Tag Archives: Monetization

South Park’s Missed Monetization Optimization

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.

South Park's difficulty meter and locker opening minigame are great features

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.
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Paying to win – guild vs guild events

For those mobile games angling to dominate the top grossing charts, few features are more important than a limited time event system. For instance, in August of 2013, Gree released an infographic for hit game Modern War trumpeting a 600% increase in average daily revenue when events are running. Further, the infographic states that the game makes as much as $2.3 million during an event weekend and, at the time, the game was making its highest revenue to date two years after launch thanks to events.

Whether running the epic, 48 day Clash of Clones event in Simpsons Tapped Out or a 24 hour Faction vs Faction flash event in Modern War, limited time events are the key to long term retention and monetization among many of the app store’s top games. As a monetization design consultant, one of the critical features I most commonly point out as missing from design documents or beta builds is some form of social elder game. Social, event based elder games are something many developers know they need, but have very little experience designing, let alone participating in as a player or spender.

I only play pokemon
Last month, I wrote about what it was like to spend $100 climbing the leaderboard in a weekly PvP event in a fairly standard mid-core game. This month, I wanted to explore what it is like to be a high value player participating in a limited time Guild vs Guild (GvG) event. In the same game I had already spent $100 and many hours grinding away in, I left my starter guild and found a more competitive team with active, higher level players. I participated in a 3 day event as a free player, bought $200 in currency and participated in the next 3 day event as a high value player. As not all game developers can make this sort of time and dollar investment into event participation, I thought this article would be a valuable resource for those looking to implement a time-limited event system in their game. Continue reading Paying to win – guild vs guild events