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发布时间:2011-07-18 16:02:11 Tags:,,

作者:Rob Weber

多数iTunes App Store营收榜单前列的应用主要靠内置付费功能(以下简称IAP)盈利,在前20名营收游戏应用榜单中,就有12款游戏(占60%)通过这一模式创收,其中有9款游戏(占45%)属于免费游戏,其唯一创收渠道就是IAP,其他3款则采用混合盈利模式(游戏邦注:这一数据取自2011年3月4日的iTunes营收榜单排行情况)。


IAP支持用户在无需返回App Store界面的情况下,直接在应用中购买升级内容、更多关卡、虚拟商品或额外功能。如果开发者能够简化付费流程,就有可能提高用户的付费转化率,从而提升游戏销量。主要有两种情况:一是开发者创建付费应用,并通过IAP途径出售升级或额外内容以增强游戏体验;二是开发者推出免费应用,完全通过IAP盈利。无论采用哪种途径,都会让开发者总体收益大为增长。IAP的另一大优势在于,它可以控制应用程序的文件大小,以便用户方便快捷地下载内容。

IAP支持开发者依靠用户粘性而非一次性下载模式盈利,这对开发者来说是一个重要的策略转变。手机游戏公司Ngmoco首席执行官Neil Young曾表示,“我们转向免费模式后,公司业务发生了巨大变化……从通过一次性付费下载盈利转变为依靠使用率创收。”预计2011年虚拟商品交易规模将达73亿美元,2014年则将增至140亿美元。


IAP dialog box(from clickz)

IAP dialog box(from clickz)



目前共有两种付费方式,其一是直接型:用户通过App Store帐号直接购买所需内容。Zynga的Facebook游戏就已因这种直接模式而大量盈利,在2010年由此实现8.5亿美元收益,利润高达4亿美元。其二是间接型:通过为用户提供虚拟货币奖励,让他们参与下载免费应用、在线调查、产品折扣等活动。由Recharge Studios开发的iOS游戏《Dolphin Play》就属于这种典型,它支持用户通过下载安装免费应用,然后赢取虚拟货币以购买虚拟商品提高游戏体验。

Dolphin Play(from clickz)

Dolphin Play(from clickz)



















In-App Purchases Driving Top Grossing Apps

Rob Weber

Most of the top grossing apps in the iTunes App Store are now driving revenue with in-app purchases. Of the top 20 grossing game apps, 12 (60 percent) drive revenue with in-app purchases – nine (45 percent) of them are free apps with the only revenue source being in-app purchases; the others use a hybrid model (according to the iTunes Top Grossing App Chart, March 4, 2011)

What Are In-App Purchases?

In-app purchases allow consumers to purchase upgrades, more levels, virtual goods, or complementary features within the app – without going back to the App Store. By making the steps to purchase simpler and shorter, conversions increase along with sales. There are two scenarios: developers create a paid app and use in-app purchases for upgrades or additional content to enhance gameplay, or the app is free and all revenue is generated through in-app purchases. Either way, developers are seeing major increases in revenue. Another advantage of in-app purchases is that it keeps the file size of the app small so consumers have an easier time downloading the app.

In-app purchases allow the developer to monetize user engagement instead of monetizing downloads; a game-changing strategy for app developers. Ngmoco CEO Neil Young comments, “We made the shift to free-to-play games and that really made a huge difference to our business…from monetizing downloads to monetizing usage” (Ngmoco sold DeNA for $403 million). Purchases of virtual goods are projected to be $7.3 billion in 2011 and $14 billion by 2014.

How Is an In-App Purchase Made?

In-app purchases can only be made within the app. When a consumer makes an in-app purchase, she will see a dialog box with the item’s name and cost for the in-app purchase. The consumer taps “Buy” to proceed with the purchase and then enters her account and password.

Types of In-App Purchases

There are two types of in-app purchases. The first is straightforward: the consumer pays for the upgrade or content through an account set up in the App Store. Zynga took this model to the bank in its Facebook games, selling virtual goods and racking up revenue of approximately $850 million in 2010, generating about $400 million in profit. The second type of in-app purchases is rewarding users with virtual currency in exchange for relevant ad offers including free apps, online surveys, brand discounts, etc. In this example from the iOS game Dolphin Play, developed by Recharge Studios, a consumer can install free apps to earn the virtual currency needed to buy virtual goods that enhance their gameplay.

Key Things to Look for in an In-App Purchase Platform

Who are the existing users of the platform?

Does the platform give the user options for payment?

Does the platform include popular game titles and free games?

What are the integration requirements? Are they seamless with your application?
Are screens customizable to your app?

Does it offer the analytics needed to optimize users’ conversions?

Does it communicate to the user when a transaction is pending and completed?

Develop Apps for In-App Purchases

It is much easier to design the in-app purchase model into the game from the beginning. Here are some things to consider:

Create meaningful context.

“Prime the pump” – offer users free virtual currency up front.

Create demand for premium content.

Offer new content at a range of price points and urgency to buy.

Make it easy to purchase; give the user options, but not too many options.

Be careful not to give something away for free as in a promotion that you required other users to pay for – a surefire way to anger consumers.

Be careful if your game is marketed to children. There is a set of guidelines that should be adhered to protect the best interest of children.

In-app purchases give players more choices – time vs. money, mundane vs. cool stuff, unlimited access vs. à la carte access, and limited play value vs. complex play value. It is all about giving consumers options so that every segment of the population can be a satisfied, paying customer. If you have additional tips about using in-app purchases, please leave your comments below.(source:clickz