After watching the South Park: Phone Destroyer announcement trailer at E3, I eagerly switched to the Canadian App Store to check out the game (as well as fellow E3 reveal Brawl Stars). From the trailer, I had assumed it was a Heroes’ Charge inspired game infused with South Park’s signature characters and irreverent humor. Within the first few minutes, it became clear that the gameplay was not another Heroes’ Charge clone, but instead a side-scrolling, tug-of-war style RTS, somewhat in the vein of Swords and Soldiers.
As I played through the tutorial, I noticed a number quite clever features. For instance, the difficulty meter that gives you a sense of challenge before battle, or the locker opening minigame at the end of each battle to collect your rewards, similar to the one used in Seriously’s Best Fiends. But when it came to opening my first gacha pack, I noticed something that stuck out as a clear area for improvement. Continue reading South Park’s Missed Monetization Optimization→
Don’t feel like reading? Enjoy this quick video analysis instead.
Trumpeted on stage at WWDC, given the Editor’s Choice on release and featured to an unprecedented degree in the Gamers television ad for iPhone 6, no game has seen as strong of a promotional push from Apple as Metal showpiece Vainglory. The fantastic take on MOBA for mobile devices has seen strong reviews and industry support. And yet the game’s performance has underwhelmed relative to the amount of attention garnered. To date, the game has failed to break into the top 150 grossing in the US for iPhone or iPad. In the past three months, Vainglory has not appeared in the top 150 downloaded apps chart in the US on either device.
Featuring an all star team of accomplished executives, Super Evil Megacorp has raised $15 million to date (according to Crunchbase) and no doubt has the ability to raise millions more if they are in need. As a company set on building a 10-year plus franchise with Vainglory, it appears their focus is not on overtaking Clash of Clans this year, but on being the first touch game to fill a stadium full of eSports enthusiasts League of Legends style some years from now. In a recent interview, COO Kristian Segerstrale explained the company’s community first approach to development and how they’ve “deliberately chosen from the start to almost be the caricature anti-monetizer.” Continue reading 5 game monetization optimizations for Vainglory→
Don’t feel like reading? Check out this video analysis instead.
First announced over 2 years ago, Industrial Toy’s Midnight Star is the latest attempt from a group of industry heavyweights to translate first person shooters for mobile devices and the free-to-play business model. With an impressive pedigree including Ex-Bungie head Alex Seropian, the PR around the game has implied that Midnight Star will be to the mobile FPS genre what Halo was to the console FPS genre. Included in this mission is the heartfelt desire to do free-to-play right, as expressed in a pre-launch article on GamesIndustry.biz last week:
“The other big difference is the mentality; Industrial Toys are looking for longterm engaged players, not quick win idiots who will spend $30 on a diamond hammer and never return.”
If you have followed my work on game monetization, you will know that much of monetization happens in the UI/UX layer. The motivation to spend must come from the fun factor of the game itself, but thoughtful UI flows that balance making purchasing present with respect for the player are key to good monetization. With that in mind, I wanted to quickly touch on five monetization missteps Midnight Star makes with its presentation layer. Continue reading 5 monetization missteps in Midnight Star’s UI→
Ten hours into Assassin’s Creed Unity, I’m having difficulty finishing up memory sequence 6. That’s just about the middle chapter of the game. I think my character is too weak. His armor isn’t strong enough. Neither are his weapons.
I could stop working on this memory, instead grinding on side missions and locating chests until I have enough Livres to buy more powerful gear. Instead, I open up the eStore and without first looking into what I can buy with Helix credits, opt for the $100 package, the biggest in-game purchase available from Ubisoft, a publisher that would presumably love for me to buy it.