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   2011年8月15日消息,据国外媒体报道,一款名为Tiny Tower游戏的手机悄然走红,下载量已超过450万次。游戏以玩家盖楼为主要内容,通过盖楼了解居住在楼内人的生活和工作。评论认为,游戏脱颖而出的重要原因是它可以通过建楼,旁窥到楼内的“虚拟”人生,“操纵”楼内人的生活方式和职业习惯,了解他们的喜好。Tiny Tower玩家也可以通过好友的建设和管理方法改进自己的大楼。

  Tiny Tower自今年6月22日问世以来,立刻走红。虽然从下载量看,与“愤怒的小鸟”等当红游戏相去甚远,但作为一款只在iPhone上提供的游戏,现在累计的下载量在AppStore中已经算得上首屈一指了。

  这款游戏是由28岁的David Marsh和Ian Marsh双胞胎兄弟开发的。目前,Tiny Tower的日访问量超过600万次,平均每人次每天的开机时间为1.5小时。

  David Marsh把游戏的成功归功于人们对未来生活的好奇,“人们不可能超越时间,但都好奇自己的未来和别人的未来。人们希望能把控自己的生活。”

  Tiny Tower可以免费下载,但必须花钱才能给房子加层装修。Daivd表示,用免费的牌子吸引来玩家,玩家真正觉得好玩后,就会再上面花钱了。现在约有4%的玩家使用付费项目,虽然不多但已足够维持正常运转。(

目录

《Tiny Tower》开发者:趣味性和用户体验当居首位编辑本段回目录

创办独立游戏工作室NimbleBit的双胞胎兄弟David和Ian Marsh今年取得了非凡成就。今年,这对兄弟发布了免费游戏《Tiny Tower》,该游戏不断成长,成为他们造成最大市场轰动的游戏。在2011即将结束之际,苹果将《Tiny Tower》评为2011年最佳iPhone游戏。

对所有开发者来说,这都将是个令人羡慕的成就。让更多人佩服的是,NimbleBit完全自力更生。这对兄弟结合了他们在游戏和网页开发方面的专业技能,让公司不断成长,没有接受任何来自外部的资助。他们在最近的媒体访谈中介绍了其工作室运营理念。

David and Ian Marsh(from NimbleBit)

David and Ian Marsh(from NimbleBit)

你的故事似乎印证了免费游戏的崛起。在转向开发免费游戏《Pocket Frogs》和《Tiny Tower》之前,你已经发布了数款游戏。你对那些游戏的表现感觉如何?

David Marsh(游戏邦注:下文简称“DM”):我们属于首批尝试在App Store中发布免费游戏的工作室。在“Free App A Day”服务出现之前,我们已经常通过一两天限时免费的方式获得曝光度和下载量。许多开发者想知道为何我们自愿放弃1天的盈利,如果我们可以通过这种方式将新游戏交叉推广给数百万玩家,那么这1天的盈利着实是个很小的代价。

《Pocket Frogs》的成功让我们感到惊奇,而《Tiny Tower》能够受到如此多玩家的欢迎更是意料之外的事。如果《Pocket Frogs》的成功表明平衡性良好的免费增值游戏有可能受到用户青睐并获得盈利,那么《Tiny Tower》的成功则算是再次验证了这个想法。在市场中充斥着大型团队以指标和盈利为目标而设计的游戏时,趣味性和免费体验为首要设计目标的游戏确实更容易获得回报。

之前你们在刚刚发布《Tiny Tower》后接受过一次采访,当时你说这款游戏的表现比你们付费应用强50倍。该游戏这6个月来的下载量、月活跃用户和日活跃用户如何?

《Tiny Tower》的盈利在发布后的这段时间里确实有所波动,但是它所获得的盈利依然是我们之前发布的付费应用的数倍。自发布之后,游戏的下载量已超过700万。因为被苹果评为年度最佳iPhone游戏,所以年底下载量有可能超过800万。在游戏发布不久之后,《Tiny Tower》达到了100万日活跃用户的巅峰期,目前的数量在60万左右,而且正在不断增加中。

你对转向免费游戏的策略有何想法?你以前发布过付费应用,但现在它们都是免费的。

我认为,让玩家预先为数字游戏付费的时代正走向终结。如果游戏不是免费的,那么它就要准备好同不断增加的大量免费替代品(游戏邦注:包括该游戏的盗版产品)相竞争。

如果你制作的是能够真正吸引人们的产品,那么你最好让玩家自行决定游戏体验究竟价值几何,但随后可以获得更多的盈利。而且,不同题材免费增值游戏数量的增加证明,这种运营模型不只限于休闲农场类游戏。这个模式的另一个优势在于,你的盈利并不直接与排行榜位置挂钩。即便游戏长时间淡出排行榜,忠实玩家依然愿意在游戏中投入更多金钱。

你之前说过,《Tiny Tower》的玩家中有2.6%是付费用户。随着接受免费模式的玩家数增多,这个数字是否有所增长?每用户平均盈利是否有所改变?

就目前的数据来看,《Tiny Tower》的玩家中大约有5%是付费用户,每付费用户平均盈利在10美元左右。对于我们的每用户平均盈利在这段时间内如何改变,我并没有确切的答案,因为我们没有主动跟踪这项数据。

去年Ian Marsh表示,《Pocket Frogs》中盈利最多的应用内置付费功能(游戏邦注:下文简称“IAP”)是29.99美元的选项,虽然选择该项的用户只有8%。《Tiny Tower》是否也是类似的情况?

《Tiny Tower》的IAP情况如下:

购买选项:0.99美元(43%),4.99美元(52%),29.99美元(4%)

盈利份额:0.99美元(10%),4.99美元(60%),29.99美元(30%)

《Tiny Tower》中的鲸鱼用户的数量似乎相对较少,原因可能是该游戏的用户类型及低付费玩家的数量居多。

tiny-tower-iphone(from techsingh)

tiny-tower-iphone(from techsingh)

你们成功地创造出两款有着不同机制和主题的流行游戏。这并非易事,你们认为自己的游戏为何会获得成功?

我认为其原因在于,我们首先考虑的是游戏的趣味性体验,而并非其盈利性。

作为开发者,我们更喜欢在游戏中添加精彩内容加深体验,而不是无数次地改变体验来使盈利最大化。

我认为,相对那些需要向股东汇报业绩或朝收购方向努力的公司来说,这是我们的主要优势。我们开展的所有内部测试以及随后的公测都没有将应用内置付费功能植入其中。我们致力于将“付费”内容转变为可选项而非必选项,而且我想玩家已经领会了这个意图。

你们刚刚通过Mobage Network进军Android市场。目前你对Android有何看法?就免费游戏的用户行为而言,你可曾发现某些Android和iOS的不同之处?

像我们这样的工作室根本无法做到自行开发Android应用,所以我们必须寻找合作伙伴。虽然游戏只发布了数个月时间,但是在Android上取得与iOS同样的成功似乎将是项艰难的挑战。两个平台的大部分内容都相同,我认为Android和iOS用户的每用户盈利也很接近。困难之处在于,比起iOS平台,要在Android不同设备上创造出相同的体验比较麻烦。

那么,NimbleBit下一步的计划是什么?

我们花了大量时间了支持和更新《Tiny Tower》,上个月,我们开始转向下款游戏的制作,这款游戏是全新的原创内容。(本文为游戏邦/gamerboom.com编译,作者:Kathleen De Vere)

Free-to-Play Pioneer NimbleBit Says to Put Fun and User Experience First, Not Monetization

Kathleen De Vere

It’s been a good year for David and Ian Marsh, the twin brothers behind independent developer NimbleBit. This past year, the pair launched the free-to-play game Tiny Tower, which went on to become their biggest iOS hit yet. And then, to cap off their year, Apple selected Tiny Tower as its iPhone game of 2011.

This would be an enviable accomplishment for any developer. But it’s even more of one considering that NimbleBit is entirely bootstrapped. The brothers built grew the company from their combined expertise in game and web development without using any external funding for equipment, office space or extra employees.

Inside Network: Your story really seems to mirror the rise of free-to-play games in general. You’d already released several games before shifting to free-to-play with Pocket Frogs and Tiny Tower. How are you feeling about the performance of those games?

David Marsh: We were one of the first studios to experiment with making our games free on the App Store. Even back before services like Free App A Day existed, we would frequently drop our paid games to free for a day or two to get publicity and a ton of downloads. Many developers wondered why we would sacrifice a day’s revenue, but it was a small price to pay when we were able to cross-promote every new game to millions of players, instead of thousands.

Pocket Frogs’ success took us by surprise. But the reception for Tiny Tower received totally blew us away. While Pocket Frogs hinted at the possibility of a responsibly balanced freemium game’s ability to be profitable and loved by players, Tiny Tower proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt. It is very rewarding to see games designed to be a fun and free experience first and foremost compete against games designed by large teams that put a focus on metrics and heavy-handed monetization.

IN: In a previous interview you did right after Tiny Tower launched, you said it was making 50 times the amount that your paid apps had. How is it doing six months on in terms of downloads, monthly active users and daily active users?

DM: Tiny Tower’s revenue has had some peaks and valleys since it launched but it has consistently stayed many times above what any of our previous paid games were able to achieve. Since launch the game has been downloaded over 7 million times and will probably exceed 8 million by the end of the year thanks to being chosen as Apple’s iPhone Game of the Year. Soon after launch, Tiny Tower peaked at nearly a million daily active users and has currently settled at just over 600,000 and rising.

IN: How do you feel about the movement towards free-to-play? You used to have paid apps but now they’re all free.

DM: I think the days of asking players to pay up front for digitally distributed games are waning. If a game isn’t free, then it is going to be compete against an ever-growing mountain of free alternatives (including pirated versions of the game itself).
If you make a product that people truly enjoy, then you can afford (and can profit more) by letting the players themselves decide how much the experience is worth. In addition, the increasing number of freemium games in different genres is proving that the business model isn’t limited to casual farming games. The other big advantage of the model has is that your revenue isn’t tied directly to your chart position. Even long after your game has disappeared off the charts, happy players can still decide to invest more in the game.

IN: You’d previously revealed that 2.6 percent of Tiny Tower’s players are paying customers. Have you seen that number increase as the free-to-play model gains more acceptance? Have you seen average revenue per user change?

DM: Running the numbers now is looks like roughly five percent of Tiny Tower players are paying, with an average of around $10 per paying player. Not quite sure how our ARPU or average revenue per user (gotta love those acronyms!) has changed over time, since it isn’t something we actively track.

IN: Last year Ian Marsh revealed that the your most profitable in-app purchase in Pocket Frogs was the $29.99 option, even though only eight percent of customers bought it. Are you seeing a similar story for Tiny Tower?

DM: We’re seeing the following breakdown of IAPs in Tiny Tower:

Purchases: $0.99 (43%), $4.99 (52%), $29.99 (4%)

Revenue: $0.99 (10%), $4.99 (60%), $29.99 (30%)

It seems like there might be a lower relative number of “big spenders” in Tiny Tower, perhaps because of its wider appeal and higher number of low paying players.

IN: You’ve managed to create two very popular games with very different mechanics and themes. That’s not easy – why do you think your games have been successful?

DM: I think it is the result of designing fun experiences, before even considering how they will be monetized.

We tend to fret a lot more over putting character and cool stuff into our games over manipulating how the game works in order to maximize certain metrics. As developers, we get more excited about putting cool stuff into the game than endlessly changing the experience to maximize revenue because we spend a lot of time playing the games.

I think that is one of the main advantages we have over companies that are answering to shareholders or trying to get acquired. All of our in-house testing and later, group beta testing is all done without in-app purchases implemented into the game. That is how we try to make the “pay” part of the game feel as optional as possible, and I think our players notice that.

IN: You’ve also just crossed over to Android as part of the Mobage Network. How are you feeling about Android so far? Have you noticed any difference between Android and iOS in terms of free-to-play user behavior?

DM: A studio of our size wouldn’t have even been able to consider Android development ourselves, so we have to rely on working with a partner. While the games have only been available for a few months, it looks like achieving the same kind of success on Android is going to be an uphill battle. All other things equal, I think revenue per user is pretty similar between Android and iOS users. The hard part is creating an experience that is as consistent across all the devices and flavors of Android as it is on iOS.

IN: So what’s next for NimbleBit?

DM: We have been spending a lot of time supporting and updating Tiny Tower, but as of the last month we have moved into full production on our next game which is going to be new intellectual property. (Source: Inside Mobile Apps)

参考文献编辑本段回目录

http://gamerboom.com/archives/43616

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