Casual Games size limit - blown out the door?

Discussion in 'Development & Distribution' started by Chaster, Mar 24, 2005.

  1. Chaster

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    I just noticed that one of the current (as of today) top 10 Real Arcade games is over 250 megabytes ( :eek: ). The game is ISpy.

    This surprises me because while I believed that casual games could be bigger than 5 megs, I didn't think a 250+ meg casual game would sell well just because it's frickin' huge... Heck, I have a 4 mbps cable connection and *I* don't want to download it!...

    What do you folks think about this?

    Chaster
     
  2. princec

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    Who are you, one of the Double Take Brothers??? That 5mb limit was another Pavlina myth that everyone latched onto years ago. It seemed like no-one noticed when he started releasing 10mb games.

    Cas :)
     
  3. Jim Buck

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    A) Never forget that there are rules and exceptions to the rules.
    B) Does "Top 10 Games" actually mean anything on RealArcade? (Or, perhaps, they are trying to test the water?)
     
  4. Dan MacDonald

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    ISpy is a known franchise from the huge book selling company "Scholastic". If anything it shows the power of a known brand....
     
  5. ManuelFLara

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    I think it's Top DOWNLOADED Games so it means something.
     
  6. gpetersz

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    The 5M or even the 10M barrier is not any more I think. With the spreading of broadband it crawled higher. 25? 50?
    250 seems a bit insane, but not impossible. If it would be something I want badly than I might give it a "download".
     
  7. cliffski

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    I agree that 5MB is not an upper limit any more. I think you are looking at maybe 30 meg for a casual spur-of-the-moment download. maybe you can go as high as 50MB if the screenshots look great and reviews are good.
    But a 250MB downlaod is probably reserved just for known franchises. Im sure Age Of Empires 3 can get many downloads at 250MB, not so sure about any of our games.
     
  8. svero

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I have to say its surprised me a bit. 250mb is a pretty healthy download. More than I'm willing to sit for. There have been similar examples in the past though. Roller Coaster tycoon was a pretty big download that made it into the top 10. Also a known brand.
     
  9. dan

    dan
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    Well, to be fair to anyone who claimed such a rule, all tech limit rules come with an expiration date.

    250M is a lot, but I wouldn't be surprised if some popular casual games started creeping up to 20M or 30M. Cutting off the dialups is a smaller issue as time goes on.
     
  10. Yarlen

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    At 250MB I would expect one heck of a game. ;)

    With the spread of broadband, I think many people are open to larger download sizes. Until you really get up there, the difference in size only equates to another few seconds/minutes of download time to the end-user on a fast connection. Of course, people will also expect more from a game too with the increased size (i.e., better graphics, sound, etc.).
     
  11. gpetersz

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    Yes you are right in our point of view (ie. so called experts).
    But the secretary for example will not even know what a byte is...
     
  12. terin

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    For the record

    I've never believed in the mythical download limit.

    People will download good games. I downloaded 100 meg games back when the fastest modem was 14.4 and I certainly wasn't the only one.

    -Joe
     
  13. cliffski

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    but was that a casual game you saw a screenshot of and had never heard of/ or was it the next quake? That's the difference.
    I'd download a Cossacks 2 demo if it was 500MB (although god knows who would be paying for that bandwidth) but if its a game I haven't heard of that's a different matter entirely. Longer downlaods also give the custoemr more opportunity to say 'sod it' and cancel it to download/play something else.
     
  14. James C. Smith

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    A large download size can reduce the number of units you sell because fewer customers who will try your demo. (you all know that part already) But it can also decrease the profits of each unit sold by increasing the hosting coasts. It is expensive to serve such large files especially if you one get 1% of the downloads to turn into a $20 sale. (or in Real’s case, as $13 sale if you average in the discounted game pass sales). A game that big has to maintain a very high conversion ratio or the partial will either stop selling the game or subtract the hosting coasts out of the royalties paid. My point it, it is possible that even though ISpy is the number 3 seller, it could easily be the #40 profit generator because it has much higher coasts.

    When you are a little Indie hosting a few games on your web site it is easy to get $4 per month web hosting from eDataRack.com which includes 60 GB of Data Transfer. Or for $55 per month you could get 400 GB of Data Transfer per month. That would be enough to serve up 1,600 copies of ISpy. But eDataRack.com can only offer that price because they are betting that most of their customers won’t use all that Data Transfer every month. They don’t offer plans with 10 times the Data Transfer for 10 times the price. When you are serving up many terabytes of data every month you have to pay at least $.20 or $.30 cents per GB. If you assume you get a 20 cent per GB deal, and you have a 1% conversion ratio, that means your hosting coats for ISpy would be $4.88 per copy sold. (To get 1 sale you serve up 100 demos at 250 MB each totaling 24.41 GB of data at $0.20 per GB = $4.88) .

    The point is, just because ISpy is the #3 seller this week that doesn’t mean it is very profitable. It has MUCH higher coasts than a 5 MB game.
     
  15. terin

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    Hmm

    I really don't believe there is much point to making casual games without one hell of a good product and a good plan. In which case, if you have those, once again I think the Download limit doesn't apply.

    If you make an ok game that is 250 megs it will do worse than an ok game that is 10. That's obvious to me: The portals came up with the size rule because there aren't enough great games to justify large sizes, so they are forced to take ok or 'good' games.

    That's my bet :) If you're making a great product then you can ignore that size barrier... but honestly, great products are few and far between and every judge views great in a different way.

    I was speaking in reference to the entire Kesmai series of games in the early 90s and I think the original Multiplayer Battletech.

    -Joe
     
  16. TomSpilman

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    Out of curiosity i looked up the latest broadband penetration info. It comes down to US broadband adoption being 56.3% and worldwide broadband adoption at 62%. Both impressive numbers.
     
  17. Chaster

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    As the original Poster, I feel like I need to clarify what I said:

    "...while I believed that casual games could be bigger than 5 megs, I didn't think a 250+ meg casual game would sell well just because it's frickin' huge..."

    Just to repeat - I do NOT think casual games have to be 5 megs or less. (heck, our last game was over 5 megs). I just have thought that to be a hit selling CASUAL game, they need to be less than ohhh, about 30 megs... (currently - obviously, as broadband gets more penetration and gets broader, this number goes up)...

    I was just suprised that a purely casual game (I've seen the game, it's no Quake/Half life) which was OVER 250 MEGS, could be successful in the download market.

    Note that I'm not saying I disbelieve my eyes, I'm merely *surprised*...

    Chaster
     
  18. Greg Squire

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    The "I Spy" game was originally a CD-ROM game that is now being sold through RealArcade. There are a number of others like this that they sell as well, such as RollerCoaster Tycoon (97Mb), Tonka Construction 2 (124Mb), Monopoly 3 (230Mb), etc. They are large because "Downloadable Size" wasn't even a consideration when those games were made. The only size consideration may have been "will it fit on a CD?".
     
  19. Jack Norton

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    hmm interesting. why Italy is only 42% then? ;)
     
  20. terin

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    Because..

    Because the rest of the world is picking up your slack :p LOL

    -Joe
     

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