Showing posts with label SXSW. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SXSW. Show all posts

Monday, March 16, 2015

Game Revenue Optimization - #GRO #SXSW

What every blog article should contain.. =)
#GRO - Game Revenue Optimization - my #SXSW panel presentation.

Game Revenue Optimization

Q: What is Game Revenue Optimization

A: With the meteoric rise of mobile gaming we have moved past "Video Game Revenue Optimization" and now must also view the multi-screen world of online gaming as digital ecosystem. As with any other digital ecosystem, a game can be optimized. For privacy, security, playability and revenue. #GRO 

Why Games? Think About it.. Movies were big business, Rock Stars and music were big business, now we have a buffet of movies on netflix for *$8.95 and can buy songs on iTunes for .99 cents. 

(Unless you use Netflix on more than one screen, then it has different pricing)

History of Video Game Revenue Optimization - #GRO PHASE 1

Go back to Intellivision.. ATARI, colecovision football as a comparison.. handheld vs Gaming Consoles.. and Modems... 2600 kbps..  during that time there was a MUD. A Multi-user Dimension game that many played named MoonGate by Genius Developer Ryan Addams. Video below may contain text descriptions written by someone whose blog you are reading at this very second..

You could "Donate" to the "Game" and receive cool unique items, armor, weapons, special gear.. and depending on how much you gave and if you just also happened to be an IMM (an immortal or volunteer game developer/coder/builder/babysitter), sometimes you could get them named after you or design these types of items.. they were given as prizes for testing or volunteering effort toward building the game itself as well as paying for sever space.. then the obvious security updates as hackers tried to down the servers which cost money. In it's infancy, game revenue optimization was about keeping the servers up, bandwidth bills and rewarding people for playing and improving the game world.. or you could also play on AOL for a monthly fee and hourly modem time.. wait.. i was paying AOL per hour to play this game. 

About that time there was Everquest Online and for Beta testing for PlayStation 2 Everquest Version.  Happy 15th Birthday PlayStation

First.. There was Everquest...
("Trumpets blare notifying you of this wondrous occasion in the land.")

Pure Coincidence. 

Everquest's game play was similar to MUDs and you would type /kill [mobile object - MOB] [method of attack - MOA] - sorry I was a Babysitter/Volunteer coder there too.

/kill wizard sword etc.. but Everquest had graphics and avatars so it was like a first person shooter but you typed the commands.. until GUI buttons made an appearance.. you could configure the buttons instead of having to type. Then again, you could also configure buttons to respond to "you have killed an.." and pre-program battle sequences and also resource mining in the games. Just like in the MUDs you could run command line TCL script bots and play the game on multiple characters... Gamers always want to get ahead or gain an advantage.

At first if you wanted to purchase some advantages in the game.. Gold, special weapons, special "in-game items" or higher level characters there was a black market for these items not endorsed by the game developer. No Refunds and if you got caught? Your character got deleted.  Now things have advanced in the 16 years of Everquest instead of the offsite possibly "against TOS" transaction below, you can now buy "In-Game" coin on the Everquest website.

$50 for 20 million "in-game" coin in 1995 Everquest world was a game changer.

Fast Forward to Today...
(or the last few years on XBOX)

As an adult male gamer, I find console gaming helps me relax, think and enjoy gaming as an adult. Gaming however isn't just for young boys anymore,

..research asserts that women now account for 52% of the gaming audience, up from 49% three years ago. The study, which was commissioned by the Internet Advertising Bureau, also revealed there are now more people over 44 years old playing games (27% of the audience) than children or teenagers (22%). The gamer audience reportedly stands at 33.5 million Britons – 69% of the population.

Enter Mobile/Online Gaming - Zynga, King Candy Crush and turn based revenue streams. Did you ever wonder why they have "Casino Sounds" in most of your turn based Zynga games? (Wait for it...) Money.. the more money you spend the more the game sounds. Yes, you can play almost all mobile/online/facebook games for free, those are the only ones i play.  This UK study also showed more adult than minors are gamers. Historically, The biggest problem in game revenue optimization was consent. Almost any online purchases by minors can be subject to forced refunds from the game company to the authorized credit card holders.  Even after the service has been obtained legally and delivered legally by the game company. With this suspect nature for online purchases, many companies did not wish to participate in online games and their funding.. enter Facebook and Zynga - Dodge/Defiance/Syfy/Xbox 

The Evolution from Movies to Music to Games

Think for a moment What kind of candy does ET eat? 

Revenue Optimization of Brand Sponsorship in Games

In the beginning, the donation model was the preferred method for "free games" on the APP Store instead of charging for game improvements due to the "age of consent" issue above, led to the thought that maybe with so many people playing, the game companies should have a way to generate income.

(Enter Second Life Fiasco - See how many dead company website links you can find on this Wikipedia article. Buy DELL Computers in Second Life.

Facebook games became a big thing soon after. Before Candy Crush there was the "Villes", YoVille, CityVille, FarmVille. Business looked to get in on the action.
Capital One decided "open a branch" across all three Zynga games soon after. Capital One Bank Opens First CityVille Branch - Several Businesses jumped in to sponsor these online games. Sponsorship by a brand in a game should be tested should be tested very thoroughly, talk to kids about it, have the game developer show you an example of what it looks like "in-Game". This applies to console and PC "in-Game advertising as well".

About the same time Electronic Arts opened up SimCity Social and also got Dunkin Donuts to jump in Bigtime. Proving there is still a symbiotic/synergistic relationship between retail and games.  Dunkin Donuts realized brand awareness was going to be a HUGE thing in Social Media.. (hint.. the term had not really been introduced at this time yet..) and jumped on with EA bigtime.

If you still think Brand Sponsorship in games isn't ready yet? See this great article.. The Most Effective Ad I Ever Saw in a Video Game -Remember if the game sucks, you might not want to attach your brand to it.. young gamers still use their outside voices inside, and as far as most gamers being female.. Google "Motrin Mom". Tread wisely.. not all games are optimized for playing. This is the biggest barrier for Game Revenue Optimization..  lack of Q and A by Game companies. 

Zynga Codes also used to be currency that was a give away. Like Call of Duty In-Game rewards for buying soft drinks.

Purchase Specially Call of Duty MW3 marked Mtn. Dew products..
get the code from bottle cap to be redeemed online for In-Game rewards.


"It had Call of Duty:Advanced Warfare on the box. But, no codes, just an endorsement."

Quality Assurance as Game Revenue Optimization 

Don't get me wrong.. this isn't a flame post about XBox, Call of Duty, Destiny or the companies that make those games..
 ( Why I just avoided mentioning them. I'm a devoted customer as well.)

Call of Duty Advanced Warfare Purchased in Digital Download.
 Call of Duty and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare in box for Call of Duty 3

I use Call of Duty as the example effective game revenue optimization. It has worked for several years across multiple Call of Duty versions. I've played every version and being involved in the advertising industry for several decades, who moonlights as a hardcore gamer, the view of what things are and what they  could be are a little different. The world of gaming hasn't even scratched the surface of what advertising could look like. Or is it the World of Advertising hasn't realized what is and will be under their noses for a time to come. There are revenue streams like ringtones on mobile, waiting to be utilized in gaming. The big really kinda important thing is this.. The game has to work for a customer to spend money. Very, Very Important. It is a "Game Changer" 

Sometimes it's not fun to slay people ruthlessly,
when Destiny crashes I can get on and finish a level of experience
without restarting Xbox on Call of Duty:Advanced Warfare, just fine.

Mountain Dew used to give codes for one version of the game as an incentive to purchase. Now. Apparently,  it's the official drink of Call of Duty? So.. no more codes? Is this because I now buy this In-Game?  Maybe. I do.

For My SEO Friends, they have a Panda Exoskeleton pack for only $2.99.
Game Functionality - How about extra slots.. only $1.99. For the serious gamer this is a no-brainer. 

In most XBox Games there is a store. It's working well.
But could do so much more in most games. 
Small purchases like $2.99 or quick purchases of less than Ten dollars are very successful in the game environment, for parents, it's $5 to occupy their child for HOURS!!!! For adults, we see it as we are staying home, not out spending money, twenty or thirty bucks shouldn't hurt. Right? Unless the game is unreliable. See GTA Online example - Rockstar Unable To Fix The Broken Economy Of GTA Online

GTA Online came out riddled with hacks which destroyed the Game World Economy early.

When do Gamers NOT purchase in Game? 

The most important thing is game play.. aside from error codes "Hawk", "Newt".

Here are some reason why games can fail and lose users.

Beaver - ERROR

Caterpillar, associated with Hawk - ERROR

LionFish - Another Networking - ERROR
Occasionally the game does work.. 

Eventually it just kicks me off and I launch Call of Duty:Advanced Warfare and play for about an hour or so.. This is very bad for ANY Game Revenue Optimization opportunities.

Someone should be writing IF THEN statements for character interactions..

A. IF player is already engaged in Quest #1 then have alternate quest display.

The option was to Abandon quest of just wait it out..
Already engaged quest hangs up game. Shows lack of QA, gamers are LESS Likely to purchase.

The Dark Below. Unpurchased gamers will not purchase upgrades in buggy games.
I hope this explains Game Revenue Optimization.. How it can help Veterans will be in a separate blog post soon. 

Brands, Games and Music Revenue Optimization - by Steve Plunkett

Online Optimization... Optimize your Brands, Music and Gaming assets.
Apps, Games and Music are the top items purchased on Social Networks, in Search and In-Game. What are the differences between tablet and mobile in terms of how users play games, listen to music and where are the revenue optimization differences? Where are you best bet for Music sales? SoundCloud? Beatport? ITunes or Google Play. How can online games and Music on FaceBook, ITunes and the Google Play Stores be optimized within the digital ecosystem. How can games be used to promote business? How can advertisers judge in-game advertising? How can game and apps companies provide a better user experience and optimize game play to increase loyalty and user numbers? How can these numbers be used to determine advertising rates? How can ROI be shown to brands that wish to participate? What Tools are available for Music purchases, game downloads and user behaviors within online games and music purchasing.