Monetization with Bob Ferrari – 6/19/12
A few weeks ago, Bob Ferrari, CEO of Bare Tree Media, dropped by to talk to the SIP teams about monetization. Bob was a big fan of free to play games, informing the teams of their relative advantages, such as the low bar of entry, the ability to attract large numbers of players, and then to convert a small minority of those players into paying customers, allowing for a veritable cornucopia of conversion dollars. Bob was also favorable toward licensed products, extolling their virtues, such as the easy availability of a built in audience, as well as the financial support of a vested partner.
The teams the laid out their original monetization plans, and Bob suggested ways to improve them. Here are a choice pair:
The Blind Horizons team, the original owners of Energy Drive, first proposed creating unique USB drives that would feature the game as an executable, and then sell those. Players would play for a month and then pass on the USB to a friend. Their second proposal involved creating a paid app that would go on Facebook. Bob recommended the Facebook option as the surer route, since the sort of timed Farmville-like gameplay would fit snugly into Facebook’s niche. He further argued that releaseing it for free would greatly increase their audience, and that adding microtransactions (like an instant build or doubling energy production) would create an effective business model. Upon consideration, the team agreed, and the game has had a different direction since.
80HD has wanted their unique touch-based puzzler to come to iOS devices since its inception. But the monetization model has confounded them. They debated having both a premium paid app and a free ‘demo’ app versus having a free app with microtransactions. While neither idea was bad, Bob suggested that a free app with microtransactions was the better option. He proposed that getting your product out to as many people as possible by removing the barrier to entry was the way to go, and then following that up by letting players buy coins or other types of microtransactions would net them more players in the long run. – Oleg Brodskiy