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Free-to-Play: Making Money From Games You Give Away

Book Description

“ Will’s knowledge of F2P comes from years of building games, as well as writing about and consulting with developers on the model. All the topics covered in this book—economics, gameplay, monetization, analytics and marketing—are important to consider when you’re building an F2P game, and Will covers each with an easy-to-digest style.” —Ian Marsh, co-founder, NimbleBit

Free-to-Play: Making Money From Games You Give Away is an accessible and complete guide to the business model that has revolutionized the videogames industry, creating huge hits, multi-billion-dollar startups and a new deal for players: Play for free, spend on what you like.

Written by respected game designer and consultant Will Luton, Free-to-Play gives you the in-the-trenches insight you need to build, run and make money from games you give away. In it you’ll find:

  • Psychology behind player decisions and the motivations to play

  • Simple and accessible explanations of the math and economic theories behind F2P, including working examples

  • Processes for capturing and using player data to improve your game

  • Marketing tips on positioning your game and attracting players

  • Plus: A downloadable F2P spreadsheet, articles from the author, a foreword by NimbleBit co-founder Ian Marsh and an interview with Zynga CEO, Mark Pincus.

  • Table of Contents

    1. Title Page
    2. Copyright Page
    3. Dedication Page
    4. Acknowledgments
    5. About the Author
    6. Foreword
      1. Discovering F2P
      2. F2P Success
      3. Why F2P Is Better
      4. Why This Book Is Important
    7. Contents
    8. Introduction: How F2P Changed Games
      1. The Opportunity of F2P
      2. How This Book Works
    9. 1. Economics: How the Money Works
      1. Physical vs. Digital (Why Bits Aren’t Atoms)
      2. The Internet Is an Open Market; Your Game Isn’t
      3. We Don’t Buy Things; We Buy Emotions
      4. Not All Players Spend Equally
      5. The Math
      6. Winning at F2P: Increasing Profits with KPIs
    10. 2. Gameplay: Keeping Players Coming Back
      1. F2P: The Good Games Revolution
      2. Core Loops: The Beating Heart of Games
      3. Sessioning: Showing Your Players the Door
      4. Return Triggers: Enticing Your Players to Come Back
      5. Player Motivations: Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds and Spades
      6. Goal Systems: Retaining Players for Years
      7. Don’t Tick Boxes
    11. 3. Monetization: Players Reward You with $$$
      1. IAP 101
      2. What to Sell: The Four Cs of IAPs
      3. Creating Demand: Supply and Pinch Points
      4. Creating Value: Comparison, Quality and Experience
      5. Breaking the Barrier: Getting Players to Spend
      6. Beyond IAPs
      7. Observe, Improve, Repeat
    12. 4. Analytics: Understanding and Serving Your Players
      1. The Eternal Beta
      2. Don’t Listen to What People Say, Look at What They Do
      3. Collecting Data
      4. AB Testing
      5. Statistics: The Analyst’s Toolbox
      6. The Art of Interpretation
      7. Gather Data, Test, Analyze
    13. 5. Marketing: Reaching Players
      1. Eyes on Your Game
      2. Players in the Funnel
      3. No Two Players Are Alike
      4. Catching Leaks: Sharing Players and Building Communities
      5. Strategic Positioning
      6. The High-level Proposition
      7. The Best Marketing of All
    14. Appendix A. The F2P Spreadsheet
    15. Appendix B. Additional Resources on Free-to-Play Games
      1. More Money From Your Mobile Game for Zero Cash: Tips on Maximizing Sales and Revenue
      2. There’s Nothing Sinister About High-Value IAPs
      3. Games are Machines; You are an Engineer
      4. When You Don’t Need a Consultant
    16. Appendix C. Interview with Zynga Co-Founder and CEO Mark Pincus
    17. Index