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Ed Rumley谈Chillingo发展情况与发行计划

发布时间:2013-01-10 16:08:03 Tags:,,,,

作者:Neil Long

Ed Rumley的一项工作便是应对各种尴尬的交谈。作为覆盖范围极广的游戏发行商Chillingo的首席运营官,他和他的团队总是需要婉拒不断涌现出来的新游戏的发行请求。

任何开发商之所以选择Chillingo,便是幻想着自己能够推出下一款《愤怒的小鸟》或《割绳子》,但却甚少有人能够取得成功。正是发行了这两款畅销游戏才让Chillingo能够走到今天的地位。艺电看到了该公司的发展与潜力,并在2010年以2000万美元的高价收购了这家公司。尽管这是一家高盈利公司,但它却非常低调,直到今日我们也很少能在新闻上看到它的名字。

但是如果你是iOS游戏的忠实玩家,你便能够经常在iPhone或iPad屏幕上看到它的logo。Chillingo每周会在App Store中发行1或2款新游戏(少于过去是如此),但是这些游戏的质量却均能获得苹果的认可,就像Chillingo所发行的许多游戏都进入了每周“最新且值得关注的游戏”列表中。Rumley说道:“每天有越来越多开发者迎向我们,这主要有2大原因。首先,我认为Chillingo总是能够有效地完成游戏的发行工作,其次便是,越来越多开发商需要帮助。所以我们必须更加慎重地选择发行作品。”

ChillingoPromo(from edge-online)

ChillingoPromo(from edge-online)

之所以坚持少量发行是因为Chillingo希望能够塑造一个高品质的logo代表。它与合作开发商执行着一种收益共享系统,但是让他们惊讶的是,有四分之一的游戏不得不遭遇二次发行。Rumley解释道:“这便预示着问题的存在。自我推广与自我发行是完全不同的,就像我在亚马逊上上传一本书并不能代表我就是一名作家。”

他继续说道:“我总是会为那些取得成功的人喝彩,这也是我为什么会喜欢这一平台的原因,不过这时候你所面对的只是App Store。要知道,这是一个极端拥挤的市场。”

Rumley很快驳回了开发社区里那些歌颂自我发行美德之人的观点。他说道:“那些认为发行商没有作用的人也许也能获取成功。但是可以肯定的是,在我们的帮助之下推出了《愤怒的小鸟》的Rovio以及开发了《割绳子》的Zeptolab也都取得了非常棒的成绩。所以说自我发行并不是唯一可行的方法。”

CutTheRope(from edge-online)

CutTheRope(from edge-online)

Chillingo所引以为傲的一点便是,它也扮演着游戏顾问的角色,就像Rumley所说的,它总是能够找到“未经琢磨的钻石”,并经过不断优化而把它变成可游戏,且具有销售价值的优秀作品。他说道:“可以说,我们所接受的50%至60%的游戏最后都改变了名字,因为这么做能够让它们更有效地突显于大众市场中。”

Chillingo所合作的75%至80%的开发商都只拥有1或2名员工,Rumley说道:“通常情况下他们只能在下午5:30之后才能与我们交谈,因为他们白天还有其它工作。”Chillingo也曾与许多大型公司进行合作,而发行过程其实都一样:Chillingo安排一名游戏制作人去制作一份有关游戏以及盈利方案的报告。然后将工作转交给QA,创意服务部(游戏邦注:制作图像资产,如截图以及重要的App Store图标),PR以及市场销售部。当然了,Chillingo与开发商间的利益分成都是根据不同情况而共同协定的。

接下来每个开发商们便会思考如何做才能让苹果冠予自己的游戏“编辑的选择”或“最新且值得关注的游戏”等称号。Rumley说道:“苹果才不会公开这一诀窍。虽然我们有幸能够顶着艺电的招牌,与苹果进行更亲密的接触,但是和其它发行商一样,我们也并不能享受任何特权。我们能做的只是呈现游戏,并希望它们能够凭借自己的质量突显于众多游戏中。”

CatchTheArk(from edge-online)

CatchTheArk(from edge-online)

Rumley表示,如今有越来越多全新,且非常优秀的手机游戏是来自俄罗斯,乌克兰,波兰以及澳大利亚等国家的小型工作室(一般只有1,2名成员)。而Chillingo的支持并不意味着游戏一定能在排行榜单上取得好成绩。他说道:“不管是投入1亿美元的电子游戏还是3亿美元的电影都有可能遭遇失败。发行只是尽到发行的作用。”

接下来,Chillingo还将攻克一些全新的平台和应用商店。在过去18个月里,该公司从100%的iOS业务扩展向Android和Windows平台。2012年圣诞假期平板电脑的突破也为该公司提供了巨大的发展机遇。

基于当前家庭主机游戏的发展状况,Chillingo母公司艺电的发展格局是否应该发生转变?Rumley表示:“此时的主机和手机都是非常出色的平台。我们并不认为谁会替代谁。”但是我们需要注意的是,Rumley所说的只是,“此时”。

本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,拒绝任何不保留版权的转载,如需转载请联系:游戏邦

Chillingo on why App Store self-publishing isn’t always the way: “More and more devs need help”

By Neil Long

Part of Ed Rumley’s job is to have awkward conversations. As COO of ubiquitous mobile games publisher Chillingo, he and his team must politely decline the chance to publish an increasing deluge of new mobile games.

Developers come to Chillingo dreaming of releasing the next Angry Birds or Cut The Rope, but very, very few achieve that level of success. Those two bestsellers propelled Chillingo into the quietly dominant position it finds itself today. Post-iPhone, the strides made by the company were so admired by Electronic Arts that it was bought out in 2010 for a reported sum of $20 million. It is a profitable, but not particularly high-profile, EA subsidiary which, until recently, rarely spoke to the press.

But if you’re a regular downloader of iOS games, it’s highly likely that you’ve seen its logo flash up on your iPhone or iPad’s screen many times before. Chillingo publishes one or two new games on the App Store every week (fewer than it used to) and its output is clearly well-regarded by Apple, as many of Chillingo’s releases make the weekly ‘New and Noteworthy’ lists. “The number of developers coming to us on a daily basis is going up, and it’s really one of two reasons,” Rumley tells us. “Firstly it’s because I think Chillingo’s doing a great job publishing these games, but the other reason is that more and more developers need help. We are having to be more selective in what we publish.”

In publishing fewer games, Chillingo is keen to foster the idea that its logo is a kind of seal of quality. It operates a revenue share system with the developers it partners with and, surprisingly, as many as a quarter of the games it sees are actually looking to be re-published. “To me that indicates there’s a problem,” says Rumley. “There’s a difference between self-distribution and self-publishing – I could go and upload a book to Amazon right now, but that doesn’t really make me an author.”

“I always applaud people that have that success and that’s what I love about the platform, but you only need to look at the App Store,” he continues. “The bottom line is that it’s a crowded market.”

Rumley is – unsurprisingly – quick to dismiss those in the development community who extol the virtues of self-publishing, too. “The people who say that publishers are dead tend to be the ones that have had success,” he tells us. “That’s fine, but we helped Rovio with Angry Birds and we helped Zeptolab with Cut The Rope and now they’re in a very different position. It wasn’t always that way.”

What Chillingo prides itself upon is almost acting as if it were a games consultant – finding “that diamond in the rough” as Rumley puts it, and polishing it up to make it more playable and more marketable. “I’d say something like 50-60 per cent of the games that come to us have a change of name. It’s about making something stand out and appeal to the mass market.”

Around 75 to 80 per cent of the developers Chillingo deals with has one or two employees – “Often they can only speak to us after 5:30 because they have day jobs,” says Rumley. It works with larger companies, of course, but the publishing process is the same: Chillingo assigns a producer to the game, who produces a report which takes a detailed look at not only the game itself, but how to make money from it. Then there’s QA, creative services (which produces art assets like screenshots and those all-important App Store icons), PR, sales and marketing. Of course, all this means that Chillingo shares the game’s revenue – a percentage agreed with the developer on a case by case basis.

What every developer wants to know next is how to persuade Apple to gift them an Editors’ Choice or a New and Noteworthy slot. “They don’t share that,” says Rumley. “We’re very privileged to work within EA and we have some great contacts at Apple, but like any publisher, we don’t get any preferential treatment. We present our games and we hope that they are showcased on the basis of their quality.”

Increasingly, Rumley says that best new mobile games made by one or two-man studios are coming out of places like Russia, Ukraine, Poland and Australia. But even with Chillingo’s support, quality doesn’t necessarily equate to chart success. “It doesn’t matter you’re shipping a $100 million videogame or a $300 million movie – you can have failures,” he says. “That’s publishing.”

Next, there are new platforms and new app stores for Chillingo to conquer. In the last 18 months the company has transformed from a 100 per cent iOS business to one which also publishes on Android and Windows. 2012’s breakthrough Christmas for the tablet market also offers up huge opportunities.

So, given the current state of home console games, is a shift in priorities taking place at Chillingo’s parent company, EA? “At the moment [console and mobile] are very complimentary platforms,” adds Rumley. “One doesn’t replace the other in our minds.” The key phrase here, one might suggest, is ‘at the moment’.(source:edge-online)


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