这是一篇历史回顾：MZ CEO Gabriel Leydon谈游戏数据驱动
这是一篇历史回顾：MZ CEO Gabriel Leydon谈游戏数据驱动
原作者：Nick Huggett 译者：Willow Wu
直到我发现了CEO Gabriel Leydon，当时他正在跟两三个人交谈，我觉得是时候逼自己加入到他们的对话中了。
所以，游戏行业中的绝大部分分析人士都是在瞎忙活吗？毕竟，他们研究的数据只是体现了当前游戏行业的经济状况，而没有告诉他们为什么会是这样。无论你是哪个阵营的，我强烈建议你在跟Machine Zone CEO谈话时，不要告诉他你会应用数据驱动，除非你准备好了要接受他的犀利驳斥。
Machine Zone的成功确实让Gabriel Leydon有些顽固。在我们两小时的谈话中，我无法让他承认Machine Zone的成功有一定程度的运气因素，例如，在正确的时间、正确的地点发行了正确的产品。相反地，他坚信《战争游戏：火力时代》是榜单前十的游戏中唯一一个不靠运气就迅速爆红的游戏。但真正的考验是，Machine Zone之后是否还能发行有潜力进入榜单前十的游戏。就我个人感觉，Gabe会将下一个大热门游戏计划尽量延后，乘着《战争游戏：火力时代》所带来的浪潮继续前进。
Gabriel Leydon的其中一个观点是不可否认的：游戏行业已经彻底改变了，游戏公司需要加快迭代的速度。他或许不算是个资质深厚的游戏设计师，但他非常清楚一个成功的游戏公司需要具备什么。对游戏行业来说，远见卓识或许真的比工作经验还重要。但是，Gabriel Leydon并没有被这种观点所影响，至少在目前，他还是很享受成为广大同行眼中的成功典范。
A colleague of mine responded with some harsh words when I posted in a private chat room that I would be attending a networking event hosted by Machine Zone – developer and publisher of the monster mobile hit, Game of War – being held to hire some key positions. I was more intrigued than ever to speak with the creators of a product that could trigger such an emotional response from a fellow member of the video game industry.
The event was held at a posh bowling alley (yeah, it feels weird putting “posh” and “bowling” in the same sentence) complete with open bar, appetizers, bowling and a raffle; incidentally I won an Apple Watch!
I nursed a few Sierra Nevada brews while mingling in the dimly-lit area around the bar and chatting with several employees of the company, including the COO.
But it wasn’t until I noticed the CEO, Gabriel Leydon, speaking with 2-3 people that I felt the need to force myself into a conversation.
I spent the next two hours glued to Gabe’s side. He is confident, outspoken, brash and most intriguing to me, very successful for someone the same age as I am. I fired round after round of questions at him, picking his brain about anything and everything I could think of concerning the current state and future of gaming. He said things that made my emotions run the gamut from awe, disgust, laughter and even total agreement. I’ve selected a few of my favorite topics we discussed and paraphrased his thoughts on them.
Systems, not Features
Most of Machine Zone’s workforce is dedicated almost entirely to research and development. This is because Game of War is expected to run for the next decade (yes, ten years) based on a steady stream of new systems. This is an entirely different approach than a game like Farmville, in which the business model is reliant on weekly new features (animals, buildings furniture etc). The bottom line here, which I actually agree with, is that systems are evergreen and features have a shelf life. However, most companies don’t seem to be thinking about their games in the long term so they go for the low-hanging fruit of features to immediately generate revenue.
You Don’t Know What “Data Driven” Means
Gabe does not mince words when it comes to his opinions about people in the industry that claim to be “data driven”. His mental picture of analysts gathered in a board room explaining their spreadsheets to the executive team causes him to scoff. To him, Wall Street knows how to analyze data and would laugh if they witnessed what most video game companies are trying to do in this arena.
The real question here: is this just a hard truth? Are most data analysts in the industry chasing their tails? After all, most of the data they pore over only tells the what and not the why of the current state of a game’s economy. No matter which side of the fence you fall on, I would highly recommend that if you speak with Machine Zone’s CEO, don’t tell him you are “data driven” unless you’re ready for a possible rebuttal.
Pay-to-Win VS Practice-to-win
Most games in the free-to-play arena offer an experience that requires a mix of skill and monetization in order to be a top player. I suspect that one of the main reasons that so many people in the video game industry turn their noses up at Game of War is that it makes no excuses for the fact that it is practically 100% pay-to-win. In fact, Gabe has a term he uses to describe all other games: practice-to-win. This blew my mind. I had never considered this fact before – pay or practice; pick your poison. In fact the way Gabe speaks so fervently about practice-to-win games, he even had me convinced that pay-to-win was purely on the same level. This is a concept that I’m still trying to cope with…
Game of War isn’t a Game
Most of my colleagues in the video game industry have told me that Game of War isn’t actually a game, but I certainly wasn’t prepared to hear Gabriel Leydon agree with them. This is where I will directly quote him: “I don’t think of Game of War as a game”. Wow, a bold statement and easy to take for face value. However after talking to Gabe for quite awhile, I think I can interpret what he really means – Game of War is essentially an elaborate user-interface to test new systems. Now, just because Gabe doesn’t think of Game of War as a “game” doesn’t mean that its millions of players share that sentiment. After all, if you look up the history of a classic board game like Monopoly, it was initially intended to be an educational tool and only 30 years later was reclassified as a game.
Success has certainly made Gabriel Leydon very opinionated. However, nowhere in our two-hour conversation could I get him to admit to me that there was a certain degree of luck involved in his success e.g. being in the right place at the right time with the right product. In fact he is adamant that Game of War is the only top 10 mobile game that didn’t get lucky by going viral. But the real test is going to be whether Machine Zone will ever be able to release a subsequent app that will also enter the top 10. Personally, I think Gabe will put that off as long as possible to continue riding this wave.
One topic that Gabriel Leydon is dead-on about is that the gaming space has radically changed and companies need to effectively evolve at a only a moment’s notice. He may not be a veteran game designer but he certainly has a very clear vision of what needs to be done to make a gaming company successful. In an ever-changing world, vision in the gaming industry may indeed trump experience. But Gabriel Leydon is not phased by this thought and at least for the time being, he gets to enjoy being the man that the rest of the industry looks to as the very model of success.（source：linkedin ）