從產品測試角度聊《孤膽車神:新奧爾良》是如何盈利的

原作者:Matt Suckley 譯者:Willow Wu

歡迎回到In-App Purchase Inspector,在這裏我們會以消費者的視角,定期測評一些F2P遊戲。

每期文章,我們都會考慮遊戲中IAP的誘因、壓力、它們的感知價值、IAP帶來的擴展內容還有整個遊戲體驗的評估。

最終目的就是看看這遊戲究竟值不值得我們砸錢,不花錢的遊戲體驗是否也能讓玩家感到滿足。

這次,我們來測評《孤膽車神:新奧爾良》,這是一款擁有開放世界的GTA式遊戲,這也是Gameloft首次將該系列的遊戲設定爲F2P模式。

小屏幕,大世界

這一部遊戲的開放世界規模比同系列之前的作品大了9倍, Gameloft花了兩年多的時間來開發《孤膽車神:新奧爾良》。

這可算是工作室的重磅作品,也算是一個大賭注,畢竟這一類型還沒人試驗過,至少在免費手遊中還是前無古人。

在玩法上,還是我們非常熟悉的那種配方。

Gangstar New Orleans(from pocketgamer.biz)

Gangstar New Orleans(from pocketgamer.biz)

你去偷一輛車,在繁忙的城市中穿梭,到達指定的目的地。如果你想的話,可以在路途中攻擊普通民衆。接任務,看看你是要正常地開車,還是一路殺過去完成這個任務。

然而提到盈利方面,在之前,Gameloft不得不設計出自己的一套方案。

犯罪需要成本嗎?

在遊戲發行之前,PocketGamer.biz曾對Gameloft Montreal的孤膽車神團隊進行了採訪,他們非常痛苦地解釋說他們不想讓玩家因爲遊戲中的盈利機制而放棄這款遊戲。

從某種程度上說,這是真的。你可以隨意在新奧爾良的大街上游蕩,多久都行,沒有任何限制。但是遊戲中還有一個能量系統防止玩家過於快速地完成任務。

你的能量值上限可以通過每日任務獲得的獎勵得到提升,但是如果你的能量都耗完了,你得用30個鑽石才能回滿。

鑽石需要玩家用現實貨幣購買,遊戲內提供了各種鑽石禮包,從4.99美元買135個,到99.99美元買3100個。

按這個價格算的話,你恢復全部能量需要1.10美元,但是完成任務的話你就能省下鑽石,遇到比較長的任務流程也是有可能的。

另外還有一種資源用鑽石可以買的就是金錢,這個金錢是指遊戲中的貨幣,遊戲內同樣也提供了各種金錢禮包,從20鑽石買2000,到2000鑽石20萬。

給你自己一個驚喜

有趣的是,《孤膽車神:新奧爾良》的盈利機制是類似於那種抽卡-收集-合成(gacha-collection-fusion)玩法的團隊RPG遊戲。

在這個遊戲的重點就是武器、車還有惡棍。前兩者是你用來完成任務的工具,這意味着武器厲不厲害,車好不好,都跟你的成功機率有很大關係。

玩家可以派遣惡棍守衛自己的地盤,對抗前來搶地盤的其他玩家,這就是PvP模式的Turf Wars元素。

這三樣東西都能從靈魂罐中得到,各用100鑽石(大約是3.7美元)就能買到,抽到一個二星級的武器或者是車或者是惡棍,甚至可能是更高級別的。

免費的每日罐子每24小時會提供一個一星獎勵,還有另外一種免費罐子提供的是更小的獎勵,比如說金錢和合成強化道具,每4個小時更新一次。

除此之外,遊戲世界中到處散落着靈魂罐碎片,玩家可以去收集。

碎片夠了,就可以合成一個完整的靈魂罐了。普通的碎片得到的是比較常規的獎勵,比較稀有的罐子能得到3星或者是4星的獎勵。

升級

就像大多數射擊手遊和賽車遊戲,例如CSR Racing,隨着遊戲難度的提升,玩家手中的裝備已經難以應付一切,這就能夠促使玩家不斷地追求更好的車輛和武器。

如果你的裝備不能夠幫助你順利通過接下來的任務,那麼系統就會警告你能力不足。在這種情況下繼續是有可能會勉強完成任務,但機率特別小。

除了前面說到的靈魂罐抽道具,剩下的解決辦法通常就是升級你現有的裝備了。

玩家可以利用合成強化道具提高裝備的各項數據,它們通常包含在任務獎勵和每4小時更新一次的免費罐子中。如果你使用了足夠多的強化道具,裝備就會升級。

達到該星級的最高級別後,就可以用另一種資源:護符進化。護符偶爾會當作獎勵贈與玩家,但是也可以在某種禮包中買到。

從初期就開始盈利

除了上文詳述的傳統內購模式,《孤膽車神:新奧爾良》還有少數直接用現實貨幣就可以買的禮包。

基於玩家的消費行爲,這些禮包的性價比肯定是會上升的。最開始的三個禮包都很便宜:1.49美元、5.49美元和7.49美元。

前面兩個是新手禮包,而後面那個稱爲每日訂單,一天只能買一次。

Gangstar New Orleans(from pocketgamer.biz)

Gangstar New Orleans(from pocketgamer.biz)

新手包最划算,售價1.49美元,是平常的價格1折價,包含一個豪華(2星-4星)靈魂罐,兩個一級通用護符,3000金錢,四個一級通用強化道具和一個藥包。

鑑於豪華靈魂罐和藥包的價格(分別要100和30鑽石)都低於平常的鑽石價格,大約要4.8美元,算是省了很多了。

老主意,新做法

《孤膽車神:新奧爾良》的盈利機制設計並沒有什麼變革式創新。機制或者方法都沒有類似《部落衝突:皇室戰爭》中的延遲寶箱獎勵,這種我們之前沒見過的手段。

取而代之的是,它結合了不同元素——從RPG遊戲中借鑑的抽卡系統,從射擊遊戲中借鑑的能量系統,從賽車遊戲中借鑑的升級循環機制,然後綜合成一個功能系統。

大體上還是效果挺好的,你可以自由自在地在這個開放世界中到處遊蕩,也不會讓你的能量消耗得太快,還有給新手玩家提供的誘人折扣。

但也許是因爲從其他地方借鑑的盈利設計,也許由於其他遊戲的設計決策,貌似F2P手遊開發者們不會考慮把《孤膽車神:新奧爾良》中開放世界這一元素納入未來遊戲設計的考慮之中。

但是,作爲第一個吃螃蟹的人,還是值得讚揚。

本文由遊戲邦編譯,轉載請註明來源,或諮詢微信zhengjintiao

Welcome back to the In-App Purchase Inspector – our regular look at free-to-play games from the consumer’s perspective.

In each instalment, we consider the incentives or pressure applied to make in-app purchases, their perceived value, the expansion offered by IAPs and the overall value of the experience.

The end goal is to see whether the game makes a good enough case for us to part with our cash, or whether players are content – or engaged enough – to ‘freeload’.

This time, we’re taking a look at Gangstar New Orleans, the first entry in Gameloft’s Grand Theft Auto-inspired open-world series to be designed for free-to-play.

Small screen, big world

With a freely explorable world that’s more than nine times the size of any previous series entry, Gangstar New Orleans took Gameloft over two years to develop.

It’s a massive statement from the studio, and a gamble on what is, in the mobile free-to-play space at least, an untested genre.

Gameplay-wise, Gangstar New Orleans works to a formula we’re all very much familiar with.

You steal a car, drive to a waypoint on a bustling city map – attacking some civilians along the way, if you so desire – accept a mission, and then either drive or shoot your way to completing its objectives.

But when it comes to monetisation, Gameloft has been forced to establish the formula itself.

Does crime pay?

In an interview with PocketGamer.biz before the game launched, the Gangstar team at Gameloft Montreal were at great pains to explain that it didn’t want to “force players out” with its monetisation.

And to a point, this is true. You can roam the streets of New Orleans for as long as you like, with no restriction. There is, however, an energy system that prevents the player from ploughing through missions too quickly.

Your maximum energy can be increased along the way thanks to daily quest rewards, but if you run dry it will cost you 30 Diamonds to refill.

Diamonds are the game’s hard currency, available in bundles ranging from 135 for $4.99 to 3,100 for $99.99.

At this pricing, that works out at around $1.10 to refill your energy – although saving up Diamonds by completing quests, while a lengthy process, is also possible.

Another resource Diamonds can be used to buy is Cash, the game’s soft currency, which can be bought in bundles ranging from 2,000 for 20 Diamonds to 200,000 for 2,000 Diamonds.

Surprise yourself

Interestingly, however, the thrust of Gangstar New Orleans’ monetisation is based around systems akin to the gacha-collection-fusion of team-based RPGs.

Here, the focus is on weapons, vehicles and thugs. The first two are your tools with which to complete missions, meaning their quality has a significant bearing on your chances of success.

Thugs, meanwhile, can be assigned to protect territory against other players in the ongoing tussle for control that is the PvP Turf Wars element.

All three are summoned through Spirit Jars. These can be bought for 100 Diamonds apiece (approximately $3.70), summoning a weapon, vehicle or thug ranked two stars or higher.

A free daily jar also offers a one-star reward every 24 hours, while another free jar containing smaller prizes like Cash and Fusion Boosters is unlocked every four hours.

Further to this, there are also Spirit Jar pieces dotted around the world to collect.

Pick up enough, and you can construct a full Spirit Jar – more common pieces building towards regular rewards, while completing rarer jars can get you three and four-star rewards.

Power up

Like with a number of mobile shooters, and indeed racing titles such as CSR Racing, the loop that keeps you going back in for better vehicles and weapons is established by a difficulty curve that always threatens to make your existing gear obsolete.

If your equipment isn’t good enough to make it through the upcoming mission, the game will issue a warning that you’re underpowered. It may be possible to scrape through regardless, but unlikely.

Aside from the aforementioned Spirit Jars, the answer to this is usually to upgrade your existing items.

This is done through Fusion Boosters, which are awarded as mission rewards and in free Spirit Jars every four hours, which can be used to increase an item’s stats. If you use enough boosters, the item will be levelled up.

When it reaches the level cap for its star level, it can be evolved using another resource called Jujus. These are occasionally given as rewards, but they can also be bought as part of certain bundles.

Monetising early

In addition to the more traditional hard currency-based purchases as detailed above, Gangstar New Orleans also includes a handful of bundles priced in real money.

And while the value of these surely increases based on player spending behaviour, the three bundles available at the outset are very low-priced at $1.49, $5.49 and $7.49.

The first two are starter bundles, while the latter – called The Daily Order – is a pack that can only be purchased once a day.

The Trainee Pack is the best deal at $1.49, 90% off its usual price, offering one premium (two to four star) Spirit Jar, two Tier-1 Universal Jujus, 3,000 Cash, four Tier-1 Universal Boosters and a Health Kit.

Given that the combined cost of a premium Spirit Jar and a Health Pack (100 and 30 Diamonds respectively) under normal Diamond pricing is approximately $4.80, this is a hefty saving.

Old ideas, new execution

Gangstar New Orleans’ monetisation design doesn’t shake things up too much, then. There’s no single mechanic or idea, a la Clash Royale’s delayed chest rewards, that we’ve not seen before.

Instead, it takes different elements – the gacha mechanics from an RPG, the energy system of a shooter and the upgrade cycle of a racing game – and creates a functional system.

It works well for the most part, with unlimited free-roam in the open-world preventing the energy system from grating too heavily and some enticing discounts for new players.

But perhaps thanks to the array of monetisation design cues taken from elsewhere, maybe due to other game design decisions, Gangstar New Orleans doesn’t feel like the game that’s set to establish the open-world genre as a going concern for F2P mobile game developers.

It deserves credit, however, for being the first.(source:pocketgamer.biz