The performance of Zynga’s stock in the almost two years since its IPO has chilled public markets ambitions for gaming companies. But two Western gaming developers, both of which have capably navigated a transition from Facebook (and other web-based platforms) to mobile, currently contend for the distinction of most likely to undertake the first post-Zynga [...]
(The model referenced throughout this post can be downloaded here) Supercell’s recent $100mm secondary financing round raises some interesting questions about how mobile game developers capitalize on a hit game. A title in the Top 10 grossing chart for the US can, as evidenced by a number of recent high-profile examples, generate upwards of $500,000 [...]
The macro trend playing out in mobile gaming over the past six months has been the shift away from casual gaming toward the mid-core experience: niche games driving high ARPU values through extended retention profiles and engagement metrics. You know a trend has breached the public consciousness when Forbes writes about it, which it did [...]
A comprehensive free-to-play game model: revenue, DAU, virality, and retention (spreadsheet included)
Download the model here (updated 20-03-2013) As free-to-play transitions from an emerging, vaguely defined abstraction into the dominant business model on mobile, developers will face an increasing need to understand the concept from an analytical standpoint. I spent some time this weekend thinking about how free-to-play games generate revenue: what mechanics converge to deliver positive ROI on the [...]
One of the most frequently levied criticisms against the free-to-play model is its low intrinsic conversion rate: most players (usually more than 95%) will never monetize. In trying to increase revenues, are developers of free-to-play games better served by increasing conversion or by increasing the average revenue per paying user (ARPPU)?
I read this piece on GigaOM the other day about what VCs look for when investing in gaming start-ups, and this bit caught my eye: Hyatt’s number one metric for games that interest him as investment prospects: Day-one retention, i.e. whether new users come back the next day to play. This is an especially important way [...]
The most fundamental concept in paid user acquisition, the Lifetime Customer Value / Cost per Acquisition spread describes how much profit each acquired user produces (the “spread” being the difference between the two values). But while the concept may be fairly simple to grasp, the actual calculation of these values can be nuanced. Many things [...]