手遊開發者談遊戲營收模式設計中的最重要規則

本文原作者:Matt suckley 譯者遊戲邦ciel chen

能使你的營收更上一層樓的關鍵有什麼呢?爲了尋找答案,我們訪問了我們的手遊專家以下幾個問題:

你覺得單獨哪項規則在營收模式設計中最爲重要?

今年有哪些營收機制是你最看好的?

Torulf Jernström (TribeFflame的CEO)

如果一定要我挑出App Store裏營收最高遊戲跟其餘遊戲的關鍵不同點,我覺得是巨大的遊戲規模。

那些頂尖遊戲的虛擬經濟規模都非常巨大——價值數萬美元甚至更多。

而與此同時,大部分獨立遊戲的虛擬經濟能到幾十美元就了不起了。他們此處的差別就差了有大概1000倍。

(我記得我在今年夏季在赫爾辛基(芬蘭首都)PGC的演講中將其列爲首要的重點內容。)

關於年度營收策略中,我對今年Rovio工作室成功地提高了《憤怒的小鳥2(Angry Birds2)》收益所採取的營收策略印象最深。

Adam Telfer(Wooga的產品負責人)

我完全同意。是的,規模就是所有強大的營收模式的基奠——其節奏本質上會隨着內容增添而成倍加快。

其經濟體必須維持在數萬美元的水平上。

Dimitar Draganov在GDC歐洲2015大會上展示了《戰爭遊戲》是如何構建其虛擬經濟使之能維持在數十萬美元水平的方法——這裏還沒算上社交交易的數額。

至於今年我最看好的營收機制應該來自《精靈寶可夢》,它的營收機制非常有誘惑力,屬於一種出色並且平易近人的社交購買行爲——由於能感受到你的購買行爲會讓身邊的人都受益,因此你會感覺非常好。不過通常這些社交購買行爲在沒有受到明確引導之前,看上去都不怎麼誘人——這種誘惑力通常只在遊戲後期才能體現。而《精靈寶可夢》在玩家的生命週期前期就很好地執行了這種誘人的營收機制。

Shintaro Kanaoya(Chorus Worldwide的CEO)

我所知道的一個很不錯的營收系統是這樣的,玩家預先支付給了開發者/發行商給出的售價,然後玩家就可以盡情的享受遊戲而不需要有其他金錢投入。

這種系統很徹底,不過它對遊戲設計有着深遠的影響——它很有可能成爲營收系統中的明日之星。

講一件非常嚴肅的事,我們將在新年期間發行一款叫做《Glyph Quest Chronicles》的遊戲,由來自布萊頓的We Heart Dragon獨立遊戲團隊開發。

Glyph Quest Chronicles(from pocketgamer.biz)

Glyph Quest Chronicles(from pocketgamer.biz)

這款遊戲將做出以下挑戰:

讓玩家免費玩

儘可能讓玩家不受阻礙地體驗遊戲中的連續性收益

遊戲本身能賺錢

這是一個試驗品,但是我們加入了一種叫做“掌櫃模式”的內容,這種模式會獎勵那些在遊戲裏花過一部分數量金錢的玩家不需要花額外的錢就能盡情享受遊戲的其餘內容。

常識——有可能是對的——告訴我們,要消除那些已經證明自己愛花錢的人的消費動機是一件非常愚蠢的事。

Glyph Quest Chronicles

但是這裏隱藏着這麼一種哲學觀點——團隊覺得他們的遊戲是擁有一定“價值”的,除了那以外,玩家應該要能夠無阻礙地進行遊戲(他們依舊能夠盡情玩快捷小遊戲),但“掌櫃模式”的體驗比“無掌櫃模式”版本會少一些“支付摩擦”。

儘管我們在“掌櫃模式”下賺到的錢可能沒有“無掌櫃模式”的多,但這個試驗品就是爲了瞭解其是否能夠鼓勵非付費玩家做出冒險、投資遊戲,成爲贊助者中的一員。

時間將告訴我們這種嘗試是不是完全不可取的……

Will Luton(Rovio Stockhom的高級產品經理)

對於我來說,遊戲內容規模是高層次消費的重要條件,但並非必要條件。

遊戲機制只是刺激玩家的消費動機而已,然而真正讓他們想要進行消費的本質原因是和其他人的交互。所以爲玩家創造更多(建設性的或破壞性的)交互方式是營收模式中最重要的內容(或說到底是爲了用戶留存)。

有效的F2P設計要能夠將人際交互行爲作爲中心焦點。

William D. Volk(Forward Reality的首席未來學家)

營收模式中最重要的是將F2P模式設計成玩家心目中公平合理的樣子,讓玩家不需要“付了費才能贏遊戲”。

執行效果最好的應該是那種能讓大部分玩家在每天(或其他時間週期)有限的遊戲時間裏免費玩的系統。

遊戲貨幣或體力會隨着遊戲時間消耗減少。就是說,玩家會耗盡“體力”但在第二天能夠被獎勵獲得更多的體力。

玩家並非被迫去購買更多體力來繼續遊戲,但遊戲時間卻被這種“體力值”所限制。據GameRefinery獲悉,美國熱門榜前100名遊戲中有91%的遊戲都擁有這個機制。

這種被叫做“體力機制”的玩法在《糖果粉碎》中有扮演了重要角色。

這是一種很好的機制,它鼓勵了用戶留存量;玩家會爲了得到更多的體力值而重返遊戲。

想要當場玩更久的玩家,就會花錢購買體力。
當然了DLC也起了一定作用,不過我會說設計良好的體力機制似乎和F2P遊戲的成功有異曲同工之妙。

Torulf Jernström(Tribeflame的CEO)

正如William所說,GameRefinery有很多關於這方面的數據。他們好心地準我說出目前排行榜的前三名。

在這些遊戲中,我們可以看到收入前100的遊戲跟其他遊戲的最大不同:

發出/尋求幫助

限時活動

限時IAP商品

第一個很明顯是Will已經解釋過的一種社交特色。另外兩種則是實時設定的部分。

GameRefinery關於限時活動產生影響的數據

William所舉的這種時段限制到現在都很流行。在遊戲排行榜前100名中有95%的遊戲使用這種方法,100名以外的遊戲使用這種方法的有65%。

今年早些時候,我在這裏對GameRefinery數據進行了更長時間的深入研究。

Devin Nambiar(Electronic Arts亞太地區的產品管理主管)

創意人員經常性地認爲有競爭力的營收模式與有趣的遊戲玩法是呈負相關關係的,這使得營收模式的設計最終常常跟遊戲設計不太和諧。

然而,我會說最棒的遊戲都會將好玩有趣的元素內容和營收模式設計以某種方式相結合,這種設計結合能使玩家對遊戲的付費水準和迷戀程度達到相當高的水平。

根據我曾經在Kabam以及現在在EA參與運營熱門榜遊戲的經驗,我會說最重要的一條營收模式設計“規則”就是要創造遊戲內可以促進玩家的“衝動性消費”行爲的事態。

這些事態會造成一個混亂的環境讓玩家被迫做出直接影響遊戲中某些事物結果的決定,而要做的這個決定是有時限的。

這裏最好的例子就是(之前也有人提到過)有限的時間機制。它包括了限時活動,除此之外還有限時增值道具和限時遊戲商品。

當你強迫玩家在有限的時間窗口內做出決定,你會創造出一種事態緊急的感覺迫使玩家消費來達到他們想要的結果。

這裏一個簡單但非常典型的例子就是Netmarble公司的《Seven Knights》,這款Kakao平臺的韓國戰牌遊戲提供了限時折扣的扭蛋券,這讓玩家在打開扭蛋時卻沒有獲得追加獎品。

這是通過打開gacha時跳出的臨時界面達成的效果,這個界面給用戶提供了“再來一次”的臨時折扣——不過這種折扣只有他們當時就決定要繼續打開gacha纔有。

我認爲這個策略很棒而且很優雅,可以增加每名玩家索引開gacha的機率,直接讓硬通貨的貶值,而這正是營收模式在F2P遊戲中的意義之所在。

本文由遊戲邦編譯,轉載請註明來源,或諮詢微信zhengjintiao

But what do other mobile game developers think is the key to bringing your monetisation to the next level? To find out, we asked our Mobile Mavens the following:

What do you think is the single most important rule of monetisation design?

What are some of the best monetisation mechanics you’ve seen this year?

Torulf Jernström CEO Tribeflame

If I have to pick only one thing that separates top earners from the rest of the games on the App Store, I will have to go with plain, enormous volume.

The in-game economies of the top games are just huge – worth tens of thousands of dollars or more.

Meanwhile, most indie games’ economies top out at a few tens of dollars. There’s about a 1000x difference there.

(I believe that I also listed this as #1 in my PGC Helsinki talk this summer.)

As for the monetisation of the year, I’m very impressed with how Rovio managed to improve Angry Birds 2 during the year

By Matt Suckley, Features Editor

Last week, we began out latest Mobile Games University course on Monetisation Design, looking into the different types, the design process and psychology behind it.

Unity Evangelist Oscar Clark also shared his expert advice with the seven rules of monetisation design.

And on Wednesday December 7th, he’ll be presenting a free webinar on the subject.

But what do other mobile game developers think is the key to bringing your monetisation to the next level? To find out, we asked our Mobile Mavens the following:

What do you think is the single most important rule of monetisation design?

What are some of the best monetisation mechanics you’ve seen this year?

Torulf Jernström CEO Tribeflame

If I have to pick only one thing that separates top earners from the rest of the games on the App Store, I will have to go with plain, enormous volume.

The in-game economies of the top games are just huge – worth tens of thousands of dollars or more.

Meanwhile, most indie games’ economies top out at a few tens of dollars. There’s about a 1000x difference there.

(I believe that I also listed this as #1 in my PGC Helsinki talk this summer.)

As for the monetisation of the year, I’m very impressed with how Rovio managed to improve Angry Birds 2 during the year.

Adam Telfer Product Lead Wooga

Completely agree. The base of all strong monetisation is scale – essentially pacing multiplied by content.

The base of all strong monetisation is scale.ADAM TELFER

Economies must last tens of thousands of dollars.

Dimitar Draganov at GDC Europe 2015 showed how Game of War’s economy was built to last beyond hundreds of thousands of dollars – and that was ignoring social purchases.

As for monetisation mechanics this year, Pokemon GO’s lure mechanic was excellent for a very approachable, social purchase.

You felt great about purchasing it since benefited everyone around you.

Usually these types of social purchases don’t become enticing until you’ve joined a guild – and usually that’s in the late game. Pokemon GO had a great way of implementing this mechanic early in the lifetime of its players.

Shintaro Kanaoya CEO Chorus Worldwide

There’s this great system I saw whereby a player learns about a game, pays all the money the developer/publisher wants for it upfront, and then the player gets to play the whole game without any pull to spend any more money.

It’s pretty radical, but it has profound implications for game design. Might just be the next big thing.

In all seriousness, we’re going to be publishing a game in the new year called Glyph Quest Chronicles from We Heart Dragons, an indie team in Brighton.

The game is going to try square the circle of:

Being free-to-play;

Allowing players to have an experience as unencumbered as possible of continual monetisation;

And being profitable.

It’s an experiment, but we’re putting in something called Patron Mode, which rewards players that have spent a certain amount of money on the game to enjoy the rest of it without as much of a need to spend more money.

Common wisdom – which may well be right – says that removing the incentive to pay from people that have already proven themselves to be good spenders is incredibly dumb.

Glyph Quest Chronicles

But the philosophy behind it is that the team feels the game is “worth” a certain amount, and after that, they should be able to play unencumbered (they will still be able to enjoy the shortcut items), but the Patron Mode experience will have less pay-friction than the non-Patron Mode version.

While we will be reducing the maximum amount that we could potentially monetize a “whale” for, the experiment is to see if it encourages non-payers to take the plunge to becoming a patron.

Time will tell if this was complete folly…

Will Luton Executive Producer Rovio

For me, content volume is important to allow high levels of spend, but it doesn’t create it.

Players are only so motivated by game mechanics, however they’re highly motivated by other people. So giving players ways to interact (constructively or destructively) is the most important element of monetisation (or indeed retention).

Effective F2P design puts compelling human interaction as the central focus.

William D. Volk Chief Futurist Forward Reality

The main thing of import is to have a free-to-play design that players themselves view as fair and reasonable. Players shouldn’t have to ‘pay to win’.

91% of the top 100 games in the US app store feature an energy mechanicWILLIAM D. VOLK

What seems to work best is a system that will allow most players to play for free if they limit the amount they play per day (or other time period).

The currency or energy is expended during gameplay. That is, they run out of ‘energy’ but they will be rewarded with more energy the next day.

They aren’t forced to buy more to continue to play, but the amount of play is restricted by this. 91% of the top 100 games in the US app store feature this mechanic, according to GameRefinery.

This so-called “energy mechanic” plays a big role in Candy Crush Saga.

This is a good mechanic because it encourages retention; the players come back to get more energy.

The players who want to play more, right then and there, then will spend money on the energy to do so.

Of course DLC plays a role as well, but I’d say a well designed energy mechanic seems to be a common thread in the success of free-to-play games.

Torulf Jernström CEO Tribeflame

GameRefinery has lots of data on this, as William pointed out. They kindly gave me permission to tell about the current top three.

These are the ones where we see the largest difference between top 100 grossing games, and the rest:

Sending/asking for help

Limited time events

Limited time IAP offers.

The first is, obviously, a social feature as Will already explained. The other two are really parts of live ops.

GameRefinery data on the impact of limited-time events

The session length restrictions that William linked to are also still popular, with 95% using them in the Top 100, and 65% of games outside the top 100.

I did a longer dig through the GameRefinery data earlier this year here.

Devin Nambiar Head of Product Management, Asia-Pacific Electronic Arts

Monetisation design often ends up at odds with game design in the sense that creatives often tend to think there’s an inverse correlation between aggressive monetisation and fun gameplay.

However, I would say that the best games tend to marry fun factor and monetisation design in a way that enables outsized levels of spend and addiction by design.

In my experience, working on top grossing titles at both Kabam and now at EA, I would say the single most important “rule” of monetisation design is to create situations in-game that enable ‘impulse purchase’ behaviour.

The single most important rule of monetisation design is to enable ‘impulse purchase’ behaviour.DEVIN NAMBIAR

These situations create a chaotic environment where a player is forced to make a decision that directly impacts the result of something in the game, and this decision is time boxed.

The best example of this are, as someone previously mentioned, limited time mechanics. This includes limited time events, but also limited time boosts and limited time offers.

When you force a player to make a decision within a finite time window, you’ll create a sense of urgency that compels spend to achieve the desired result.

One simple but great example of this is actually in Netmarble’s Seven Knights, a Korean battle card game on Kakao that offers limited-time discounts on gacha pulls upon a user not getting the chase prize when pulling the gacha.

This is done through emergent UI within the gacha itself, in a way that offers the player a discount if they want to ‘give it another go’ – but only if they pull the gacha again right now.

I thought this was a great and elegant tactic that would lead to increased indexed gacha pulls per player, and hence direct sinking of hard currency, which is what monetisation is all about in F2P.(source:pocketgamer.biz