從產品體驗的角度聊《模擬人生:移動版》是如何盈利的

從產品體驗的角度聊《模擬人生:移動版》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。

這次我們測評的是《模擬人生:移動版》(The Sims Mobile),這是EA經典生活模擬系列的最新手遊。

通通免費

在EA的所有遊戲中,《模擬人生》系列的吸引力應該是最廣泛的。它在PC平臺上所獲得的成功是前所未有的,最近幾年在其它主機平臺上也吸引了大批玩家。

《模擬人生》一直都被看作是最適合F2P模式的遊戲。雖然PC粉絲對《模擬人生:暢玩版》(The Sims Freeplay)的評價並不高,但它也是個下載量超過2億的成功產品。

距離發行已經過了六年多,《模擬人生:暢玩版》似乎有點力不從心了。

《模擬人生:移動版》於2017年5月測試發行,2018年3月6日全球正式發行,EA打算在移動平臺上推出這一系列的最新產品。但是,它成功了嗎?

移動平臺上的《模擬人生》

雖說手遊版肯定有進行簡化,但《模擬人生:移動版》更像是PC版的蒸餾產物,把這一經典遊戲的核心特色保留了下來。

手遊版的開放程度不及PC,但玩家依然可以自創模擬市民、設計房屋、發展關係以及派他們去工作。

這兩個版本之間最大的區別就在於手遊版中所有事情耗費的時間都會比PC長,這就是F2P遊戲的固定套路,《模擬人生:移動版》的遊戲經濟就是基於這種原則所構建的。

the sims social(from raymazza.com)

the sims social(from raymazza.com)

對於剛開始玩這個遊戲的玩家來說,每天都會有日常任務——你需要完成一些事情來掙錢以及積累經驗,進而升級。之後你就能解鎖新的事件和新的互動。

遊戲中還有體力系統,限制角色的行動次數。模擬市民的體力可以通過“打盹”(power nap)恢復10點體力,但是24小時內只能使用一次;另外就是使用杯子蛋糕。

普通杯子蛋糕可以用遊戲的硬貨幣模擬鈔票(SimCash)購買,完成每日任務清單也能得到蛋糕。一個杯子蛋糕可以恢復一個模擬市民的所有體力。

參加派對活動時,模擬市民的體力值會暫時替換成活動專用體力,數值會變小。派對中的默認體力值是10點,但你可以使用派對蛋糕激發閒聊技能,獲得額外的10點體力值(或者是恢復失去的10點)。

模擬與真實

當然,《模擬人生:移動版》中也用上了模擬幣(Simoleons)——這一系列長期沿用下來的軟貨幣可以通過完成任務來獲得,主要是用來購買新傢俱或者是服裝。

上文提到的模擬鈔票是遊戲中的硬貨幣,完成某些任務也可以得到鈔票,但是數量不多。玩家可以通過禮包形式購買,從4.99美元買250到99.99美元買7500。

就像之前說的,模擬鈔票可以用來恢復市民的體力。遊戲中的活動通常都需要玩家多次參與互動與或者是要耗費很長時間,使用模擬鈔票可以提前結束任務。

加速的另一種方法就是立即解鎖額外的模擬市民。《模擬人生:移動版》開始的時候只會給玩家一位模擬市民,隨着玩家經驗累積、升級,玩家最多可以獲得四位模擬市民,

你也可以選擇花費175鈔票(大約是3.50美元)在早期就解鎖新的模擬市民。

另外,遊戲中的付費物品,比如說衣服和傢俱,也只能用鈔票購買,這都是F2P遊戲的常見設定,沒什麼好意外的。

人生全靠碰運氣

票券(Tickets)出現之後遊戲就變得更復雜了,不同的票券有不同的功能。

家庭票(Home Tickets)可以代替其它貨幣購買某些傢俱,而模擬票(Sim Tickets)則用於裝扮模擬市民。

有三種等級的傳家寶票(Heirloom Ticket)——普通(regular)、超級(super)和豪華(luxe),它可以用來購買特殊物品,解鎖市民的某些特徵,這就讓玩家有了額外的新體驗。

再來就是時尚寶石(Fashion Gems),這就是遊戲中最典型的F2P設計了。花費20個寶石可以製造一件帶有隨機屬性加成的衣物,它實際上就是一個gacha系統。

真正巧妙的地方在於鼓勵玩家再次嘗試的方式——舉個例子,玩家得到了一條棕色褲子,穿上後可以增加個人魅力,但他更想要的是一件夾克。接下來,玩家就可以選擇留下喜歡的部分(留下的部分會增加對應的成本,下一輪所需的寶石會增加),拋棄不喜歡的部分,然後接着抽下一輪。

所有的票券和時尚寶石都可以通過特定的行動免費掙取,當然你可以選擇用模擬鈔票購買。

沒有驚喜

遊戲中的大部分內容還是比較中規中矩的,算是2018年裏一個比較優質的F2P遊戲。

你能在遊戲商店中毫不意外地看見各種新手禮包:比如甜蜜優惠包(Sweet Deal)——提供了50個杯子蛋糕和550模擬鈔票,只要4.99美元。這麼多杯子蛋糕要按原價算是9.99美元,還多給了這麼多鈔票。

同樣地,偶爾觀看視頻廣告,領取更多任務獎勵也是意料之中的設計。

EA看中的是移動平臺的巨大潛力,希望能用這一系列新作《模擬人生:移動版》給這些不計其數的潛在用戶帶最新的遊戲體驗,而且從早期跡象來看,這遊戲確實前景可觀。

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 The Sims Mobile, the latest free-to-play mobile entry in EA’s classic life simulation series.

Free for all

Of all EA’s properties, The Sims probably has the broadest appeal. It’s been incredibly successful on PC and in more recent years on console.

It was always a prime candidate for a free-to-play mobile version, then. And while The Sims Freeplay may not be favoured by The Sims purists, it’s been a successful game with more than 200 million downloads.

Now more than six years old, however, The Sims Freeplay is becoming somewhat long in the tooth.

The Sims Mobile, soft-launched in May 2017 before its eventual worldwide release on March 6th 2018, is setting out to bring the franchise up to date on mobile. But does it succeed?

The Sims, on mobile

While obviously simplified, The Sims Mobile feels very much like a distillation of The Sims’ core appeal.

It’s much less open-ended, but players can nonetheless create Sims, design their homes, cultivate their relationships and set them off on careers.

The key difference, as with any free-to-play game, is that it has to take longer to do all these things for the model to work. The Sims Mobile’s economy is built around this basic principle.

So for starters, every day comes with a daily to-do list: the busywork that’s required each day to earn the required currency and experience to progress. Experience allows the player to level up, which in turn unlocks new types of events and interactions.

More straightforwardly, there’s an energy system that limits the number of actions each Sim can perform. A Sim’s energy can be restored either by having them take a ‘power nap’, which restores 10 energy though is only available every 24 hours, or by using a Cupcake consumable.

Regular Cupcakes can be bought using hard currency SimCash (more on that shortly), or earned by completing a list of daily tasks. One cupcake instantly restores all a Sim’s energy.

When participating in party events, a Sim’s energy meter is temporarily replaced with a smaller, event-specific one. A Sim has 10 energy points by default during parties, but Party Cake consumables can maximise schmoozing potential by adding (or restoring) a further 10.

What is Sim and what is real?

Of course, good old Simoleons feature in The Sims Mobile. The series’ long-standing currency is the soft one here, earned by completing quests and used primarily to buy new furniture and clothing.

The aforementioned SimCash is the hard currency, which is also earned by completing some quests, albeit in much smaller quantities. It comes in packs ranging in price from $4.99 for 250 to 7,500 for $99.99.

As discussed, SimCash can be used to top up a Sim’s energy. Events, which usually either require active player involvement or an hours-long wait to complete themselves, can be ended early using SimCash.

Another way in which SimCash can be used to accelerate progress is by unlocking additional character slots immediately. The Sims Mobile begins with the player having only one Sim to watch over, with this number eventually growing to four as they gain experience and level up.

But for 175 SimCash – approximately $3.50 – another playable Sim can be created early.

Meanwhile, more predictably, some premium items of clothing and furniture can only be bought using SimCash.

Life is a lottery

Then things get more complicated with the introduction of Tickets and their very specific functions.

Home Tickets can be used in lieu of other currencies to buy certain furniture, while Sim Tickets perform the same function for Sim apparel.

Then there are three grades of Heirloom Ticket – regular, super and luxe – which can be used to buy items that unlock certain traits for your Sim. This, in turn, allows them to access new paths.

Then there are Fashion Gems, which is the area most clearly influenced by free-to-play mobile design practises. 20 of these can be used to create a piece of clothing imbued with a random stat boost, in what’s essentially a gacha system.

The really clever part, though, is the encouragement to retry for a better outcome.

Say that a player ends up with some brown trousers that increase charisma, but would prefer a jacket. They can then pin the elements they’re happy with – each retained aspect adding to the cost of a second spin – and re-roll the rest.

All Tickets and Fashion Gems can be earned for free through specific in-game actions, but can also be bought using SimCash.

No surprises

For the most part, then, The Sims Mobile just feels like what it is: a polished free-to-play mobile game in 2018.

This means it’s no shock to see the pitching of economical starter packs for new players, including the Sweet Deal pack which offers 50 Cupcakes and 550 SimCash – a haul of Cupcakes that is worth $9.99 under normal pricing, plus 300 more SimCash than is usually given for this price – for $4.99.

Equally, the occasional option to watch a video ad to increase rewards from completing a task is hardly unexpected.

The Sims Mobile exists to bring the series up-to-date on a platform that holds huge potential for it, and judging by the early signs it has a lot going for it(source: pocketgamer.biz