Big Fish Games changes affiliate program

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Maupin, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. Escaper

    Escaper New Member

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    I will definitely switch to Reflexive's affiliate program after this new rules by BFG. I don't want to promote their games for 1 year and then i will lost my customers. If i continue, after a few years all my regular visitors will be theirs and as a result all my earnings will begin to decrease if i cannot find new customers. If we will lost our customers after 1 year, why we need to pay and advertise for our site to get new customers? It is very risky and not clever. I think BFG will lost most of its affiliates because of this new affilate program. But, maybe they have found enough customers withing 3 years with their affiliates and for this reason they don't need us after now. They should know that better reporting tools, better affiliate site and etc. aren't very important for us, if our earnings decrease very much. We have worked very hard to promote their site and games since 2006 and now they give us these new things.

    It was good at the beginning, when it first released in 2006:
    http://forums.indiegamer.com/showthread.php?t=8340

    But not now...
     
  2. ChocoSnowDotCom

    ChocoSnowDotCom New Member

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    where any of my messages? :(

    where any of my messages? :(
     
  3. James C. Smith

    Moderator Original Member

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    There are system you can use that will let you deliver a specific game trial to one of your visitors and guarantee that you will get credit for the sale of that game if the player ends up buying the game. In systems like this there are no cookies involved and it doesn't matter what other affiliates already 'tagged' that customer. If they download a game form you and then buy it then you get paid [period]. The trick is, the systems I am talking about are not referral systems. You don't refer someone to another game portal and get credit if they buy something. Instead you manage the customer yourself but rely on tools and inventory from a supplier to help you do it. But you keep the customer rather than referring them to someone else and getting paid a finders fee.



    Thanks to Escaper for posting the link to the old topic. It was a fun re-read. Here is my post from 2007 about the PNP system. It seems very relevant today.

     
  4. GolfHacker

    GolfHacker Member

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    Ah, good point James. Maybe that's where some of the friction is coming from. I for one am looking for content for my own site.
     
  5. Qitsune

    Qitsune New Member

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    But that's only once they have bought. Isn't it?
     
  6. Roman Budzowski

    Indie Author

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    Qitsume, I don't know exactly, but my understanding is that it was not only when people bought the game, but also when they just gave the email to BFG, and you can give the email to BFG in many places without making a purchase.
     
  7. Escaper

    Escaper New Member

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    I don't know where or who to contact but may you please tell me why my latest comment about new BFG affiliate program haven't accepted? I just wanted to say somethings because i was one of their top affiliates. Please accept my comment and allow it to be shown. Many thanks.
     
  8. Maupin

    Original Member

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    Well, it's been a week and I've given the new Big Fish Games Affiliate Program a shot. I'm extremely disappointed and I no longer believe being an affiliate of Big Fish Games is a viable strategy to make income from a game-related website, especially with alternative programs available.

    Now I appear to be earning about 60% of what I was previously. What was before a slow, steady rise in monthly income now looks to be a flat line.

    I'd be surprised if any affiliates of the former Big Fish Games PNP program are pleased with the new program. The only advantage it seems to offer over the PNP program is real-time reporting. In fact, it's hard to see the new program as anything other than an attempt to reclaim a large chunk of the $10,000+ per day earned by affiliates of Big Fish Games on customers they previously referred.

    The switchover announcement portrays the lifetime reservation system of the PNP program as a disadvantage, when it's exactly that aspect which made PNP so worthwhile. As Matthew and others have said, a large amount of the risk of sending customers to another, fancier game site (with a ginormous marketing budget) was alleviated by the fact that if you did happen to refer a new customer you'd earn 25% of all his or her future purchases with Big Fish Games. Now, you earn 40% of their purchases for a year, which isn't nearly as valuable.

    Let's say the average Big Fish Games customer buys twelve games a year. Under this new program an affiliate can expect to make $33.55 off of a single customer. That's it. Under the previous program, an affiliate made $20.97 in one year, $41.94 in two years, $62.91 in three years, etc.

    As far as I can tell (from my portal which receives thousands of unique visitors a day), opening up 60 million non-purchasing addresses has done little to nothing to change the number of new paying customers I referred to Big Fish Games in the last week. In fact, my eligible addresses have remained the same. As I referred new ones, those I referred a year ago dropped out. Two steps forward, two steps back. The previous program took some time to see results, but once you were earning money regularly, it stayed at that level or increased. The new program is like trying to transport sand in a pail with holes.

    I haven't seen anyone mention the disappearance of the multi-tiered aspect of the PNP program (in which you earned 25% of the 25% anyone you referred earned should they have decided to participate in the program). This was another unique and exciting part of the former program. I heavily promoted this aspect and its disappearance has essentially wiped out all my earnings from one account. My freeware remake Natto-Cat was making about $8 per day because another forum member here signed up through an ad on its page and really gave the program a shot. Now Natto-Cat is making about 27 cents per day.

    Finally, I didn't expect the PNP program to be around forever, but it refects extremely poorly on Big Fish Games that they removed it overnight, with no warning to their partners (as they used to refer to affiliates). I'd like to think that I wouldn't treat my partners that way.
     
    #68 Maupin, Feb 13, 2010
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2010
  9. DFG

    DFG
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    I've seen a revenue drop as well, not that much, but still surprising given the higher commission rate.
     
  10. Jack Norton

    Indie Author

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    Ahem...true but:
    Did reflexive warned any developer (even worse, because they weren't affiliates) before switching to their $6.99 no-gamepass prices for almost ALL games? NO.

    They're all just companies and not your "friends". They will try to get maximum income for THEM (and not YOU) and nothing else.
    Anyone who believes the opposite and/or bases his living to "someone else" trusting him blindly should wake up to the real world.
     
  11. Maupin

    Original Member

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    Certainly Reflexive hasn't always behaved well, either (Regarding Reflexive, I was more upset about their no-notice cancellation of affiliate-generated discounts, as that was a big part of my site/advertising at the time). But this thread is about the Big Fish Games affiliate program.
     
  12. KNau

    Original Member

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    Methinks BFG is adjusting practices in hopes of a takeover bid. Just sayin'
     
  13. wazoo

    Original Member

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    Completely, thanks James!

    Also interesting that in this thread, there has been zero actual input from the people at BFG close to the financials, whereas in that thread from 2007, you had nothing BUT feedback and back-and-forth with the staff.

    IMHO Grey Alien might want to consider wiping his "clarifications" in this situation, as they leave him open to potential legal issues from every side. He's not been privy to the deal, or authorized by BFG to talk on behalf of the company, yet trying to provide interpretation....(I'm just sayin'...)

    just my 2 cents.
     
  14. Grey Alien

    Indie Author

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    Thanks for your concern. I was authorised to post my responses by BFG and the responses were based on information from (and approved by) people directly involved with the new program. Normally I do only speak for myself (as it says in my signature) but this was a rare case where I spoke on behalf of BFG. I hope that this clarifies the situation.
     
  15. Frozen In Ice

    Original Member Indie Author

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    Looks as though we may terminate our relationship with BFG as well. We had two sites utilizing their affiliate system, one that performed with fairly steady numbers. However, since the change over, we have seen absolutely nothing. It's been flatlined and now our advertising costs have been outweighing the incoming revenue ( 100 % advertising, 0% income).
     
  16. bantamcitygames

    Administrator Original Member Indie Author Greenlit

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    I had a similar experience when Reflexive cut prices, but I've been able to break even lately so, I maintain the site now only for traffic purposes.
     
  17. JoKa

    Indie Author

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    Meanwhile I stopped any advertising, this system isn't worthy. Fortunately it motivated me to build a casual blog which now generates other revenue.
     
  18. Frozen In Ice

    Original Member Indie Author

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    Agreed. We've ceased all advertising as well and are reviewing other options.
     
  19. jmc

    jmc
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    We've modified our site so that once a potential customer has downloaded a game from bfg, it gets a cookie and it is served a new site with games from the reflexive system when (s)he comes back on the site. Since a given customer is given for a lifetime we do not want him seeing bfg again ;)

    Jmc.
     
  20. Shaz

    Moderator Original Member

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    *sigh*

    BFG have removed all Collector's Edition games from their XML feed. Because Collector's Editions are only available to BFG Game Club members, and they don't want non-members downloading a game that they can't purchase.

    Why, why, why, why? NONE of this makes sense.

    My site is entirely driven by the XML feed. If I happen to have a customer who IS a BFG Game Club member, I can't offer them Collector's Editions. If I happen to have a visitor who is NOT a BFG Game Club member but is searching for one of these special games, I can't sell it to them.

    Why can't they just show on the purchase page that the customer needs to join the game club in order to purchase it? Or even put it in the game's description? WHY do they even RESTRICT purchase of collector's editions to game club members? Last I heard, you could join the game club, purchase your game, then 'un'join straight away.



    Re the Reflexive affiliate program - I offered the Reflexive Bundle when it was available, and a customer from France who purchased it emailed me to say in addition to the quoted price for the bundle, she had to pay sales tax when she got to the order page - she wasn't pleased to find out at the point of sale that she had to pay more than I'd advertised. I don't recall EVER having to pay sales tax for a game from Reflexive Arcade. Has this changed, or is there a list of countries where the sales tax applies? That's the main thing stopping me jumping the BFG ship right now.
     

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