故事的构建在提高用户留存方面也很重要。游戏中有5张被称为Tier的地图。每个Tier都拥有不同的赛车模式，但基本上来看最重要的还是Crew Battle。玩家只有在战胜Tier中的5个机组人员后才能进入下一个Tier。关键在于玩家需要不断升级自己的汽车才有可能赢得更强大的机组人员。玩家必须在地图上不断进行比赛才能获得更多Cash，从而购买更厉害的零部件以赢得Crew Battle。
例如在Daily Battle模式中，玩家将与其他赛车手（而不是自己车库中的人员）比赛。在Daily Battle中，玩家可以根据多少玩家连续比赛而获得额外的Cash。这一功能有利于付费汽车的推广。
CSR Racing dissected
By Michail Katkoff
25th July 2012
CSR Racing by Natural Motion was launched a month ago and since then it’s been a top grossing game on iOS. In short the game has catching story, unrivaled graphics, easy yet addictive gameplay and very well balanced economy. Yet it isn’t perfect. Actually it’s two big steps away from being perfect.
In this blog post I’ll be dissecting all the amazing features of CSR Racing from the retention, monetization and virality perspectives as well as discuss two things, which are keeping CSR Racing from being perfect.
The Core Loop
CSR Racing’s core loop has two main stages: racing and upgrading. Player races to get Cash. Cash is needed to upgrade the car with new parts, which make it better and thus help to win the races. Each race costs Fuel.Fuel is the energy of the game. It reloads with time. As with all energy mechanics players can get more by sending invites via Facebook, email or sms. Players can also refill the Buel bar by spending some premium currency aka. Gold.
Retention – a job well done!
As I see it the key to excellent retention is well balanced economy accompanied with addicting gameplay, solid story and a healthy sprinkle of notifications as well as some game specific daily return features. When every game session ends with a player feeling accomplished you know you have a solid retention. And CSR Racing has in my opinion very solid retention.
Fuel is the primary driver of retention in CSR Racing. In the beginning player gets 10 races with a full bar but as the game progresses some of the races consume more than one Fuel point. One Fuel point reloads in 7 minutes so it takes 70 minutes till the Fuel bar is full again. Once the Fuel is reloaded you get a notification and you’re back into the game.
Upgrading your car is not only essential to succeed in races but also extremely addicting. And boy you have a lot of different parts in the shop! Gear box, engine, body, tires, turbo etc. Every part has several stages and the next stage is more and more expensive. All the parts can be bought with Cash and it usually takes you between 3 – 7 race wins to get enough money for the next part. In other words, almost every game session ends with you having new part in you car. Talking about sense of achievement!
The story is also very well constructed to ensure retention. There are 5 maps called Tiers. Each Tier has various racing modes but basically most important is the Crew Battle. Win races against all 5 crew members of that Tier and you’re off the the next Tier. The catch is that you need to constantly upgrade your car to win the ever tougher crew members. Player has to usually race most of the other races on the map to earn Cash so that she can purchase better parts and win the Crew Battles.
All in all CSR Racing has the foundation for the retention laid with solid economy, fun game play, awesome graphics and very addictive car upgrading. Yet Natural Motion goes an extra mile with small yet strong features increasing the traffic from daily returning users – not to mention the excellent use of game notifications on iOS.
For example the Daily Battle mode where player gets to race with other cars than the ones in her garage. In Daily Battler players earn extra Cash depending on how many Daily Battles player has been doing in a row (= how many days in a row player has played). This feature is also perfect to promote premium cars.
Monetization – future trouble ahead
According to my experience Energy generates some 20% – 40% of revenue in energy based economies. In case of CSR Racing I’d say below 20% of the revenue comes from energy as the price of Fuel is very low. Filling the energy bar costs only 2 Golds (1 Gold = $0.10, depending on the Gold bundle). But even if the revenue stream from the fuel isn’t that high in CSR Racing I still bet that the volumes (and thus conversion) are substantial due to the low price and consumable nature of the product.
Parts cost Cash so in a way they generate some revenue as players can buy Cash with real money. But again I don’t believe that selling Cash is a significant source of revenue in CSR Racing. Based on my experience soft currency is a poor generator of revenue unless you put some extremely exclusive and extremely expensive soft currency items into the in-game shop (and CSR Racing doesn’t have cars, which cost 500’000 Cash – yet).
The way the parts are sold in the game is genius. As player buys high level parts they have to wait till the part is delivered to them. Of course player can instant deliver the part by paying some gold. In other words it’s monetize or return later (win-win).
Tuning is basically a consumable boost. Tuning makes your car faster for specific amount of races depending on the tuning pack you buy. Again player is promoted to get tuning done with popups (usually seen when you lose are race).
Cars are the money makers in CSR Racing. In my experience permanent virtual goods sell very well in games with large male user base. I’d say that 50% of all revenue in CSR Racing comes from selling cars. My estimation is based on the fact that cars aren’t consumable, they look great, new car offers are presented to players via popups, cars are priced at a higher price point (though in my opinion not high enough $10 seemed to be the most expensive one) and player gets very clear advantage for having a great car. Also the purchase flow for car offers is worth noting.
Though selling cars is also something that destroys the economy in CSR Racing. The problem is that player can purchase the best car off the bat and suddenly the game becomes very boring as you win every race and don’t even need the parts to upgrade your already invincible vehicle. The only limitation are the Crew Battles, which can are driven with a Tier specific car.
Instead what they should have done is offer map based cars and unlocking new cars only as player enters the next map. This way even if player buys the best possible car in Map 1 it will only keep him winning on that map. Once the player enters Map 2, suddenly all the competition is much tougher and player’s previously invincible car is now just a regular ride. This creates a situation where paying player basically starts all over and has to buy a new car. The only question is whether player will buy a regular car with Cash or go premium againg and buy a super car with Gold.
Sadly one can seldom say anything about the virality in mobile games. It’s usually that one ‘SHARE’ button that no-one sane presses, which is counted as virality.
And this is pretty much the case in CSR Racing at this moment. You can share the picture of your car via social networks, SMS and email, but I doubt this drives a lot of new and returning users to the game.
What the game is currently missing badly is the Player vs. Player mode. Something that lets you compete against other real people instead of battling the AI. I’m sure the girls and boys at Natural Motion are working hard on this feature so enough about what the game is missing.
One (and only) good viral feature was the incentivized invitation. By sending and invite via Facebook, email or SMS to you friend you get one point of Fuel. An easy viral feature, which runs dry quickly (how many times are you going to bug your friends?) but is still definitely worth implementing basically into every game out there.
Amazing yet two big steps away from perfect
CSR Racing is a very polished fun car management game. The graphics are AMAZING. Sounds are great. Progress is extremely well balanced and you end up returning to the game dozen time a day – simply because you feel good after each short session and because you’re always left hungry for more due to the on-point energy mechanics.
Yet there’s the lack of PvP mode and the issue in the car selling economy, which leaves paid users with a boring game and limited content (you win the game in few sessions once the best card is bought) and lets the free users have the most fun.(source:blogspot)