Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Casual Connect 2013: Balancing Fun vs. Monetization: Translating Traditional Game Philosophies into Effective Monetization Strategies

by Gary Gattis, CEO, Spacetime Studios
·         Summary: Don’t use pay walls, go cross-platform, find where purchasing points are and accelerate players to that point, and split your app into a small download and a big patch download on first play.
·         Spacetime Studios currently has 35 employees. Then spent 3 years building a space-themed MMO called Blackstar which was eventually cancelled, then some games for Disney which were also cancelled. The company moved into iOS games, making a lot of small unsuccessful games such as Dreadmill, Shotgun Granny, and Zombie Weatherman. They finally developed Pocket Legends, which was their first hit.
·         Don’t wall off the fun. Pocket Legends initially had pay walls, preventing players from progressing on the map until they purchased an unlock. It was a good source of revenue, but the player numbers dropped off dramatically. They removed the pay wall and the average playtime per player doubled, and revenue of items increased.
·         Expand your horizons. They later launched Star Legends, a reskin of Pocket Legends, and they went cross-platform. They let players play with anyone, anywhere, anytime. They cultivated partnerships with Apple, Google, Verizon, and Sony and were able to increase their acquisition.
·         Manage your funnel. They later launched Dark Legends and focused on retention. Find the money in the fun. People were making purchases on levels 7-13, so they decreased the XP curve to get all players to those levels faster.
·         People are more likely to sit through a patch than a download. Decrease the size of your app and do a first-time patch to complete the download when the players launch the game.

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