F2P vs Premium
What’s the best business model for your game - free to play with in-app purchases, or the traditional, pay once for everything “premium” model? According to Josh Tsui, President and co-founder of Robomodo, it’s both.
Tsui thinks that more developers should be offering both a paid and F2P version of their games - one for core gamers, and the other for casual gamers.
This strategy has been attempted in the past with g
ames like Table Top Racing and Bombcats, but hasn’t really taken off. Check out this article on PocketGamer.biz for more insights into this unique business model. Why not cover all bases and bring in a larger audience, by making your game available to all audiences?
Rising Next-Gen Game Development Costs
As video games have increased in popularity, so has the cost in development - particularly with AAA titles on the recently released Xbox One and PS4. For instance, Activision recently put $500M into Bungie’s (creator of Halo) new IP, Destiny.
Develop-Online recently got a chance to sit down with developers from The Witcher and Forza video game franchises to get some insight into how big budgets are getting.
James Sharman of Climax Studios (creators of The Witcher) said “There are some great titles in the launch window that clearly could have been done on the last generation at similar budgets - however, with more hardware resources it's always possible to spend more at the top end. There are many factors involved in the upwards pressure on budgets including user expectations and the industry’s over-reliance on review scores. Higher expectations for the new consoles will contribute but perhaps not as much as people think.”
Sharman stated the creation of middleware and adopting more of a PC-like development approach is one method to keep costs down. You can read more solutions from top industry leaders here on Develop-Online.
Inside the Mind of Game Developers
As developers, many are pouring blood, sweat and tears into games so they become successful. In the end though, money and success doesn’t always buy happiness.
For example, Fez, an indie game by Phil Fish, became one of the most popular video games of 2012 and won the Independent Games Festival’s Grand Prize. That wasn’t without a rocky relationship that Phil had with Fez along the way, and it didn’t get any better - a sequel to Fez was supposed to be in development, but in 2013 the project was canceled and Phil has completely dropped out of the game development world since.
So what is it that goes through the minds of game developers, breaking their hearts in the process? Tanya Short, creative director at Kitfox Games (creator of Shattered Planet and Moon Hunters) wrote a great article highlighting the 7 ways that game developers break their own hearts. You can read it here on GamaSutra.