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Member Since 02 Aug 2011
Offline Last Active Sep 13 2012 03:14 PM

Topics I've Started

Gameplay vs. Monetization

07 February 2012 - 02:05 PM

Hey all,

As you guys may already know, I work for a game monetization platform. I've heard from a number of people here that one of their biggest complaints with freemium monetization is that it ruins gameplay.

With advertising, there's really no good place to put it in the game that doesn't disrupt the user in some way, whether it's an annoying ad in Angry Birds or a full page interstitial popup between turns.

This is what leads lots of people to do virtual currency-based models. But even those models can mess with gameplay, especially when the game is selling the most useful items: stat bonuses, equipment, consumable items, and energy refills. These items can change gameplay balance and make non-paying players frustrated.

But on the flip side, you've got to make money. I mean, not just "oh I have to keep the lights on", but if you make a great game you should be rewarded.

On the one side is making beloved free apps and not getting a penny for it, while on the other side is using predatory monetization practices that net you money but little love (and may leave you with a general sadness inside Posted Image).

So my question to you guys is where do you draw the line between monetization and gameplay? Do you think there are acceptable sacrifices to gameplay if they yield significant revenue? If not, what do you do to still make your games business possible?

"Money Talks" - a Game Monetization event in SF

19 October 2011 - 02:57 PM

Hey SF game developers,

We just wanted to share with you our next meetup, Money Talks. You can RSVP by clicking here. The event description is below:

Game Monetization is a hot topic and many developers are willing to learn. We've put together a great set of speakers to teach you how to make more money with your game. These speakers bring a wealth of game monetization experience from some of the most prestigious companies in the industry.

Roxanne Gibert
Roxanne Gibert is the Founder & CEO of Spyra Games, a company aiming to bring social strategy games to mobile devices. Her product and monetization strategy experience was cultivated at premier social game companies such as Zynga, Playdom, and Playfirst.

Roger Dickey
Roger Dickey's rapid rise began when he founded his own game company, which was bought by Zynga only 6 months after its launch. Within Zynga, Roger went on to head both Fishville and the incredibly popular (and profitable) Mafia Wars. Roger now serves as an advisor to multiple gaming startups.

Chris Griffin
Chris Griffin is the Founder & CEO of Betable, the only game monetization platform that lets you legally implement real-money gambling & betting into your games. His experience building gambling & betting products gives him unique insight into game mechanics & game monetization. Alongside Betable, Chris is an advisor to numerous venture-backed startups.

6:00PM - Drinks, food, and networking
7:00PM - Roxanne Gibert: Creating Lifetime Value
7:20PM - Roger Dickey: Game Monetization Toolkit
7:45PM - Chris Griffin: Challenging the Status Quo
8:00PM - More drinks and networking

Mobile Gambling Use Explodes: 94% Growth Last Year

08 September 2011 - 05:29 PM

Hey all, we just wrote a response piece to the Financial Times article highlighting Betfair’s massive 94% growth in bets placed via mobile last year. Our response digs into why it’s taken so long for gambling companies to get into mobile, and whether there’s an opportunity for mobile game makers to get into gambling. Check it out. Feedback and comments are welcome. Thanks!


The problem with virtual goods

05 August 2011 - 11:44 AM

Making a business out of a game is hard work. It takes great design, unique mechanics, creative marketing and some serious dedication to build a successful game. Turning this successful game into a business requires all of the above, plus a large amount of users that are willing to give you their money. And, if you want to give away access to your game or app for free, as many game makers now do, you will need an even larger number of total users to derive your paid user base from.

The problem with virtual goods is that you need millions of users in order to reach $1M in revenue, especially with free-to-paid conversion rates for most social games being in the single digits and average revenue per user (ARPU) often hovering around $1. I wrote a blog post about this on my GameDev journal (see it here) and would love some feedback. Thanks!

Where do game developers hang out?

04 August 2011 - 12:19 PM

Hey all,

I want to get into the game industry, and one of the ways that I want to do this is to meet game developers. I am not looking for a job, just networking. I'm here, so that's a good start, but I could use some tips :)

Any idea of good places to find game developers, both online and offline? (Online in particular, since that's easier for me)