Kongregate pay-to-play flash games

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Jack Norton, Apr 23, 2010.

  1. Jack Norton

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    I've visited Kongregate after a while, and I noticed that many game are starting to use the pay-to-play system, with their virtual currency (Kreds).
    I find it interesting that not just the MMO but also normal singleplayer games like latest ninja kiwi TD sell premium content.
    Of course, LOTs of people are complaining. The most common comment being:
    Would be interesting to know how it's working, developer side, for normal singleplayer games...
     
  2. Jack Norton

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    yep I remember you posted that already in another thread, I thought the 30% increase was referring only to MMO games! anyway cool, would be great to hear some first-hand info from devs who posts here even if probably they don't want to share :D
     
  3. mrkwang

    mrkwang New Member

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    If I don't like to pay, I might not play that seems-to-be-free-but-pay-to-play games.
    There are already MANY see-advertisement-and-free-to-play games in Kongregate.
     
  4. Bad Sector

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    hm, why make a Flash pay-to-play game and not just a regular downloadable commercial game? You'll need to beef up a bit your game anyway to compete with the free ones.
     
  5. Jack Norton

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    Yes, beside you get to use languages for people sane of mind like python :D
    (sorry I had to say it lol)
     
  6. Nexic

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    My gut instinct tells me microtransaction flash games are going to make more than the same game would as a downloadable in most cases. Can't back that up with any hard facts of course, that's just my guess.
     
  7. JGOware

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    I don't think any of them are pay to play. I think all of them are "pay to get more stuff from the game". Levels, weapons, dress up your avatar, etc, etc.
     
  8. Jack Norton

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    I think will depend for which kind of game. For shooters/male oriented games, for sure (see Robokill).

    Well something similar to the demo/fullversion system of shareware, right?
     
  9. JGOware

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    "Well something similar to the demo/fullversion system of shareware, right?"

    Well.. in a sense, most of the flash games that have mt's give you enough content to warrant spreading the game around while allowing you to purchase cheats, weapons, levels, etc, etc. There are indeed a few flash games that are pay to play, but they are usually site locked to the author's site. Plus they usually have a few smaller viral games floating around advertising the larger game/site, etc, etc.
     
  10. Chris Evans

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    I guess the advantage of doing a Flash pay-to-play game is that it's easier to get eyeballs in front of your game compared to downloadables. Right now, there really isn't an easy-access distribution channel for downloadables. Places like Steam have strict gate-keepers. And developing traffic for your website usually takes some time.

    I'm not saying doing downloadables is bad. Just that I can see why someone would choose to make a Flash pay-to-play game over a downloadable commercial game.
     
  11. kevintrepanier

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    A CPM of $86 is pretty convincing (source: previously linked gamasutra's article), considering a front pager on kongregate can quickly gather millions of views.

    Exposure for Flash games is HUGE. The down side to that is that the durability is low. While some downloadable developers continue to sell games 10 years + after their release, you are lucky if your Flash games still make profits a year later (except maybe some slight residual ad profits).

    However, it seems the Flash market is evolving to make place for premium, bigger, longer-lived games. There might be more interesting avenues than we can even imagine now. (Danc from Lost Garden is working on that)
     
  12. electronicStar

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    If you use some of the Flash distribution channels (Mochi, heyzap, etc...) you can get your game on hundreds of website practically overnight. Big websites like kongregate or NewGrounds give you acceess to million more eyeballs rather easily.
    It's much more difficult having a downloadable game distributed.
    As kevintrepanier said, flash games are hopefully going to evolove towards more quality and more options for rentability for devellopers.
     
  13. James C. Smith

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    One advantage of Flash over download is that you don't have to make a separate version for each OS. Why wrap the game is a seperate downloadable projector EXE thing for Windows and Mac when you could just let people play the native SWF.

    But the bigger advantage is that there is no need for the end user to install things. Users are starting to get the message that downloading and installing stuff can lead to spyware, viruses, extra pop-ups, slower PCs, and all kinds of badness. In the arms race between malware creators and anti-malware software anything that gets installed can get caught in the crossfire. Many user just avoid installing things, and for those who do install games, the games often get false positives from anti-malware programs. The world is so much simpler when you just stay in your browser and never install anything. But players are still looking for deeper and richer game experiences than you find in most free browser based games and some players are willing to pay to get that enhanced experience even if (or especially if) it doesn't get downloaded and installed.
     
  14. Bad Sector

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    Eh, i'm not talking about a Flash downloadable, but a normal downloadable :p. Also in whatever case (Flash or normal), the installer part will be about %0.0001 of the whole development process.

    About the other part about downloading stuff viruses, i think you are over generalizing. Only a fragment of the gaming audience (casual gamers who have no idea about computers and just figured out where the poweron button is) are afraid of such things. If your audience is in that fragment, then your fears might be true. But not everyone's audience is that fragment (including those who target casual gamers, otherwise BFG would be broke right now).
     
  15. tfowers

    tfowers New Member

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    We're right in the middle of all of this. We have two flash games out that upsell to download versions using AIR. Out first game, Now Boarding has been very successful at getting people to download and buy. Also it has a very long tail - we are still paying the bills with it.
    Our new game Clockwords hasn't done nearly as well. It is a word game, so that limits audience somewhat. We offer both a in-game upgrade and a download. The download has some extra game modes mostly. We've tried alot of different approaches - pricing, promote web premium or promote download more, etc. We had the best response with the web premium at a very low price - 2.99 It kind of feels like the App Store has shaped expectations - it's ok to pay a few bucks for a flash-type game if you enjoy it. The problem is even if you have a lot more depth in your game, the low price expectation is there. Also the download hasn't been very effective with Clockwords, most people want to unlock and play right in the browser.
    It's an ongoing experiment - feel free to contact me if you have questions about how we've done it. Also my speech at Flash Gaming Summit about upselling in flash is here: https://admin.adobe.acrobat.com/_a561260173/p72234415/ it has lots of stats and stuff.
     
  16. Jack Norton

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    Thanks very interesting info! I have a question though, you said that your first game still converts well as flash->download. You have any idea why? I mean, you said that:
    But from what I understand, people are still happy to buy the download version of Now Boarding. So was wondering if you have any extra considerations about this? Maybe type/kind of game ?
     
  17. Spore Man

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    There are other factors here than just Flash VS downloadable. Kongregate has a developer program and will FUND some projects with advances. So, faced with going at it alone making a game with no cash, some devs opted for what Kong has to offer.
     
  18. JGOware

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    "considering a front pager on kongregate can quickly gather millions of views."

    Not at all as easy as it sounds, plus most of the front paged games at Kong are sponsored by Kong as well. Some don't look sponsored by Kong, but they are, they get performance bonus for traffic sent to Kong when they are taken off the site and added to other sites, etc, etc.
     
  19. princec

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    10,000 games. Only one front page.

    Cas :)
     

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