ANN: My Big Fish Games

Discussion in 'Feedback Requests' started by Emmanuel, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. Mark Wegner

    Mark Wegner New Member

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    Yep. Before sale/tax/blah. And 25% of a subscription is also recurring. So you get that $1.75 every month for 12 months. And if they're happy and renew their subscription...
     
  2. Mark Wegner

    Mark Wegner New Member

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    Thanks!

    My secret is passion for the brand of "The Diamond Games" and a drive to be successful at it through research and experimentation. This is my day job right now so I also have lots of time to work on it.

    I get most of my traffic through thediamondgames.com which I focus on converting to downloads with the bfg afcode links. I also run PPC. The other little sites I have setup really don't do much good and have probably cost me more in time and money than they've produced in traffic/sales and I don't recommend it as a path to take. Focusing on one thing and being heroic at it has a higher reward.
     
  3. soniCron

    Indie Author

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    Forgive me for being suspicious, but I did some checking and can't fathom how you manage to pull in so much money. There are a mere 25 linkbacks to your main site, several of which are from sites you run. (I should add, a few leverage trademarked domain names, such as caiobellagame.com - something I can't imagine is legal.) Finally, your Alexa rating - which I understand is hardly accurate - places your site only 15% higher than mine, and I hardly get enough traffic to pull in even close to $33K a year in sales.

    I'm not saying you're not legit, but I can't understand your rags-to-riches overnight success story. Care to explain?
     
  4. Mark Wegner

    Mark Wegner New Member

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    This isn't an overnight success story. I have built up traffic for over a year and I also spend a considerable amount on PPC. $10-15,000/year at the rate I've been at recently. My traffic is only about 4,000 uniques a day but it's all targeted towards game downloads for specific games and my site catalog has over 900 so I get a lot of long tail action.

    I've been promoting this site for over a year now through RSS/blogs/myspace/facebook/word-of-mouth.

    Regardless of all the details the point I've been trying to make all along that if you're trying to monetize traffic for casual games then I've found the best way to do it is with the new My Big Fish Games Program.
     
  5. soniCron

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    I see. Can you explain why you are more successful with My Big Fish Games than you were on your own?
     
  6. Mark Wegner

    Mark Wegner New Member

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    The core reason I am more successful with My Big Fish Games is because I'm receiving a part of the long-term value that a customer brings. Also my job is easier (I only need to refer them to a download once) and the rewards are greater (I share in the lifetime value of that customer). On my own I would have to do marketing, a giant newsletter list, daily updates, holiday promotions, game subscriptions… which is something I don’t have the resources to handle. BFG has found solutions for how to do all this and I am able to benefit from their expertise.

    With traditional affiliate programs you don’t have a share of what a customer is really worth to a portal. Instead the reward is closer to a finder’s fee because over time the customer will migrate to the more powerful marketing forces around, such as big fish games, yahoo! games, shockwave, reflexive, arcadetown, Microsoft, and pogo, download-free-games. That leaves you, the lowly affiliate, out in the cold. A prime example is that after you refer a customer to a site or download, they like the game, unlock it and you get your commission. Three months later will you still be making commissions from that customer? For me, it was rare to get a 2nd sale from a customer and my sales flat-lined after a while despite all my efforts to increase it. It’s because they were migrating to the bigger portals, or just visiting the site I was an affiliate for directly. These big portals know how to market to a customer, how to offer them what they want, and how to get them to come back. Now instead of silently losing customers to them I can refer customers to them myself and share in the value for as long as value exists.

    The customer is King, and Big Fish Games brings a lot of value for customers. I like their online section. I like the fact they send direct mail with coupons and game demo collections. I like that I can buy a subscription if I want to get games at a reduced price. They can do all sorts of things that I can’t on my own. I look at all the things they do and I am would rather send my customers to them because I know they will have a chance to be happy with their experience, and also, because in a few months they will be at their site instead of mine anyway precisely because I can’t offer those services myself. They're also the only ones with this type of affiliate program in the casual games industry.

    Now I have been able to spend time adding rating systems to my site, doing business development, running link campaigns, and helping others who are trying to enter into the market.

    The first month of Big Fish Games was the same as any traditional program, nothing special, and I was skeptical it would be worth my effort. The second month the sales kept going up as people made repeat purchases. Now I look at my customer list and I see a lot of people whom I’ve earned over $20 of rewards from. I feel confident saying that the lifetime referral model is working for me and that I couldn’t have the same success from any other casual game affiliate program. Of course I could always just start my own portal instead.
     
  7. Sirrus

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    By lifetime value, I'm assuming as soon as they download from your site - a tracking cookie keeps you as the affiliate, even if they visit BFG directly...so you still make a comission - correct?
     
  8. Mark Wegner

    Mark Wegner New Member

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    Nope. The tracking cookie is an intermediate stage and the lifetime value is from a list of email addresses that are stored in a database. When a customer downloads or buys a game they are asked for their email address and during that step the system checks for the cookie and makes the referral permanent. Once they're in the database it doesn't matter if they have a cookie on their computer or not.
     
  9. Mark Wegner

    Mark Wegner New Member

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    Also, yes, once the cookie is set they can visit BFG directly and you will still have them added as your referral as long as that cookie is still there.

    The cookie itself isn't the lifetime value though. The list of referrals is.
     
  10. Jack Norton

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    Hmm sorry I don't understand. Correct me if I'm wrong since I'm just barely remember:
    1) BFG says that even with subscription, developer gets the normal %, right?
    2) so 35% (or whatever percentage they give now) of $19.95 = around 6.99$
    3) if they give $1.75 to the myBFG referral, and they give about 6.99$ to developer, means that every referred subscriber they acquire, they lose $1.75 ? :confused:
     
  11. Roman Budzowski

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    Right. % not $.

    Of $6.99, not $19.95.
     
  12. Olivier

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    It would be easy to state the following, on net:
    25% goes to affiliate (MyBFG member)
    35% goes to developer
    40% goes to Big Fish Games

    But according to the MyBFG FAQ, the affiliate gets 25% of the purchase before tax. So what's the correct calculation then?

    Also thank you Mark for talking about your success and why you choose that particular program. Was an interesting read.
     
  13. picman

    Original Member

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    Economic value chain of MBFG

    MBFG payments:
    25% of gross goes to MBFG member
    6.25% of gross goes to MBFG member above them if they were referred by another member
    1.56% of gross goes to MBFG member above them if they were referred by another member
    x% of gross goes to MBFG member above them if they were referred by another member

    ----------
    33% of gross - Maximimum payout to MBFG members
    8% of gross - Ecommerce and DRM fees
    36.8% of gross - Paid to developers (40% * (100%-8%)) (We recently upped royalties for all developers (contact submissions@bigfishgames.com if you want to have your increased to 40% of net from 35%)
    22.2% of gross to Big Fish Games
    ----------
    100% of gross

    With the amount of staff and $$ we throw at install-base marketing and personnel to drive high volume, repeat sales, 22.2% is fair.

    We drive significant sales and lifetime value...that is what we are good at. The MBFG program is essentially putting our team to work for you. We download over 400,000 trials a day (closing in on 500,000) and averaged over 7,000 sales per day in December, so we can drive volume for customers you attract and you get paid on the lifetime value.

    Why would we do this? Simple. We were spending 35% of every dollar we earned on Google, Overture, and MSN paid search to attract new customers. If MBFG members do it for us, they get paid instead of these big search engines, and the economics are about the same for BFG, but this is more scalable. You can only spend so much money on search engines before your ROI drops too low to make sense. MBFG can scale infinitely. Developers and customers who participate then get a piece(or bigger piece in the case of a game developers) of the value chain. The service is very customer focussed right now, but we plan on rolling out a complete toolset for larger entities such as game developers in the coming months. Wihtout the consumer involvement it would not be as attractive to the larger companies. Now that it is a success for concumers, developers can refer just a handfull of customers and build a potentially very large network over time when their referrals join MBFG and invite their friends and so on.

    So why will this be better than a typical affiliate program:
    1) A share of the lifetime value of the customer, NOT a one time transaction
    2) The lifetime value is driven by one of the best marketing companies in the industry for you
    3) When your referrals join MBFG you get a viral network effect that expoentially increases the size fo your network that you earn from.

    Over 20% of The Diamond Games' referrals went on to create their own Game Space and further increase his network by them inviting a bunch of thier friends. (He was good at referring them to our site AND educating them about getting a Personal Game Space of thier own.)

    Cheers!

    Paul (The Big Fish)
     
  14. Olivier

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    Thanks for your explanation Paul.
     
  15. Pyabo

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    So... how's everyone doing with their GameSpace page? I'm up to $22.91! Woo hoo! :)
     
  16. Mark Wegner

    Mark Wegner New Member

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    $32,274.12
     
  17. Olivier

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    I-N-C-R-E-D-I-B-L-E-! :cool::cool::cool:
     
  18. Grey Alien

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    Awesome, thanks Paul and thanks for the explanation. I've emailed BFG. I've been meaning to make My BFG Games page for ages now but just delaying for one reason or another, better get to it!
     
  19. papillon

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    Just under $100. In terms of the amount of effort I've put into it vs the returns I'm seeing out of it, it falls in nicely with some of those lovely adult sites I used to get affiliate sales on... :)

    (well, actually, a LOT less direct effort, but I have to count the fact that I have existing games sites and they took SOME effort! :) )
     
  20. electronicStar

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    $0.00 :D
    I had lots of ideas but lacking the time to do anything, but I'll try to find some time to work on my page. I want to be as succesful as diamond game now, maybe I'll be able to quit my day job?:D
     

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