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开发者谈高价付费游戏的市场容量和不容乐观的现状

发布时间:2017-07-06 11:06:54 Tags:,,

本文原作者:James Batchelor 译者游戏邦ciel chen

这个主题之前在我们的手游时讯专栏已经有过讨论,但对此的讨论仍旧在继续:真的有可能在移动手游端找到高收费游戏的成功之路吗?

正如今年早些时候讨论过的那样,有很多给人印象深刻的游戏都以合理的低价位在智能手机设备上售卖——这种价位已经低得有些威胁到了开发者为这个游戏所付出的价值了——然而工作室面对的是一群对这样的价位都有些犹疑不决、难以相信的用户。

Monument Valley(from gamesindustry.biz)

Monument Valley(from gamesindustry.biz)

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CEO,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。

他告诉GamesIndustry.biz说:“问题不在于没有高质量的高价游戏可以玩或者人们对这些游戏不太了解,而是在于如果人们在稍微有一款像样的免费手游可以选,就不会想去买或者没有时间玩这些高价游戏。”

“这跟游戏本身并没有太大关系,更多的是消费者身处在一个各种大型游戏皆免费的游戏市场里是如何看待这些游戏的。高价游戏的最大阻碍就是那些制作精良的免费游戏,它们高度优化了游戏体验并且每天通过广告就能盈利数百万美元。这简直是一道无法跨越的鸿沟。”

Apple和Google在布置他们的商店首页上都下了大工夫,在免费游戏这样的竞争对手旁边大力宣传新发高价游戏,他们似乎觉得这样的突出强调来确保其高价游戏能被高度聚焦就能解决所有问题了。不过,Cousins劝道:工作室团队还是别依赖App Store的聚光功能了。

他承认:“最近几年确实有好多高调宣传的高价游戏效益不错,像《纪念碑谷》就是一款最好的例子。因此开发者们假设这就是决定性因素了——然而其实原因是更加带随机性色彩的,就好像刚好产品适应了当时的市场或符合了产品质量这样。”

“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。”

他还继续为开发者设想——他们要对自己将要尝试完成的事情有远见,够坚定:把游戏以他们所认为的合理价位卖出去、或者通过它赚一笔大钱。这两者似乎都不算什么选项——因为现在能够做到转型并成长的成功营生只能在竞争日渐激烈的F2P游戏市场——或者完全不同的的游戏平台上了。

“对于想通过高价游戏小赚一笔的开发者来说这样的市场肯定是有的,但是如果你想组成一个大于10人的团体事业,那想通过做高价收费游戏来成功是基本不可能成功的。”

“如果你想在移动端做高价游戏,想了解要在哪方面下功夫才能成功的话(这里的成功不是指赚到的钱能让两个人过活几个月这样子),那我只能让你还是去做个F2P游戏或者干脆把游戏移到PC端去好了。这样的情况已经持续两三年,不算什么新鲜事了。”

本文由游戏邦编译,转载请注明来源,或咨询微信zhengjintiao

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 biggest barrier is the existence of very good quality freemium games. It’s pretty much impossible to overcome that”

“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


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