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开发者如何决定是否该在游戏中植入广告?

发布时间:2013-06-17 17:58:14 Tags:,,,

问题:

King最近宣布将移除旗下产品中所有的广告,这或许是因为其IAP策略极为成功。

去年,我建议电子游戏开发者专注于IAP而非广告,但却被Kiloo驳回了。

那么你又有何建议?开发者是应该致力于让自己的IAP策略更为完善,还是在游戏中植入广告?他们该如何决定?

ad in mobile game(from betable.com)

ad in mobile game(from betable.com)

回答:

Eric Seufert(Gamefounders导师)

广告并不一定与F2P策略格格不入,但一定得根据经过高度分析的监视结果植入广告。广告所带来的日常收益并不重要,重要的是考虑之前通过IAP创造的收益,这可以产生更多创收潜力。如果你的游戏受到关注,就可以通过广告从中受益——但这种收益是以线性方式同粘性挂钩,而IAP收益却可依靠粘性呈现几何级数式地上升。King拥有一个极为强大的数据技术团队,他们撤掉广告的决策略几乎被该领域专家所模仿和推崇,因为它为King收益流带来了纯积极性的益处。

Richard Firminger(Flurry欧洲总经理)

有道理,但并不完全如此。我还怀疑这究竟是不是个长期可行的决策。

游戏大获成功或许能够为King创造了一个过于乐观的环境,让他们觉得没有广告照样能够盈利。

但要清楚,对于多数免费游戏来说,广告收益甚为关键。《华尔街日报》曾估计2013年虚拟商品和广告市场规模将达250亿美元,其中广告占比三分之一。

精准的定位和良好的布局可以避免让广告植入呈现干扰性——但记者们似乎总有“广告是魔鬼之作”这一先入为主的观念。你可以只向那些选择付费或不掏钱的用户呈现广告。你也可以将广告插入游戏间歇或玩家离开的时候,这一点与广播和电视等其他免费媒体颇能产生共鸣。

Oscar Clark(Applifier倡导者)

对我来说,最关键的是如何制作出更好的游戏。

虚拟商品如果能为玩家传递其乐意支付的体验,或者具有社交价值的内容那就会很棒。但它们并非Kiloo所坚称的唯一可行的盈利渠道。

我在之前的工作中,曾看到约有75%的收益来自虚拟商品,其他则来自广告渠道。有趣的是,我们发现这些盈利元素并不会自相矛盾:一款仅采用虚拟商品的游戏可能会获得75%的ARPU,而仅支持广告模式的游戏可能仅能获得25%的ARPU。我们应该谨慎对待这些数据,无论它的样本有多小。

我们还应该将这些广告区分为奖励性质、付费或交叉推广等类型,并再划分为条幅广告、插页式广告和签入式广告等类型。每一者都有不同的格式,并且对玩家流也会有不同影响,这可以通过广告位置进一步强化或削弱。

广告本身并没有错,关键在于我们对广告的使用方式,以及我们为玩家创造的体验。广告可以成为开发者通过免费玩家创收的绝佳渠道,但我们不可滥用广告从而影响付费转化率,并且即使玩家没有转化成付费用户,我们也可以因为他们经常玩游戏而获益。

选择加入式广告就像Applifier的效果一样,也可以让非付费玩家自动重返游戏,以便获得免费虚拟货币。观看另一款游戏的广告(视频广告为宜),最好能为玩家提供可让他们在自己之前所玩游戏中使用的好处。这可以鼓励非付费玩家继续玩游戏,并且允许他们免费体验一把你的可消耗商品价值。这可以让整款游戏受益,并提升虚拟商品销量。

对于King来说,也许他们是看到了广告对用户生命周期的消极影响,所以在游戏中移除广告或者是个正确的选择,但要知道每款游戏的情况不同,这并非通用准则。

Charles Chapman(First Touch Games Ltd.主管)

我非常想听听其他人对这个问题的看法。我也只是从个人经历来谈谈自己的观点。

我曾经一度很排斥在游戏中植入广告,认为它们具有干扰性,并且破坏整体游戏体验,并且无法产生多少收益。但几年之后,虽然我还是认为它们很有干扰性,但却为我们带来了极大的益处。

奖励性视频广告所创造收益尤其可观,并且还提升了用户留存率,非付费玩家可以通过观看视频一直玩游戏,这种方法产生的收益并不亚于支付小额费用的玩家。

我们有15%的用户每周都会看视频,每名用户会看6个左右的视频片段。观看视频的用户数量显然多于付费用户。

条幅广告和插页式广告明显更具干扰性,因此我们只向从不付费的玩家呈现这种广告,但它们仍然是我们在90%以上从未付费玩家身上的理想创收工具。

最后一点——当我们在今年4月制作了《Score!》这款免费游戏时,我们的IAP收益如预期般增长,但广告收益却从0增长至堪比IAP收益的数量,并且一直保持这一势头,甚至有超越前者之势。

King的这一举措很有趣,但他们是一个异数,我们不应该过度解读其举措对我们其余开发者的影响。

Stuart Dredge(《卫报》记者)

我不知道对于真正大型的F2P游戏来说,探索与更少但更大型的品牌合作关系,而非纯展示性/安装广告的途径是否很有趣。

例如,如果我掌控的是Lady Gaga新专辑的营销活动,我是否会对将一些嵌入品牌元素的关卡植入《Candy Crush Saga》?如果是时装商店的营销活动,也同此理。

Zynga在《CityVille》中用类似方法植入了品牌元素,但我认为移动领域具有更大发展空间:品牌公司要寻找用户,F2P游戏就拥有大量用户。这是一种双赢局面,品牌/明星能够借此向粉丝/用户推广游戏,反之亦然。

Ben Cousins(DeNA欧洲游戏工作室主管)

在回想2007年我们宣布推出《战地英雄》时,我们曾认为广告的重要性堪比“微交易”模式,当时这一观点颇为盛行。

自从那时候开始,我曾参与的许多团队都开始采用广告+IAP策略,当IAP收益超过广告时,就开始抛弃广告模式。在此我说的是硬核游戏,但我从不认为这会对游戏产生什么真正意义上的好处。

就我个人经历而言,这一空间最好是用于交叉推广同一家开发商或发行商的产品,或者营销推广活动或者游戏本身的IAP内容。

Teut Weidemann(育碧在线专家)

广告甚至会影响到你的收益。多数用户因为自己一整天都在看广告,所以广告收益十分惊人。在这种思维模式之下,用户在游戏中看到广告,潜意识中就会认为你已经赚了不少钱,另外不要忘了还有些付费用户是因为你的游戏很棒所以才为你掏钱,而并不一定是为了买道具才花钱。

所以有些时间广告会影响用户转化率。

基本上可以说,广告只适用于那些因IAP模式失败的游戏。

Anthony Pecorella(Kongregate虚拟商品游戏制作人)

虽然我并没有什么数据可以作证,但确实已经看到广告与某些游戏IAP转化率密切相关。Charles指出他们从不向付费玩家呈现广告,这是很高明的做法,但我不清楚他是如何做到这一点的。让玩家首次付费是很困难的,这也是我们推出一些首次付费玩家优惠礼包的原因之一。但除此之外,你还应该告诉用户,在游戏中购买任何东西都可以永久移除广告。有些游戏是将广告移除功能植入一个独立于其他IAP的物品,我认为这是不智之举。如果你想用广告从免费用户身上盈利,你还应该将它们作为直接转化付费用户的途径。即使是一笔金额仅0.99美元的交易,其价值也超过了用户所创造的终身广告价值,并且用户执行第二次交易的机率也会大大提升。(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

[Gamesbriefers] How do you decide whether you should put ads in your games

By Gamesbriefers

King has announced that it was taking all ads out of its products, presumably because its IAP strategy is working so well.

Last year, I recommended that video game devs focused on IAPs, not ads, but was roundly rebutted by Kiloo.

So what is your advice? Should developers focus on honing their IAP strategy or stick ads in the game? How should they decide?

Answers:

eric seufertEric Seufert Mentor at Gamefounders

Ads are not wholly at odds with F2P strategy, but their inclusion should be informed by highly-analytical scrutiny. The amount of daily revenue delivered by ads is irrelevant; what’s important to consider is foregone monetization from IAPs, which has the potential to deliver far more revenue. If you have eyeballs in your games, you can monetize those eyeballs from ads — but that monetization will scale linearly with engagement, whereas IAP revenue can move geometrically with engagement. King has an incredibly strong data science team; the decision they’ve made about ads has almost assuredly been modeled exhaustively by domain experts and is being pursued because it poses a net-positive benefit to their revenue streams.
richard firmingerRichard Firminger  Managing Director, Europe at Flurry

Makes sense, but not for most. And I’d question whether this is a sound decision long term.

Buoyed on the success of CC it might provide a over-optimistic environment where they believe they can do without ads.

Let’s be clear advertising revenue in freemium games is critical to most. Wall Street Journal estimated the market for VG and Ads is predicted to be worth $25bn in 2013 and one third of that is Ads. And only the few have CC or Cash of Clans in their portfolio.

Well targeted and well placed they ought not to be intrusive or annoying – but journalists have perennially loved to jump on the “advertising is the work of the devil” bandwagon. You can for example choose to only show ads to those that dont pay or spend. You can also place ads in obvious breaks in play and at departure. This is resonant with other free media such as radio and TV.

It feels too gung ho to me but certainly interesting. I wonder if they will live to reget this once CC falls from the skies, which it will.
Oscar ClarkOscar Clark Evangelist at Applifier

To me its always about how do we make the game better.

Virtual goods are amazing when they deliver delight that players are willing to pay for and ideally have a social capital association. But they aren’t the only way to make money as Kiloo have attested to.

In my previous roles I’ve seen around 75% of revenue coming from virtual goods and the rest coming from ads. Interestingly we saw that these revenue elements didn’t cannibalise; a virtual good only game would only get 75% of the equivalent ARPU and an Ad only game got only 25%. We should be careful with that data however as it was a relatively small sample size.

We should also consider that these ads break down first into Incentivised, Paid or Cross-Promotion and secondly into Banners, Interstitials and Opt-in. Each have different format has a different impact on the flow of the player through our game and this can be further enhanced or diminished by the placement of the advert in that flow.

There is nothing wrong with ads inherently, its just how we use them and how we make players feel about them. They can be a great way to generate revenue from Freeloader players, but we don’t want to take this too far as this might stop them from later converting to payers and even if they don’t we benefit from their regular play.

Opt in adverts, like Impact from Applifier, also help provide a method for non-payers to voluntarily give back to the game in order to gain some free currency (for example). Viewing the ad (with Impact these are videos) of another game is, hopefully, enjoyable and gives them something that they benefit from in terms of consumable items in the original game they were playing. This helps keep Freeloader players playing and also allows them to try out the value proposition in your consumable goods without having to risk their own money. That can only benefit the overall game and the virtual good sales themselves.

All that being said for King perhaps they see the use of ads negatively impacting the longevity of users, removing them might seem a sensible choice in their case; but then every game is different.
CharlesChapmanCharles Chapman Director and Owner of First Touch Games Ltd.

I’m really interested to hear other people’s views on this. Mine are personal to our experiences obviously.

A couple ago I would have been pretty much anti ads in our games, considering them intrusive and damaging the overall experience, whilst not really generating much revenue. A couple of years on and whilst I still think they can be intrusive, they’ve been hugely beneficial for us.

In particular incentivised video has generated good revenue, but it’s also increased retention. Non-paying players can play forever, at a level not too far off someone who is spending small amounts of money, by watching a few videos.

Around 15% of our users will watch videos on a weekly basis, with each user watching around 6 clips. That’s obviously a significantly higher number than people who are spending.

Banner ads & interstitials are obviously more intrusive and, for us, are only shown to players who’ve never spent, but they’re still good revenue generators from the ninety-something percent who’ll never spend any money.

One final point – when we made Score! properly free to play back in April this year, our IAP revenue increased as you’d expect, but our ad revenue went from zero to match the IAP revenue, and continues to match or exceed it. Arguably monetisation for IAP across our games is weak, and you get a lot for free, but as an overall package of keeping players playing whilst generating revenue from non-payers it seems to work.

King’s move is obviously interesting, but they’re an outlier, and we probably shouldn’t read too much into their move and how it might apply to the rest of us.

Stuart DredgeStuart Dredge Journalist at The Guardian

I wonder if for the really big F2P games, it might be interesting to explore fewer, bigger partnerships with brands rather than pure display / install ads.

For example, if I was in charge of the marketing campaign for Lady Gaga’s new album, might I be interested in getting some branded levels into Candy Crush Saga? If I was a big fashion house, likewise.

Zynga did some stuff with CityVille around this kind of thing, but I think there’s more scope in mobile: brands seeking an audience, and F2P games with that audience in spades. Especially when there’s a two-way effect where the brand/star can promote the game to their fans/customers.

Ben Cousins1Ben Cousins Head of European Game Studios at DeNA

Back in 2007 when we announced Battlefield Heroes we talked about ads as equally important as ‘microtransactions’. That was the prevailing wisdom back then, before anyone in the west really knew how this business would work.

Since then, a lot of the teams I’ve worked with have started out with an ads + IAP strategy, only to abandon the former when the latter’s revenues trounce it. I’m talking core games only here, but I’ve never seen it meaningfully contribute to the bottom line of a game.

In my experience, that space is much more valuable being used for cross promotion between multiple titles from the same developer or publisher or for the promotion of events or IAP for the game itself.

Teut WeidemannTeut Weidemann Online Specialist at Ubisoft

Advertising can even hurt your revenue. Most consumers think that advertising makes millions of dollars as they are observing ads all day long. With this in mind a lot of users who see your ads in your game simply think you already earn enough money – and there are spenders out there who buy simply because they want to do you good for your nice game – not necessarily for the items.

So in some cases Ads hurt conversion.

Basically you can say that ads only work in games where your IAP model failed.

pecorellaAnthony Pecorella Producer for virtual goods games at Kongregate

While I don’t have data to back it up (and would welcome support or correction from someone who does), I’ve seen ads tied more explicitly to IAP conversion in some games.  Charles noted that they never show ads to paying users, and very smartly so, but I don’t know how clear he is being to players about it.  Getting a player to make a first purchase is tough and one of the reasons that we advocate some sort of first time buyer package.  But along those same lines you can tell users that making any purchase in the game will also remove ads forever.  Some games try to split out ad removal into a separate purchase (or entirely separate SKU, though that’s more as an attempt to chart on the paying apps list) from all other IAP but I think that’s unwise.  If you’re going to use ads to monetize your free users you should also use them as a direct incentive to convert to a paying user.  Even a $0.99 purchase should be worth more than the player will generate in lifetime ads on average and the chances of them making a second purchase in the future goes up tremendously.(source:gamesbrief


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