付费对很多人来说是个很大的障碍。正出于此原因，我才会很喜欢Facebook游戏和XBLA游戏（游戏邦注：全称Xbox Live Arcade）。试玩模式是微软强加在开发商上的内容，这确实是个明智之举。
ARPU 以月份为单位衡量的每付费用户平均盈利 各款游戏间的差别很大，在行业报道中很少见到具体数值
LTV 用户终生价值 差异很大
粘性 DAU/MAU 平均值为20%
DAU 日活跃用户 排名前40的游戏在100万以上
MAU 月活跃用户 排名前40的游戏在700万以上
转化率 免费玩家转变为付费玩家的月转化率 平均值为2%
有效流量 除通过广告、购买流量或合作外获得的流量 很难说清楚具体的数值
Opinion: The Hidden Evil Of The Microtransaction
Over the last year a lot of time has been spent thinking, writing and developing my thoughts on social gaming and by extension microtransactions. The last few months of my professional life have involved some fairly complex and sometimes scary monetization designs and discussions. Moving from consoles to social web games has been an interesting path to walk, with many lessons to be learned.
Microtransactions Are Not Evil!
The classic line from Hamlet, ‘for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so’ is the one which applies here. MTX is a valid business model which, when used correctly, can enhance a game experience and bring a product to a wider audience.
A key barrier to entry for so many people is breaking open their wallet. For this reason I love Facebook games, but also XBLA games. The trial mode enforced by Microsoft does not get enough credit for upholding really good accessibility and up-sell standards. It enforces the ‘try before you buy’ on developers and does some really intelligent things.
That being said poor monetization design or a mismatched business model can destroy a product.
Greed Is NOT Good
Many, not all, business and marketing characters I’ve met are so focused on the bottom line they cannot see the product. Now in some cases, this is just greed but more often they are not gamers, they do not partake in the craft nor enjoy its fruits.
Some quick numbers and explanations for you.
ARPPU Average Revenue Per Paying User is measured on a per month basis. It varies a lot and is one of the less visible numbers in the industry.
LTV Lifetime Value of a User Varies MASSIVELY
Engagement DAU / MAU 20% Average
DAU Daily Active Users Top 40 all above 1 million
MAU Monthly Active Users Top 40 all above 7 million
Conversion Ratio Monthly Conversion rate of Players to Payers 2% Average
Organic Traffic Amount of Traffic you get that isn’t due to Ads, Purchased Traffic or Partnerships. Hard number to pin down and the real value is often hidden behind marketing dollars.
First thing that your money people are going to focus on are those numbers, especially the ARPPU. As a game designer, your key metric should be the Engagement, Lifetime value and some of the softer metrics.
Instead of gobbling the raw ingredients like a lazy fat child, put in some work to cook up a feast. Take some risks, aspire to improve the game so people want to play it rather than feel compelled to play it. Drive up the engagement, word of mouth buzz and reduce the churn (loss of players). In short, take the long view.
Gray Areas Are Green-lit By Greed
The problem with all this is this it is an ambiguous, gray area. The real kicker is that gray areas are always green-lit by greed. In the interest of a ‘little more’, so much wrong has been done. So many ideas ruined, communities broken, and teams overstretched by wanting that little bit more. The old sustainable farming arguments come into play here.
The massive problem is that you as the Games Designer or other development members do not always have the final say, but you can still fight your corner. You can build your arguments and try to provide some strong research and data to help your money people see the long term view.
The problem is this Green lighting of Gray areas doesn’t only hit the money people can filter into your team. Money is a great excuse to put your toe over the line.
Strong Vision Holder
The saving grace is if your company founder, CEO or similar authority is a strong vision holder. Failing that, you can have a hard-headed idiotic bitch of a lead designer in heels with a baseball bat and a South African-sized chip on her shoulder or your local equivalent, who is willing to fight your corner.
The design and vision has to remain consistent, lines must be drawn and values upheld. From this position you can try to innovate and develop. It’s scary and frightening and there is no guarantee you will get it right. Trust, Integrity and Values can be sold if you’re starving. They can never be bought if you’re fat and wealthy.
Girl’s Gotta Eat
So, all this being said, we aren’t making games for free, and we need to eat. I’ve never met anyone in the trenches of game development who wasn’t filled with passion for their craft. I’ve got a whole other post to write about: compromise, tips on winning people over, and facing the harsh realities.
We do it because we love our games, not the money… but a girl’s gotta eat. (Source: Gamasutra)