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独立游戏3种赢利模式编辑本段回目录

我的独立游戏开发事业最近迎来一个小高潮——我的游戏在Kongregate挣到5美元啦。

当然,这5美元几乎不够我买一杯奶茶,而且我也不是靠这种方法谋生的,但这件事启发我对不同收入流的效益作一番比较。

在线游戏广告

在过去仅仅18个月,我已经在Kongregate上传了整整5款游戏,累计游戏次数约5000次。这产生了大约15美元的广告收益,我获得其中的35%,也就是约5美元。

我把这件事告诉一个已经有数款独立游戏发布到在线门户网站的朋友,不过我换了一种说法——“我的游戏每被玩一次,我就挣到0.1美分。”我觉得这比“我的游戏每被玩1000次,我就挣到1美元”好听多了。

使用同样的标准,每1000次游戏,Kongregate得到3美元。

我的朋友告诉我,另一个门户网站给他的净利润是每1000次游戏40美分。在我看来相当低的收益促使他考虑,在他自己的在线游戏中直接投放广告,因为这样做的回报率更可观。

然而,与为自己的在线游戏拉赞助相比——这才是他擅长的事,以上方法就无足轻重了。

如果你知道自己在做什么,那么赞助可以轻易地给每款游戏产生成千上万美元。相比之下,如果你的游戏在Kongregate被玩100万次,广告仍然只能为你带来1000美元。

想象一下100万下载量是什么概念——选对了商业模式,你能获得的收益远不止1000美元。

在此,我没有抨击Kongregate的意思——我喜欢它,我喜欢把我的游戏放在那个网站上。然而,显然存在比在线游戏广告更好的挣钱方式。那么除了赞助,还有什么方式呢?

休闲下载门户网站

我的大部分收入来自在大型休闲下载门户网站如Big Fish Games、iWin、Gamehouse出售可下载的休闲PC/Mac游戏。

这些网站采用各种赢利策略,似乎对我的游戏都非常适用。

例如:

1、玩家可以下载游戏并免费玩,但游戏中有广告。在我的一款游戏中,每1000次广告曝光,我就获得1.17美元的收益——不比在Kongregate上放游戏好多少。

然而,一个很大的区别是,门户网站很容易就能获得100万次广告曝光。

2、玩家支付固定的月费玩游戏,开发者的收入取决于玩家的累计游戏时间。

还是同一款游戏,游戏时间达到1000分钟给我带来1.17美元的收益。另外,在第一个月内,游戏时间达到100万分钟。

3、玩家可以下载限时DEMO,试玩一小时后再决定是否购买完全版。

一般来说,这种游戏的售价是6.95美元,开发者通常得到售价中的2美元。我听其他休闲游戏开发者说,从下载到购买的转化率如果达到1%,那就可观了。但有时候我的游戏的转化率高达5%,差距真是大啊。

转化率为1%时,每1000次下载,开发者得到20美元;而转化率为5%时是100美元。

正如你所见,这比“免费+广告”的模式好多了,并且最好的是,门户网站可以在几个月内帮游戏产生几十万的下载量。

然而,为了和下载门户网站签约,让他们帮忙做推广,游戏的产值必须相当高。一般的在线游戏或手机小游戏是达不到要求的。

手机游戏的赢利模式

那么手机游戏赢利模式怎么样?手机游戏的商业模式有:免费+广告、免费+IAP和一次性付费。

对于一次付费游戏,每1000次下载产生N美元是不值一提的,因为游戏的价格可能是N乘上1000——当然,不同的游戏有不同的价格。

我向某些开发者打听了他们在限时免费、植入广告和IAP方面的经验。另外,我还有数据要分享。

2013年春季,我们发布了免费游戏《Spring Bonus》,它的IAP范围是99美分到4.99美元(都是关卡包)。

spring bonus(from pocketgamer)

spring bonus(from pocketgamer)

我知道关卡包不是最挣钱的一类IAP,但我的立场是“免费游戏是恶魔”,我不想重新设计整款游戏,使它更像《Candy Crush Saga》,因为那样它就会变成我的PC/Mac游戏的移植版。

iOS游戏中也有Chartboost,它的作用就是在各个关卡前显示广告,除非你购买关卡包。对于在每1000次下载获得29美元和每1000次下载IAP产生65美元的游戏,Chartboost是非常管用的。

听起来不错,但即使游戏在欧洲应用商店被推荐了,它也没还没达到10万次下载量,这体现了当今手机游戏市场竞争之激烈。

Cascadia Games还给了我一些关于《Cavorite》的数据,它在iOS上的售价是1.99美元,每个IAP是99美分。

当它的工作室把它改成限时免费时,IAP却“接近0”,这可不妙了,尽管该工作室认为免费模式有助于3个月后《Cavorite 2》的营销。目前还没有用的证明数据。

Cavorite(from pocketgamer)

Cavorite(from pocketgamer)

限时免费意味着免费下载在数量上是付费下载的5倍,也就是从每1000次一次性付费下载收益140美元,而每1000次免费下载收益24美元。

我的一位从事独立开发的朋友做了一款很成功的Android游戏,达到惊人的600万下载量。这位朋友对游戏的赢利模式的打算是:在Nook上的是一次性付费;Google Play和Amazon是IAP+一次性付费版的(而不是升级的IAP)促销链接。

每1000次下载量产生的广告收益是12.53美元,每1000次一次付费升级版的下载产生13.58美元,总共就是每1000次下载量创收26.11美元。因为这种模式给开发者带来相当多的下载量,所以相当适用。

另外,在Google Play上,转化率是0.7%;而在Amazon上1.2%。

我的另一位朋友也在Android上发布了内置广告和IAP的免费游戏。每1000次下载产生的广告收益为10.89美元,每1000次下载产生的IAP收益是5.24美元。我觉得这个IAP收益似乎有点低了,所以我得问问我朋友哪出错了。

然而,有趣的反差是,上述那位朋友也在iOS上发布了相同的游戏,但模式改为一次性付费+IAP。结果是,每1000次下载产生的IAP收益是35美元。

那意味着,已经购买了游戏的人更愿意在IAP上花钱,或者说iOS设备拥有者更乐意购买IAP,又或者说iOS IAP的执行情况比Android的好。谁知道呢?

结论

在我已经探索的有限空间里,似乎可以明显地看出,在线游戏广告并不是最赚钱的,尽管在线游戏赞助对于苦逼的独立开发者来说可能是一个比较好的选择。

休闲下载市场仍然会越来越强劲,如果你能投入足够的时间和预算做出针对玩家类型的高品质的游戏,还是可能赚钱的。一小时的试玩版模式虽然老派,但也相当实用。

至于手机,Chartboost是赢家,但其他广告系统也可能产生可观的收益。带有“升级”IAP的免费游戏对我们当然也适用,但前提是保证下载量大,这是比较困难的地方。

免费下载对销量的拉动作用不大;当我们为一款老游戏安排了几天免费下载时,我们得出这个结论。但这个做法可能可以为下一款游戏积累受众。

Android上的广告收益可能可观,但还是需要保证下载量。Android用户会升级到一次性付费版本和购买IAP,但积极性大概没有iOS用户那么高。

基本上,可以归结为:保证下载量,最大化每次下载的收益,但愿不是以邪恶的方式。

至于哪种模式最赚钱,我只能说,因游戏而异。

赢利的模式五花八门,但效益也各不相同,没有哪一种能保证适用。因此,我建议你多研究别人的做法,再自己做实验,最后选择一种最适合你的游戏、每次下载产生收益最高的方法。(本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,作者:Jake Birkett)

Best of British: How to make money the ‘non-evil’ way

by Jake Birkett

Jake Birkett is the owner of Grey Alien Games, an indie studio based in Dorset that specializes in casual games for mobile and desktop.

He is also co-founder of the Full Indie meetup group in Vancouver and the current chief of Best of British.

I recently reached an indie milestone. I made a total of $5 from my games on online Flash portal Kongregate.

Obviously, that’s barely enough to pay for a cream tea and it’s not how I make my living, but it got me thinking about the effectiveness of the various income streams I have, and the best way to compare them.

Online game advertising

I’ve been uploading some of my mini-games to Kongregate for just over 18 months now and I have a total of six games on there with around 5,000 plays. This has generated about $15 in advertising revenue, of which my cut is about 35 percent, or approximately $5.

I was talking to an indie friend who has games on several online portals and instead of saying “my games makes 0.1 cents per play.” I found it a lot more grokkable to say “my games make $1 per 1,000 plays.”

Using the same metric, Kongregate itself is getting about $3 per 1,000 plays.

My friend told me that another online portal nets him 40c per 1,000 plays, which seemed pretty low to me. It made him think that putting out ads directly within his online games could just generate a better rate of return.

However, all this is small fry compared to getting sponsorship for your online game – something he’s excellent at doing.

Sponsorship can easily bring in thousands or tens of thousands of dollars per game if you know what you are doing. By comparison, if you managed to get 1 million plays on Kongregate, you’d still only make $1,000 from advertising.

Imagine getting a million mobile downloads – you’d hope for considerably more revenue than $1,000 with the right business model.

I’m not trying to bash Kongregate here – I like it, and I enjoy putting my games on there for fun. Clearly, however, there are better ways to make money than online game advertising revenue. So let’s explore some more.

Casual download portals

Most of my income comes from selling downloadable casual games for PC/Mac via big casual download portals such as Big Fish Games, iWin, Gamehouse etc.

They use a variety of methods to monetise their audience which seems to work well for my games.

For example:

Players can download a game and play it for free with ads in it. One of my games made about $1.17 per 1000 ad impressions – not much better than from Kongregate.

However, the big difference was that the portal managed to get about a million ad impressions quite easily .

Players can pay a fixed monthly fee and download and play as many games as they want and I get paid based on the total number of minutes of play time.

The same game made about $1.73 per 1,000 minutes of play time and it got played for a million minutes in the first month.

Players can download a time-limited demo that prompts them to buy the full version after an hour of play time.

Normally, these sort of games sell for about $6.95 and developers normally receive about $2 of the sale price. I’ve heard other casual developers say that a 1 percent conversion rate of downloads to sales is good but sometimes my games convert as high as 5 percent, which makes quite a difference.

At a 1 percent conversion rate, developers get about $20 per 1000 downloads and at 5 percent developers can earn as much as $100 per 1,000 downloads.

As you can see this is considerably higher than giving the game away for free and relying on adverts, and the best part is the portals can drive hundreds of thousands of downloads of your game in a few months, which really adds up.

However, in order to sign a contract with a download portal for them to distribute such a game, the game’s production values have to be pretty high. A typical online game or small mobile game wouldn’t cut the mustard.

Mobile revenue

So what about mobile monetisation methods? Well, obviously there are free games with advertising, free-to-play games with in app purchases (IAPs), and premium games (paid for up-front).

It’s not worth talking about dollars per 1,000 downloads for premium games because it’s simply the game price multiplied by 1,000 – and prices vary considerably.

However, I did speak to a couple of devs about their experiences with giveaways, in-game advertising and IAPs, plus I have some data of my own to share.

We shipped Spring Bonus as a free universal app on iOS in spring 2013 and it has a range of IAPs from 99c to $4.99 that are just level packs.

Spring Bonus

I know that level packs are not the best type of IAPs to make money from, but I’m in the “F2P games are evil” camp, and I didn’t want to redesign the whole game to make it more like Candy Crush because it was supposed to be a quick third party port of my PC/Mac game.

The iOS game also has Chartboost integrated and it shows ads before each level until you buy a level pack. Chartboost worked out really well at about $29 per 1,000 downloads, and the IAPs have brought in $65 per 1,000 downloads.

This sounds cool, but even though the game got featured in Europe, it hasn’t hit 100,000 downloads yet, which just goes to show you how hard it is to compete in mobile these days.

Cascadia Games also gave me some numbers about Cavorite, which comes in at $1.99 on iOS with a single 99c IAP.

At one point the studio made the game free, but the IAPs were “near zero”, which doesn’t sound good, although the studio believes that the free ones helped to sell Cavorite 2 when it launched 3 months later – although there is no data available to support that.

Cavorite

The giveaway meant that the free downloads outnumber the paid downloads by five to one and this has resulted in $24 per 1,000 downloads – down from the $140 per 1,000 premium downloads.

An indie friend of mine (who wishes to remain anonymous) has had some good success on Android with a game that has reached a mighty 6 million downloads. The friend in question had a premium version on Nook and free versions on Google Play and Amazon that showed in-game ads and had an upsell link to a premium version (instead of an IAP to upgrade).

Ad revenues are $12.53 per 1000 downloads and premium upgrades have generated $13.58 per 1,000 downloads resulting in a total of $26.11 per 1,000 downloads. Because the developer had a lot of downloads this model has worked out pretty well for them.

Also, apparently the conversion rates are 0.7 percent for Google Play and 1.2 percent on Amazon.

My anonymous friend also shipped a free game on Android with ads and IAPs for in-game stuff. This has generated ad revenue of $10.89 per 1,000 downloads and IAP revenue of $5.24 per 1,000 downloads. The IAP revenue seems a bit low to me, so I’ll have to ask my friend what they think went wrong there.

However, as an interesting counterpoint, said friend also shipped the same game on iOS but as a premium app with IAPs and its IAPs have generated $35 per 1000 downloads.

That could suggest that people who’ve already paid for an app are way more likely to pay for IAPs, or that iOS device owners are more willing to pay for IAPs, or maybe that iOS IAP implementation is smoother than on Android. Who knows?

Conclusions

In the limited spaces I’ve explored, it seems fairly obvious that online game advertising is not a big earner, although online game sponsorship can be quite a good route to go down for a lone
basement-dwelling indie.

The casual download market is still going strong and there’s good money to be made if you can invest the time and budget to make a good quality game that’s suitable for the demographic. The old one hour demo model works pretty well.

As for mobile, Chartboost was a winner for us and other ad systems may also generate good money. Having IAPs for players to “upgrade” a free version certainly worked for us, but you still need a ton of downloads to make it viable, which is not easy.

Giveaways may not do much for your sales; we found this out when we made an older game free for a couple of days, but might be useful to help build an audience for your next game.

Advertising revenue on Android can be pretty good but again you need to drive a lot of downloads to make it worthwhile. Android users will upgrade to premium versions and buy IAPs but perhaps not with quite the same fervour as iOS users.

Basically it all boils down to massive downloads and making sure you maximise the revenue per download, hopefully in a non-evil way.

As with most sales stats, I’ll add the caveat that your mileage may vary.

There are tons of different ways to make money but they are not equal and, of course, nothing is guaranteed. Therefore what I’d encourage you to do is find out what other people are doing, run some experiments of your own, and then pick the highest dollar per download systems that work for your games. Good luck.

If you’d like to share your own dollars per 1,000 downloads stats in the comments that would be awesome. Thanks.(source:pocketgamer)


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