3）据pocketgamer报道，Epic Games联合创始人Tim Sweeney日前透露公司正推出基于订阅模式的虚幻引擎4，每月费用为19美元，开发者可访问完整版的引擎以及未来的开发工具（包括Blueprint开发环境）。
1）Free-to-play games are doing better than ever on PlayStation platforms
Free games with microtransactions account for most of the money spent on mobile, but it’s a market that is also quietly growing on PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3.
At the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco today, Sony held a panel to discuss its growing offering of free games on its platforms. The publisher confirmed that revenues from these kinds of titles increased by 50 percent year-over-year, and that this only represents a small fraction of the business model’s potential on consoles.
Sony has approximately a dozen free-to-play titles available on PS3 and PS4. Games like Dust 514, Warframe, and DC Universe Online make up a bulk of the spending. Additionally, the publisher confirmed that its Sony Online Entertainment division is still working on PS4 ports of Planetside 2 and EverQuest Next. Both eschew a premium price for in-game purchases.
We’ve reached out to Sony to find out which games in particular are performing the best. We’ll update with any new information.
PlayStation free-to-play manager Sarah Thomson broke down the performance of such games by platform. While the PS3 has a more developed ecosystem, the PS4 is growing and presents a lot of potential, according to Sony.
The PS3 has an average revenue per paying user (ARPPU) that’s on the same level as free PC games. The older system also has the most-engaged gamers, who spend the most money on average on in-game items compared to all platforms (even smartphones).
PS4, meanwhile, has an ARPPU that is higher than the PS3 — although it has a much smaller population of players. It also has less software available, which is potentially driving more people to experiment with free games. Despite those concerns, Sony notes that over 90 percent of PS4s have an Internet connection. More than 80 percent of PS4 gamers have downloaded digital content at some point. With more than 6 million PS4s already sold, that’s a lot of potential actively monthly users.（source：venturebeat）
2）Behind the sales numbers of mobile hit Badland
By Brandon Sheffield
Frogmind was founded in 2012, by two developers from Trials developer RedLynx. In 2013, they released their first game, Badland, and immediately got 100,000 downloads at $3.99, which was great, but sales took a nose dive after the first weekend, going down to 1,000 downloads per day, and eventually less.
“Now we faced this problem,” says CEO/coder Johannes Vourinen at his GDC session. “We only had a plan to make the game, and nothing else.” So they had three options — keep working on the current game, with updates, or they could develop a sequel, or a new game.
“We were only two guys with no previous game company experience, so even hiring one employee felt challenging and risky,” said Vourinen. “And there was this feeling, as we saw this download curve, what if it goes to zero? So we decided to stay just two guys, and keep developing Badland. We love the world, and we had so many ideas left. We wanted everyone to be able to play it, not just iPhone and iPad users.”
So they went through a plan for monthly updates, which gave them download and purchase spikes. This was mostly from new featurings in the App Store, “and also existing players returned to play again and they probably talked to their friends,” he said.
Vourinen found that price drop campaigns were also quite good. Sine they started at $3.99, they could can do 50 or 75 percent drops. In the end they found that price drops still gave them a revenue spike. “Price drop campaigns seem to work automatically, because there are so many apps that track discounts out there,” he says. They also did a free week campaign, which resulted in a major download spike, with the game reaching 7 million downloads in a week.
But it didn’t help the game’s sales, in the end. “We went from basically zero sales, to 2 million, then back down to zero. It had almost no effect on paid downloads after that. I know there are a lot of free app of the week apps that tell you there’s a big effect after the free week campaign, but at least for us, this didn’t seem to happen.”
“We had no in app purchases, so being free actually wound up being free.” What it did give them was exposure for the game. “We got so many new opportunities to explore,” he said. So they started porting the game to other devices, from Blackberry to the Android store.
At this point, Vourinen shared some interesting numbers. For Blackberry, “the market isn’t very big, so the total downloads are like 7,000 at the moment,” he says. “Although we were top grossing, in the top three, during the launch.”
Then there was Android. “We spent some time exploring the Google Play store, and we didn’t see so many good examples of paid games, especially compared to iOS. Users seem to be used to getting their games for free, or maybe they’re forced to because they don’t have credit cards.”
So they decided to change the business model to free, with video ads. They launched in late 2013, and reached 6 million downloads, with an ARPU of five cents. That was 30 percent from in app purchases, and 70 percent from video ads.
Next they tried the Amazon Appstore. Ads didn’t work so well there, but they wound up with 130,000 downloads, and an ARPU of seven cents.
Ultimately, their average revenue per day was heavily weighted toward premium purchases. Partly because the game has been out on iOS longer, but also because of the nature of the game.
Badland has thus far wound up with this split of average revenue per day — iOS app store with 63 percent , and Google Play with 35 percent.（source：gamasutra）
3）Epic move: Unreal Engine adopts monthly $19 subscription model
by Rob Hearn
At a press briefing this morning in San Francisco Epic Games co-founder Tim Sweeney revealed that the company is now offering its popular Unreal Engine 4 on a subscription basis.
For $19 a month, developers can enjoy full access to the company’s engine and present and future development tools, including the Blueprint development environment.
According to the standard terms of the arrangement, Epic will take a 5 percent royalty from the profits of every game made in Unreal Engine 4, though Sweeney stressed that it will still be possible to negotiate custom terms.
The move signals a more collaborative direction for the company. “We succeed with this only if developers succeed in making great games,” detailed Sweeney.
To facilitate even greater transparency and collaboration, Epic has also made Unreal Engine 4′s C++ source code available to every subscriber, to examine, copy, and modify freely.
“It reminds me of the shareware days,” Sweeney said.（source：pocketgamer）
4）The Last Of Us wins top honors at Game Developers Choice Awards
Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us was awarded Game of the Year during the 14th annual Game Developers Choice Awards ceremony, which took place this evening during the 2014 Game Developers Conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. The game was also honored with Best Design and Best Narrative Awards during the event, which was emcee’d by inimitable industry veteran Abbie Heppe.
Irrational Games’ BioShock Infinite netted awards for Best Audio and Best Visual Art.
Lucas Pope’s Papers, Please won the Innovation Award and the honor for Best Downloadable Game in recognition of Pope’s compelling gameplay design.
Other winners of the night include The Fullbright Company, creators of the deeply involving and emotionally moving interactive narrative adventure Gone Home.
Nintendo was recognized with the Best Handheld award for The Legend of Zelda: A Link Between Worlds — the fourth win for the Zelda franchise since the inception of the Choice Awards in 2000.
The global blockbuster open world title, Grand Theft Auto V, won the award for Best Technology, in recognition for the title’s sprawling and vibrant Liberty City environment, massive amount of game content and high visual fidelity. Indie developer Squad scored the inauguralAudience Choice Award for their creative sandbox space flight game, Kerbal Space Program.
The Game Developers Choice Awards, which honor the very best games of the year, was created for and voted on by developers. Winners are selected by the Game Developers Choice Awards-specific International Choice Awards Network (ICAN), which is an invitation-only group, comprised of over 2,200 leading game creators from all parts of the video game industry.
The Ambassador Award, which recognizes those who help video games “advance to a better place” through advocacy or action, went to media critic Anita Sarkeesian, creator of Feminist Frequency, a video series that explores representations of women in game and pop culture narratives. The series, which ushered in through a massively successful Kickstarter campaign, has brought the topic of gender representation in games and ushered a spirited debate on the portrayals of women in video games.
Sarkeesian is the first woman to win the Ambassador Award.（source：gamasutra）
5）Facebook improves app requests, hopes to improve engagement in Facebook-connected games
This week at Game Developers Conference (GDC), Facebook revealed new statistics for Facebook-connected games across the web and mobile devices. On average, over 375 million people play Facebook-connected games each month, while Facebook’s own website and mobile apps send 735 million referrals, on average, to games each day.
Last Fall, Facebook conducted a study on how players engage with Facebook-connected titles, and found cross-platform players (those who play games on more than one device) spend more time and money on games than single-platform players.
To be specific, mobile engagement for cross-platform players was 2.4 times the engagement for mobile-only gamers. For desktop players, the figure was 1.5 times the engagement for cross-platform players when compared to desktop-only users. Desktop revenue was also shown to be 3.3 times higher for cross-platform players.
At GDC, Facebook announced changes developers can employ to further increase their engagement rates within Facebook apps and games. Now, developers can change the language found in their Facebook notifications. Previously, players would see the name of the game and a generic “request,” but going forward, developers can customize this text to tell players exactly what has been sent to or requested from them.（source：insidesocialgames）