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从产品体验的角度聊《王国纪元》是如何盈利的

发布时间:2018-05-11 09:09:12 Tags:,,

从产品体验的角度聊《王国纪元》是如何盈利的

原文作者:Matt Suckley 译者:Megan Shieh

欢迎回到In-App Purchase Inspector,在这里我们会以消费者的视角,定期测评一些F2P游戏。

每期文章,我们都会考虑游戏中IAP的诱因、压力、它们的感知价值、IAP带来的扩展内容还有整个游戏体验的评估。

最终目的就是看看这游戏究竟值不值得我们砸钱,不花钱的游戏体验是否也能让玩家感到满足。

《Lords Mobile(王国纪元)》是IGG开发的一款3D战略游戏,于2016年正式上线,该作自发行后便常年盘踞在营收榜前列。

这款游戏中包含了各种各样的任务,完成这些任务的方法实际上就是没完没了的等待。玩家可以使用加速金币或硬通货(水晶)来跳过倒数计时器。此外,本作主推联盟和合作机制,为游戏增添了额外的吸引力。

本作的游戏体验与MZ工作室的《雷霆天下》存在些许相似之处。比如说:游戏中的绝大部分内容都是围绕着一个不断扩增的基地而构建的,玩家在这个基地中生成并投资各种资源。

MZ选择将注意力集中在这些主要机制上,而IGG则选择给《王国纪元》的玩法再增添几分色彩。游戏中的战斗虽然不是直接控制,但却是在两个全3D化的战队之间实时进行的。

此外,IGG还在游戏中加入了一个“英雄冒险模式”。这一决策似乎有些出人意料,因为该模式中的英雄养成元素更像是RPG(比如《魔灵召唤》)中会有的东西。不过,这一模式给《王国纪元》添加了一个独特的、基于‘物品掉落机制’的升阶和进化系统。

自然而然,本作的盈利模式也是建立在我们熟悉的理念之上。它毫无遮掩地表示倒数计时器就是它的金矿,而硬通货“水晶”的主要作用就是用来跳过倒数计时器的。

Lords Mobile(from pocketgamer.biz)

Lords Mobile(from pocketgamer.biz)

水晶包的价格从1.99美元(280颗)到99.99美元(22000颗)不等,但是你得花很长的时间才能找到这些正常的价格,因为游戏商店的页面里充满了各种各样的限购商品。

同样,这也是MZ主推的一种零售方式,但是IGG做法相对柔和了许多。例如在MZ的《最终幻想15:新帝国》中,特惠商品会在会话中突然出现,然后直接霸占玩家的屏幕。如果你是第一次打开这个 APP,还没玩到一分钟,游戏就会给你提供一份特别折扣。玩家这时都还不怎么了解游戏,也还没搞懂游戏的经济体系,系统就迫不及待地给玩家提供折扣礼包,着实有些牵强。与此相反,《王国纪元》的一次性优惠商品一般都会放在其他地方,等着感兴趣的玩家自己去查看。

如果性价比不错的话,也能推动玩家购买。比如,4.99美元可以买到2000颗水晶(比平常的价格便宜两倍多),以及一些其他资源。但是为了激励玩家尽快购买,这些限购商品很快就会下架。

另外一款限购礼包中包含了10500颗水晶,上百的加速金币以及大量其他资源,不过玩家会在30天内陆续得到这些资源,而不是一次性拿到。

这种手法被称为“annuities”,玩家支付一定的费用,然后游戏会在限定时期内用虚拟资源给予定期奖励。玩家刚开始接触游戏的时候非常关键,而这种做法则可以让玩家在早期的时候不断返回游戏。对于玩家来说,单次付费就能得到多个回报也是有吸引力的。

《王国纪元》的节奏和大多数移动策略游戏一样:在游玩的早期阶段,系统会免费给出适当数量的硬通货来帮助玩家加速进阶(本作刚开始的时候,玩家会获得200颗免费水晶;加入联盟以后可以得到400颗水晶),接着游戏的节奏会明显放缓。

必须指出的是,本作给人的感觉远不如MZ的游戏那么吝啬或咄咄逼人。

《王国纪元》很少会给出硬通货作为礼物,但是每小时内可以多次打开的神秘宝箱会免费提供各种各样的资源,这种开箱频率也是没谁了。

虽然表面上与盈利模式无关,但是《王国纪元》可是有多手准备:开启的倒数计时器并不会限制到游戏中的其他功能,等待的同时玩家也可以发动一场攻击或者在英雄挑战模式里玩上几个关卡。

简而言之,虽然游戏中的等待计时器多到数不胜数,但是该作的盈利模式不会让玩家感到无聊或沮丧。而这就是大多数玩家想要的体验:你赚你的钱,我玩我的游戏。

总结:《王国纪元》将多种玩法混合在一起,但是在盈利模式方面却相对简洁。而且某些限购礼包的实惠程度,能让付费玩家觉得不买都对不起自己。

本文由游戏邦编译,转载请注明来源,或咨询微信zhengjintiao

Welcome back to the In-App Purchase Inspector – our regular look at free-to-play games from the consumer’s perspective.

In each instalment, we consider the incentives or pressure applied to make in-app purchases, their perceived value, the expansion offered by IAPs and the overall value of the experience.

The end goal is to see whether the game makes a good enough case for us to part with our cash, or whether players are content – or engaged enough – to ‘freeload’.

This time we’re taking a look at Lords Mobile, the 2016 strategy game from IGG. Since its launch, the game has been a regular presence in the top-grossing charts.

IGG was named 19th in PocketGamer.biz’s list of Top 50 Mobile Game Developers for 2017.

Clash, bang, wallop

Singapore-based developer IGG understands how to find success with mobile strategy games.

The first example of this was Castle Clash, which beat Supercell to the punch by launching before Clash of Clans on Android. This gave IGG a solid base from which to build, and remains a key game.

But by 2016, MZ had ushered in a different breed of strategy game – menu-heavy, aggressively marketed and monetised – to dominate the mobile market.

IGG then launched Lords Mobile, a game that balances these elements with the appeal of actually watching battles unfold. It’s been a top-grosser ever since.

More than meets the eye

To say that Lords Mobile is an experience likeGame of War or Mobile Strike is to capture just one element of a multi-layered experience that takes inspiration from a number of games and genres, but the comparison is a fair one.

It features a number of quests that in real terms consist of nothing but wait timers, and can be skipped using either Speed-Up Tokens or hard currency. Then there’s the focus on Guilds and cooperation as an extra metagame hook.

More broadly, there’s also the similarity that much of the game revolves around generating and reinvesting numerous resources in an ever-expanding base.

But while MZ focuses solely on these things, IGG has opted to add more action to Lords Mobile. In-game battles, while not directly controlled, are fought in real time between two fully 3D armies.

Then there’s the unexpected addition of Hero Mode, which focuses on leader units in stages more familiar to RPGs like Summoners War, adding its own levelling and progression systems for these units based around item drops.

Pay-to-skip

Naturally, then, the game’s monetisation is also built around familiar ideas first and foremost.

The game makes no secret of wait timers being its bread and butter, and skipping these is the primary function of hard currency Gems.

Gems come in bundles ranging from $1.99 for 280 to $99.99 for 22,000, but you have to scroll a long way to find these regular prices. This is because the shop page is dominated by one-time offers of various shapes and sizes.

This kind of retailing is an approach that MZ has also used heavily, but it’s to IGG’s credit that it’s nowhere near as intrusive here. Splash offer screens rarely interrupt play in the frustrating way that they dominate an average session of Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire, the deals mostly kept aside for those who care to check them.

It helps, too, that the deals are rather good. This is a game that understands the art and psychology of the IAP starter pack. One such bundle offers 2,000 Gems for $4.99 – more than double the usual rate – as well as several resources, but expires quickly to encourage a fast sale.

Another features a total of 10,500 Gems, hundreds of Speed-Up Tokens and plenty of other resources but releases them over a period of 30 days.

Known as annuities, this kind of offer provides an added incentive for a player to keep returning in those crucial early days. For a player, there’s also appeal in getting multiple pay-offs for a single purchase.

Lording it up

The pace of Lords Mobile is the same as most mobile strategy games: a healthy portion of hard currency is gifted to race through the early stages (in this case 200 for starting the game and 400 for joining a guild) with the game then slowing down significantly.

But it has to be said, the game feels nowhere near as stingy or pushy as MZ’s games.

Hard currency gifts are rare, but a Mystery Box that unlocks several times per hour and offers free resources of various kinds is refreshingly in its frequency.

But while not ostensibly related to monetisation, Lords Mobile really benefits from having more than one string to its bow; a wait timer becomes not an invitation to either quit or pay up, but can be an opportunity to launch an attack or play through some stages in Hero Mode.

In short, while it’s impossible to deny they play some part in a game with so many wait timers, Lords Mobile isn’t over-reliant on monetising boredom or frustration.

And that, for most players, is all we ask. (Source: pocketgamer.biz


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