本文原作者：James Batchelor 譯者遊戲邦ciel chen
在Apple和Google的APP Store都爭相爲高價獨立遊戲提供着更好的曝光度，而且他們發佈時用到“必備遊戲”字眼時更能激發用戶對這些遊戲的興趣。但是Ben Cousins（前EA和DeNA的CEO，現爲瑞典開發團隊The Outsiders的共同創始人）說現在已經太遲了：如今手遊形勢的發展已經全部往F2P方向蔓延了。
“在2012年到2013年是有這麼一段時間，app store的推薦對手遊的成功具有深遠的影響——不論是高價手遊還是免費手遊都是如此。但是隨着時間的流逝，我認爲現在我們正處在鋪天蓋地的廣告時代以及用戶高度參與的時代，它們已將遠遠地將app store的推薦影響力甩在了身後。高價遊戲已經再也不受特寫推薦的影響了，我曾經看到過一款普通的超低價的額外收費遊戲的一個驚人數據——儘管已經得到了良好的專題推薦但依舊沒有人爲這個遊戲買單——邁出四位數已經是極限了。”
It’s a topic that has already been debated in our Mobile Newsletter, but still the debate endures: is it possible to find success on mobile with a premium game?
As was discussed on our podcast earlier this year, there are plenty of impressive games available for smart devices with reasonably low price points – low enough to be in danger of undervaluing the developer’s work – but studios face a reluctant audience that is difficult to convince when it comes to spending money on that initial purchase.
The indie spaces on both the Apple and Google app stores arguably offer better exposure for premium-priced games, and there’s always the possibility the release of a must-have title could drive more interest in such apps. But Ben Cousins – former EA and DeNA exec, and now co-founder of Swedish dev The Outsiders – says it is too late: the tide has turned against anything but free-to-play games on mobile.
“The biggest barrier is the existence of very good quality freemium games. It’s pretty much impossible to overcome that”
“The issue isn’t that there aren’t quality premium games or that people don’t know about them,” he tells GamesIndustry.biz. “It’s that people don’t want to buy or don’t have time to play premium games if there is an even slightly decent free alternative.
“It’s not anything intrinsic in the games themselves, it’s more about how the consumer sees them sitting in the marketplace relative to freemium blockbusters. The biggest barrier is the existence of very good quality freemium games, highly optimised for engagement, and advertised to the tune of millions of dollars a day each. It’s pretty much impossible to overcome that.”
Both Apple and Google have gone to great lengths to better curate their storefronts, highlighting acclaimed new premium games alongside their freemium competitors, and the consensus among developers seems to be that securing a highly-coveted Featured spot will solve all their problems. But, much like Google itself, Cousins urges studios not to rely on this.
“There have been high-profile premium games in recent years that were featured and did well,” he concedes. “Monument Valley being a prime example. So devs assume that this was the determining factor, when really it was something more random like product fit for the marketplace at that time or product quality.
“There was a time around 2012 to 2013 where featuring on the app stores could have a huge impact on the success of a mobile games – either freemium or premium. But that time has passed and I think we are now deep into the era of heavy advertising and high engagement drowning out the effect of featuring. Premium titles are particularly unaffected by featuring, I have seen shocking data over the years where a mediocre poorly-priced premium game gets a good feature but does almost no business – four figures at best.”
He goes on to posit that developers need to think long and hard about what they’re trying to accomplish: delivering the game they envisage at a price they deem appropriate, or generating significant revenues from it. Both, it seems, are rarely an option. The levels of success that transform and grow businesses are now solely to be found in the increasingly competitive free-to-play market – or on another platform entirely.
“There’s always going to be a market for people who are okay making a few grand from a premium game,” says Cousins. “But if you want to build a business with more than 10 staff, it’s pretty much impossible to do that as a premium mobile game developer.
“If you are making a premium game on mobile and you want to know what to focus on to be successful – that is not just making enough money for two people to live on for a few months – the answer has to be to make a freemium game instead or move to PC dev. This has been the case for at least two to three years – it’s not a new situation.”（source：gamesindustry.biz ）