyrant Clash of the Dragons•  Large-scale endgame •  Intimate social endgame –  Guild vs. Guild warfare –  Guild co-op raids –  Giant asynch raids –  Realtime small raids –  Regular world-wide –  Ad hoc mini tournaments, tournaments w/ live PvP, competitive live PvP, no leaderboards and prizes leaderboards, has prizes•  Minimal leveling benefits, •  Has RPG leveling, skills, no equipment and equipment
  23. 23. CCG v CCG – Guild ValueGuilds allow in-game communities to form and applypressure both to return and to spend•  Tyrant •  Clash of the Dragons –  6% of users are in factions –  2.5% of users are in clans –  41% of paying users are in –  Reported approximately factions 10x purchase rate of clan –  ARPU for non-faction members vs. non-clan members is $0.19, vs members $3.87 for faction members
  24. 24. CCG v CCG – Monthly StatsTyrant Clash of the Dragons•  Reg à Addict: 59.4% •  Reg à Addict: 66.8%•  MARPPU: $33.08 •  MARPPU: $59.65•  Whale rate: 1.34% •  Whale rate: 3.28%•  % Buyers: 2.26% •  % Buyers: 1.34%•  MARPU: $0.74 •  MARPU: $0.81
  25. 25. Attack of the Tower Defense•  Defender’s Quest (Demo) •  GemCraft: Labyrinth –  by Level Up Labs (Jan ‘12) –  by GameInABottle (Apr ‘11)•  Kingdom Rush •  Bloons Tower Defense 4 –  by Ironhide (Dec ‘11) –  by Ninjakiwi (Jan ‘10)
  26. 26. Attack of the Tower Defense•  Defender’s Quest (Demo) •  GemCraft: Labyrinth –  Full version (Acts 3 – 7, 3 –  “Premium” version with a more unit types, etc.) ($5) few extra options, skills, –  4.10 rating and bonus skill points ($5) –  4.38 rating•  Kingdom Rush •  Bloons Tower Defense 4 –  “Premium” version with 2 –  Additional maps ($1.50, 10%) extra maps, skills, bonus –  Upgrades ($0.40 - $1.50, 83%) skill points, costumes ($3) –  Consumables (~$0.25, 6%) –  4.63 rating –  4.46 rating
  27. 27. Attack of the Tower Defense•  Defender’s Quest (Demo) •  GemCraft: Labyrinth –  Purchase rate: 2.17% –  Purchase rate: 3.33% –  ARPPU: $5.00 –  ARPPU: $5.00 –  ARPU: $0.11 –  ARPU: $0.16•  Kingdom Rush •  Bloons Tower Defense 4 –  Purchase rate: 1.67% –  Purchase rate: 2.10% –  ARPPU: $3.00 –  ARPPU: $4.35 –  ARPU: $0.05 –  ARPU: $0.09
  28. 28. Tortoise vs. Hare, Business Sim DuelSwords & Potions Business Tycoon Online•  By Edgebee Studios •  By Dovogame•  Launched May 2011 •  Launched Feb 2011•  3.88 rating •  3.39 rating•  7M gameplays •  0.5M gameplays
  29. 29. Tortoise vs. Hare - RetentionSwords & Potions Business Tycoon Online•  Slick and accessible •  Dense, high learning curve•  Effective tutorial •  Rough tutorial & localization•  Very compelling early- •  Initial loop slow, progress is stage gameplay loop not as clear•  Cooperative-only guilds •  Competitive guilds•  Endgame loses steam •  Deep, nearly limitless endgame
  30. 30. Tortoise vs. Hare, Stats (Monthly)Swords & Potions Business Tycoon Online•  Repeat: 55.6% •  Repeat rate: 25.8%•  Repeat à Reg: 56.9% •  Repeat à Reg: 20.9%•  Reg à Addict: 51.9% •  Reg à Addict: 60.1%
  31. 31. Tortoise vs. Hare - MonetizationSwords & Potions Business Tycoon Online•  Package prices: $1 - $50 •  Package prices: $1 - $1000•  No bulk buying benefits •  Bonuses for large purchases•  Beginner packs: $8 - $20 •  No beginner/intro package•  Nearly everything can be •  Lots of bonuses and items earned with soft currency require hard currency•  Upgrades priced relatively •  Very confident prices in hard low: $0.50 - $10 currency shop: $0.05 - $5000•  Difficult to spend >$100 •  Difficult to spend <$100
  32. 32. Tortoise vs. Hare, Stats (Monthly)Swords & Potions Business Tycoon Online•  % Buyers: 2.93% •  % Buyers: 0.71%•  MARPPU: $17.07 •  MARPPU: $96.22•  MARPU: $0.50 •  MARPU: $0.69•  Nearly identical lifetime ARPUs.•  Winner: The hare?! Initial retention and popularity break the tie.
  33. 33. Fantasy Online: A Coming of Age Tale •  By Pixelated Games (Jeromy Stroh) •  Launched May 2010 •  4.20 rating •  5.7M gameplays
  34. 34. Fantasy Online: A Humble Start•  Popular and good retention, but couldn’t monetize well. Only sold aesthetic equips.•  First month (Jun ‘10) Monthly ARPPU: $5.50•  Added new zones for modest growth to $8.50 in Sept. Minimal updates for a few months.•  Nov 2010 Monthly ARPPU: $8.11
  35. 35. Fantasy Online: Release the Guilds!•  Guilds launched in Dec 2010•  Monthly ARPPU jumped to $12.93•  Crafting, mining, XP potions, new zones added, kept Monthly ARPPU in that higher range, growing to $18.66 by Jun 2011
  36. 36. Fantasy Online: Whale Hunting•  Jul 2011, “Gem Packs”, expensive “uber” items ($30+) were added to court whales•  Monthly ARPPU soared to $32.80•  New content, new equipment slots, Halloween event, grew to $36.23 in Nov 2011•  Jan 2012: Guild Warfare, peak of $41.86
  37. 37. Fantasy Online: Monthly ARPPU$45.00$40.00$35.00$30.00$25.00$20.00$15.00$10.00 $5.00 $0.00
  38. 38. Fantasy Online: Monthly ARPPU$45.00$40.00$35.00$30.00$25.00$20.00$15.00$10.00 Dots indicate new “zones” $5.00 added – content for players $0.00
  39. 39. Fantasy Online: Monthly ARPPU Changed Gem Pack$45.00 Items, Guild Warfare$40.00 Changed Gem Pack items "Gem Packs” and “Uber” items$35.00$30.00 New equip slots$25.00$20.00 Chance box Mining/Crafting$15.00 Guilds$10.00 $5.00 $0.00
  40. 40. Fantasy Online: Summary Stats•  Traffic stayed strong through high rating and repeated Kongregate promotion•  % Buyers generally ~1.1% with promotion, ~1.5% without•  Monthly ARPPU grew from $5.50 to $41.86•  Monthly ARPU grew from $0.04 to $0.70
  41. 41. Fantasy Online: Takeaways•  Social elements like guilds drive monetization•  Incentivizing purchases leads to bigger spends•  Make sure you appeal to your whales•  Keep content fresh to keep players interested•  If a core game is fun, you can probably make it monetize. The converse isn’t necessarily true.
  42. 42. The Value of Developer ActivityKeep feeding your players•  Regular updates, new features, and events yield greater engagement and reduced fatigue.•  Sales and specials can offer significant jumps in revenue.
  43. 43. The Value of Developer Activity Equips, Guild bonuses Halloween, sale Christmas eventFantasy Online Revenue Guild wars New zone, XL, etc. Custom User Items Badges added Hot New Games
  44. 44. RevenueNov-09Dec-09 Front Page BadgesJan-10Feb-10Mar-10Apr-10May-10Jun-10 Jul-10Aug-10Sep-10Oct-10 Item promotionNov-10Dec-10Jan-11Feb-11Mar-11Apr-11 New VersionMay-11Jun-11 Jul-11Aug-11Sep-11Oct-11Nov-11Dec-11Jan-12Feb-12 The Value of Developer Activity Asian MMO Fantasy Online
  45. 45. The Value of Developer Activity Easter event Expansion Expansion Expansion Christmas update New ServerRevenue Fantasy Online Expansion Dream World Asian MMO Badges added Labor day event Front page Expansion Nov-09 Dec-09 Jan-10 Feb-10 Mar-10 Apr-10 May-10 Jun-10 Jul-10 Aug-10 Sep-10 Oct-10 Nov-10 Dec-10 Jan-11 Feb-11 Mar-11 Apr-11 May-11 Jun-11 Jul-11 Aug-11 Sep-11 Oct-11 Nov-11 Dec-11 Jan-12 Feb-12
  46. 46. To learn more visit dev.kongregate.comContact us at apps@kongregate.com

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