爲什麼唯獨有膽識的開發者才能在F2P遊戲領域盈利

本文原來源: www.gamesindustry.biz 譯者遊戲邦ciel chen

根據Newzoo公司調查,今年手遊年收入比去年增長了19%達461億美元。因此,如果你覺的現在做手遊就能賺錢也無可厚非。那麼爲什麼不乾脆所有的開發者都去開手遊賺錢就好了?

事實上,只有少數強大的發行商才能做出真正的手遊大作。有一個令人吃驚的數據——應用商城收入中94%產出於排名前1%的發行商(像Supercell、Machine Zone以及King Digital這些發行商巨頭)。這些數字顯然會讓大部分發行商心裏不舒服,這引出了一個問題:“明明整體發行商在手游上投入的資金並沒有增多,爲什麼還有那麼多遊戲沒辦法在這個領域裏分得一杯羹?”

從F2P遊戲中賺錢對大部分開發者來說向來都是一個屹立不倒的大難題。想嘗試利用廣告與IAP有效地平衡玩家體驗與盈利需求之間的平衡是一個他們天天都在糾結抗爭的問題。

其中一個遊戲賺不了錢的主要原因是開發者在IAP定價上以及廣告頻率設定上的表現得不夠自信。有太多的開發者只想他們的玩家能有更好的玩家體驗,這樣的話一方面來說確實是值得讚揚的,但是如果沒有盈利,最後終究得讓遊戲爲此做出一些變動。

醒醒吧,錢就在你眼前

開發者常常爲自己創造的遊戲變得充滿廣告和侵略性盈利機制而感到不太自然。他們由於沉迷於用戶留存率的數值而在服務廣告和IAP定價方面表現得過於謹慎。

儘管這對於玩家來說是有好處的,但如果只有2%的玩家會真正在IAP花錢,那你的遊戲有如此多的用戶留存率還不賺錢還有什麼意義?

大部分F2P遊戲都沒有盈利

事實上,只有30%的F2P遊戲能得到10c的日活躍用戶平均收益(ARPDAU),或者1美元的用戶生命週期價值(LTV)——這些數值是證明遊戲能賺錢的指標。

要想能賺大錢,你首先得有一個好遊戲——這是關鍵,不過如果你有了好遊戲還沒能賺錢,那是時候採取行動,認真考慮創造一些穩定的收入了。

接下來就是乾貨了

提高你的IAP定價

爲了想要保證用戶留存率,開發者常常自己的IAP價位定的特別低,然而在遊戲中,價格和需求之間存在一種非彈性的關係。這個其實和容易就能相通——每個遊戲都是一個壟斷市場,因爲這裏不存在價格競爭。

一款成功的遊戲就是要達到正確的平衡,如果你不夠大膽,你的IAP策略就可能會失敗。我們的數據表明,那些遊戲收費兩倍貴的遊戲也能大概賺人家的兩倍。正如上圖你可以看到,當最低價格點增加時,中間值幾乎不會改變,但ARPDAU實際上會大幅增加,而且價格點低於2美元的明顯降低了遊戲價值。

賣,賣,賣!

想讓玩家進行一次購買行爲是可以的,但是想要在IAP上取得成功來獲取盈利是真的很困難。除非你可以刺激每個消費者在遊戲生命週期中進行三次IAP支付。

根據DeltaDNA分析,第一筆交易平均價值爲5.20美元。這一價格在第二筆交易會上漲至9.10美元,並將繼續在第十筆交易上漲至23美元(如下圖所示):

iap number(from gamesindustry.biz)

iap number(from gamesindustry.biz)

爲了實現這點,你的遊戲得要有一個核心消費循環,這樣無論你的玩家發展到什麼程度都還需要進行再次消費。如果你的遊戲構建來只能刺激單次IAP消費,這樣十有八九是不夠的。遊戲利用消耗資源或機制來鼓勵玩家收集或獲取特定的物品,以使整個遊戲盈利流程得以順利進展。

你還需要至少有5%的消費者是“鯨魚”(大R玩家)。鯨魚(大R)就是那些每個月會在遊戲上砸超過100美元的玩家。值得注意的是,只有大概16%的遊戲能達到這種標準。

提供更多的廣告

我們根據自己進行的“遊戲內置廣告研究”發現,很多開發者把廣告看作是一種不得不接受的邪惡存在,然而,超過一半(52%)的開發者不確定他們是否採用了正確的廣告策略,以達到他們在F2P遊戲上的最高收入,然而僅有3%的開發者覺得自己的廣告策略是“有效的”。

我們還了解到,98%的玩家不會在IAP上花錢,儘管玩完一個遊戲小節後會有40%到50%的玩家棄遊的現象很常見。就是這樣的情況下,還有許多開發者仍然只在一個遊戲小節中提供一個廣告或更少的廣告服務,這也是爲什麼去年廣告收入只佔遊戲總營收的35%。

問題在於,很少有開發人員能夠分析廣告頻率和IAP定價對玩家體驗的影響。如果沒有這些知識,他們會讓恐懼感控制自己,並採取一種極端謹慎的方式,但這些擔心是合理的嗎?

去年,舊金山大學的一個團隊使用了來自deltaDNA平臺的匿名數據來研究廣告頻率和用戶留存率之間的關係。研究發現,沒有證據表明遊戲第一節的廣告密度對用戶留存率有影響。

舊金山大學助理教授Nick Ross說:“沒有證據表明在遊戲第一小節中的廣告密度會影響到玩家決定是否要繼續玩遊戲第二小節。”

事實上,deltaDNA Insight團隊對平臺數據的樣本進行了分析,由此確定了廣告對遊戲的盈利能力的影響。根據下圖可見,如果開發者沒有把握好廣告的分寸,沒能合理地將之投入使用,他們會冒着侵蝕IAP支出和轉換的風險。

小心謹慎並付不起賬單

開發人員仍然面對着的一個巨大的盈利問題就是他們無法分析不同盈利因素對玩家體驗的不同影響。現在自然的傾向是開發者謹慎而過於慷慨。但殘酷的現實是,謹慎和慷慨並不能支付開發遊戲的賬單。

一款好的遊戲可以有次等的盈利機制,但在次等的遊戲中你是無法做出成功的盈利機制的。所以如果你的用戶留存率的指標夠高夠厲害,你就可以在盈利機制的制定中更果斷大膽些。

本文由遊戲邦編譯,轉載請註明來源,或諮詢微信zhengjintiao

According to research firm Newzoo, this year, mobile games revenues are set to surge by 19% year-on-year to $46.1 billion. Therefore, you’d be forgiven for thinking that gaming’s most lucrative segment was in rude health. So why isn’t every mobile games developer rolling in cash?

In reality, it’s only a handful of juggernaut publishers that are actually making the big bucks, as a staggering 94% of App Store revenue is generated by the top 1% of publishers, like Supercell, Machine Zone and King Digital.

These numbers clearly won’t make comfortable reading for the majority of publishers, which begs the question: “Why are so many games failing to stake a claim to their share of the pot, when there’s never been more money being spent on mobile games?”

“Trying to effectively balance the player experience with the need to monetize through ads and in-app purchases (IAP) is a daily struggle”

Making money from free-to-play games has always been a granite-tough business for many developers. Trying to effectively balance the player experience with the need to monetize through ads and in-app purchases (IAP) is a daily struggle.

One of the main reasons that games don’t make money is because developers just aren’t confident enough when it comes to IAP pricing and ad frequency. Too many developers just want their players to have a great player experience, which on one hand is commendable but if it isn’t paying the bills then something needs to change.

Wake up and smell the money

Developers have always felt uneasy about packing their beloved creations full of ads and intrusive monetization mechanics. Obsessed with retention, most developers tend to be overly cautious when it comes to serving ads and pricing IAPs.
While this might be good for the player, if only 2% of players actually spend money on IAPs, what’s the point of great retention figures if your game’s still not making money?
Most F2P games aren’t profitable

In fact, only 30% hit the 10c Average Revenue Per Daily Active User (ARPDAU), or $1 Lifetime Value (LTV) – a figure needed to start being close to making money.
To achieve strong monetization you first need a great game. That’s key, but if you’re still not making money, it’s time to step up to the plate and get serious about generating some solid revenue.

Are you sitting comfortably? Here’s how.

Increase the price of your IAPs

In a bid to preserve retention, developers often price their purchases too low, yet within a game, there is a very inelastic relationship between price and demand. It’s obvious when you think about it, each game is a monopoly, there’s no competition.

1

A successful game is all about striking the right balance and your IAP strategy can fail if you are not daring enough. Our data shows that games that charge twice as much, tend to make roughly twice as much money. As you can see in the chart above, median conversion hardly changes when the minimum price point is increased, but the ARPDAU actually increases dramatically, and price points lower than $2 are shown to devalue games significantly.
Sell, sell, sell!

Getting players to make a single purchase is good, but it’s actually very difficult to monetize successfully with IAP, unless you can inspire an average of three IAP payments in each spender’s lifetime.

For mobile games on deltaDNA, the first transaction on average is worth $5.20. This increases to $9.10 for the second and continues to increase all the way to $23 for the tenth transaction, as the chart below illustrates:

2

To achieve this, you need a game with a core spending loop where no matter how far the player has progressed, there will still become a need to spend again. If your game only builds to a single IAP payment, the chances are it won’t be enough. Games utilising depleting resources or mechanics, which inspire the user to collect or acquire specific items to enable progression, work well.

You also need to have a minimum of 5% of spenders being Whales. Whales are defined here as players who pay more than $100/month. It’s worth noting, that only 16% of games achieve all these measures.

Serve more ads

We know from our In-Game Advertising Study that developers see ads as a necessary evil, yet more than half (52%) feel unsure whether they are adopting the right ad strategy for their highest monetising F2P game, while only 3% describe their approach to advertising as ‘effective’.

We also know that 98% of players won’t spend on IAPs, while it’s also common for between 40% and 50% of players to leave a game after just one session. Yet many developers still only serve one ad or less per session, which is a reason why ad revenue only accounted for 35% of total game revenue last year.

The problem is that few developers have the technology to be able to analyze how ad frequency and IAP pricing impacts the player experience. Without this knowledge, they let fear take over and adopt an ultra-cautious approach, but are these fears justified?

“If ads aren’t properly measured and applied, they run the risk of cannibalising IAP expenditure and conversion”
Last year a team from the University of San Francisco used anonymized data from the deltaDNA platform to examine the relationship between ad frequency and retention. The study discovered that there was no evidence of first session ad density affecting retention.

Nick Ross, Assistant Professor, University of San Francisco stated: “There is no evidence to suggest that the density of ads, shown by a game in the first session, affecting whether a player returns for a second session.”

In fact, the deltaDNA Insight Team took a look at a sample of platform data to determine the effectiveness of advertising on a game’s ability to monetize. As can be seen below, if ads aren’t properly measured and applied, they run the risk of cannibalising IAP expenditure and conversion.

3

Caution doesn’t pay the bills

The big monetization problem developers still face is their inability to analyze how different elements of monetization impact the player experience. The natural tendency is to be cautious and overly generous. But the harsh reality is that caution and generosity doesn’t pay the bills.

You can often have sub-standard monetization in a good game, but you can’t have successful monetization in a sub-standard game, so if your retention KPIs are strong you can afford to take an assertive approach with your monetization.(source:gamesindustry.biz