One game for smartphones was created by porting a game for console game. The game was released with mini-games included in the home console game as the main content, with the mini-games sold as additional content.
The console game had over 50 mini-games, from which five were selected at launch, two of which were made available for free.
Each mini-game will be sold for 5 USD worth of in-game currency.
However, immediately after launch, server failures continued, and players were repeatedly given 1 USD worth of in-game currency as an apology.
Then, on the fifth outage, the developers were faced with a major decision.
If they distributed 1 USD worth of charged currency here, “a large number of players would be able to obtain one of the only three additional contents for free.”
Even if the apology amount is lowered, it is difficult to do so because the unit of currency is 1 USD = 1 piece.
So, the developer stopped apologizing for the failure and acted as if nothing had happened.
By the time the outage settled down, players had left, and those who remained were bored and left because no new mini-games had been added since the initial implementation.
Now, there are many problems with this case study.
Lack of understanding of the metagame
The first is a lack of proper understanding of the metagame. If the main game is sold in installments, there is no need to dress it up as a Game as a Service.
Adding main content takes time.
Adding content = adding main games, and adding content takes too much time and cost.
As a result, we want changes in the game several times a month in an operational game, but we could not make changes because it takes more than a month to add content.
There is nothing to do every day.
The game ends when you get bored with the main game because the game does not provide a game cycle where you have to cobble together every day in order to enhance the main game.
The main game is also a mini-game, so players will probably only last a week with this.
It is a hole in the bucket. There is no future in promoting and attracting players at this point.
Setting the unit of currency to be charged
Another problem is the way they set the unit of currency.
By setting the currency at 1 USD = 1 piece when it is generally set at 1 Cent = 1 or 2 Cents = 1 piece, we have made it more difficult to make a business decision to distribute the currency with an apology to the players.
Billing limits are set.
With three types of content costing 5 USD, 15 USD is the maximum amount of sales that can be obtained from a single player.
Let’s assume that the percentage of game players who pay for the game is 5%, and that they purchase an average of 1.5 additional contents. Then, if 10,000 people play the game, 500 of them will pay, and if they purchase an average of 7.5 USD worth of content, the monthly sales will be 35,000 USD. If you need 100,000 USD per month to maintain a development team to develop additional content, you need 30,000 new players each month.
To get 30,000 new players, you have to do a good amount of PR, so we can see that this game will not make money even before it launches.