本文原作者：James Batchelor 译者ciel chen
在Apple和Google的APP Store都争相为高价独立游戏提供着更好的曝光度，而且他们发布时用到“必备游戏”字眼时更能激发用户对这些游戏的兴趣。但是Ben Cousins（前EA和DeNA的公司主管，现为瑞典开发团队The Outsiders的共同创始人）说现在已经太迟了：如今手游形势的发展已经全部往F2P方向蔓延了。
“在2012年到2013年是有这么一段时间，app store的推荐对手游的成功具有深远的影响——不论是高价手游还是免费手游都是如此。但是随着时间的流逝，我认为现在我们正处在铺天盖地的广告时代以及用户高度参与的时代，它们已将远远地将app store的推荐影响力甩在了身后。高价游戏已经再也不受特写推荐的影响了，我曾经看到过一款普通的超低价的额外收费游戏的一个惊人数据——尽管已经得到了良好的专题推荐但依旧没有人为这个游戏买单——迈出四位数已经是极限了。”
It’s a topic that has already been debated in our Mobile Newsletter, but still the debate endures: is it possible to find success on mobile with a premium game?
As was discussed on our podcast earlier this year, there are plenty of impressive games available for smart devices with reasonably low price points – low enough to be in danger of undervaluing the developer’s work – but studios face a reluctant audience that is difficult to convince when it comes to spending money on that initial purchase.
The indie spaces on both the Apple and Google app stores arguably offer better exposure for premium-priced games, and there’s always the possibility the release of a must-have title could drive more interest in such apps. But Ben Cousins – former EA and DeNA exec, and now co-founder of Swedish dev The Outsiders – says it is too late: the tide has turned against anything but free-to-play games on mobile.
“The issue isn’t that there aren’t quality premium games or that people don’t know about them,” he tells GamesIndustry.biz. “It’s that people don’t want to buy or don’t have time to play premium games if there is an even slightly decent free alternative.
“It’s not anything intrinsic in the games themselves, it’s more about how the consumer sees them sitting in the marketplace relative to freemium blockbusters. The biggest barrier is the existence of very good quality freemium games, highly optimised for engagement, and advertised to the tune of millions of dollars a day each. It’s pretty much impossible to overcome that.”
Both Apple and Google have gone to great lengths to better curate their storefronts, highlighting acclaimed new premium games alongside their freemium competitors, and the consensus among developers seems to be that securing a highly-coveted Featured spot will solve all their problems. But, much like Google itself, Cousins urges studios not to rely on this.
“There have been high-profile premium games in recent years that were featured and did well,” he concedes. “Monument Valley being a prime example. So devs assume that this was the determining factor, when really it was something more random like product fit for the marketplace at that time or product quality.
“There was a time around 2012 to 2013 where featuring on the app stores could have a huge impact on the success of a mobile games – either freemium or premium. But that time has passed and I think we are now deep into the era of heavy advertising and high engagement drowning out the effect of featuring. Premium titles are particularly unaffected by featuring, I have seen shocking data over the years where a mediocre poorly-priced premium game gets a good feature but does almost no business – four figures at best.”
He goes on to posit that developers need to think long and hard about what they’re trying to accomplish: delivering the game they envisage at a price they deem appropriate, or generating significant revenues from it. Both, it seems, are rarely an option. The levels of success that transform and grow businesses are now solely to be found in the increasingly competitive free-to-play market – or on another platform entirely.
“There’s always going to be a market for people who are okay making a few grand from a premium game,” says Cousins. “But if you want to build a business with more than 10 staff, it’s pretty much impossible to do that as a premium mobile game developer.
“If you are making a premium game on mobile and you want to know what to focus on to be successful – that is not just making enough money for two people to live on for a few months – the answer has to be to make a freemium game instead or move to PC dev. This has been the case for at least two to three years – it’s not a new situation.”（source：gamesindustry.biz ）