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One Year in the Life of a Top-Grossing Game: Operating and Growing Bejeweled Blitz Giordano Bruno Contestabile Executive Producer – Bejeweled, PopCap Games.

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Presentation on theme: "One Year in the Life of a Top-Grossing Game: Operating and Growing Bejeweled Blitz Giordano Bruno Contestabile Executive Producer – Bejeweled, PopCap Games."— Presentation transcript:

1 One Year in the Life of a Top-Grossing Game: Operating and Growing Bejeweled Blitz Giordano Bruno Contestabile Executive Producer – Bejeweled, PopCap Games November 17 th, 2012

2  Some quick facts Launched in late 2000 History: Bejeweled, Bejeweled 2, Bejeweled Twist, Bejeweled Blitz, Bejeweled 3 Key platforms: Facebook, iOS, PC/Mac Units sold: > 55 million Installs:> 200 million MAUs:> 25 million Total users: 500 million+

3 One Very Long Minute  History of Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook & iOS  December 2008: Bejeweled Blitz launches on Facebook  November 2009: Blitz mode and FB Connect added to Bejeweled 2 iOS client  December 2011: Bejeweled Blitz iOS launches as a freemium title  3+ years from launch, still consistently popular: Facebook: top 10 games by DAU (3M+) iPhone: top 10 highest-grossing games  One of the first games to be fully integrated across FB and iOS

4 Traditional PopCap model 1. Make game 2. Wait (years) for game to be made 3. Profit!!! 3 YEARS

5 Live service model 1. Prototype 2. It’s fun! 3. Production! 4. Telemetry first 5. MVP 6. Closed Beta 7. Open beta 8. Launch 9. Keep going! MONTH 1-3 MONTH 4-9 MONTH 9-12 YEARS 2-10

6 Why We Changed Every game we make is a service Needs to be updated and improved over time Every game we make is free to play Reach 10x the audience, need regular events to keep engaged The distinction between product and business has disappeared One interdisciplinary team Product innovation drives business innovation, and vice versa

7 How Does Our Business Model Work?

8 Boosts Low-priced in-game effects meant to be used regularly Balanced not to grant excessive advantages The better player will still score higher on average

9 Rare Gems Higher-impact bonuses Can be activated every few games, appearing randomly Require skill to be fully taken advantage of Entertainment value as important as effect

10 Daily Spins Slot machine mechanic granting in-game currency 1 free “daily spin” every day Additional “daily spin” can be purchased

11 Key tenets “Play forever”: no pay walls or limitations for non-paying users Game is fun and balanced also without paying Pay to have fun, not because the games forces or punishes you Server-side code to tweak economy in real time Events really important: busy marketing calendar

12 Marketing Efforts

13 Marketing Mix Ads on Bejeweled Blitz Facebook “Free App Of The Day” programs Mobile Ads “Apple Love”

14 Result analysis Vast majority of downloads from: “Apple love” Chart position Organic searches Existing Blitz players Free app programs didn’t drive significant installs Encouraging conversion from paid advertising Very high CPI on iOS ($1 to $4) Organic growth more valuable than paid growth Sustained efforts more effective than “burst” actions

15 What Did We Learn?

16 “Casual” gamers? 86% of active players play every day

17 iOS: A Very Efficient Platform Key MetricsiOS (FB = 100) Daily Active UsersWeekly Average 48% ARPUDARPU 229% EngagementGames / day 100% Retention7-day retention 193% Monetization% of paying users 205% But iOS players have multiple, shorter, sessions iOS performs 2x Facebook in several key metrics

18 Not all mobile players want to be social Approximately 18% of Blitz iOS downloads have activated Facebook Connect… FB Connect was required to unlock full features Launched “Universal Mode” in June 2012 FB-connected users tend to spend more …but over 40% of DAU use FB Connect

19 UI matters. A lot From this: To this: Snazzier presentation! Satisfying lever pulling! Clearer payouts!  Average revenue from Daily Spin increased 131%

20 UI matters. A lot 2X

21 Key Lessons

22 Be metrics-informed, don’t be metrics-driven

23 Specialize, but share knowledge

24 Huge features are dangerous: go for small sprints when you can

25 Cross-platform is hard, but can be worth it

26 Don’t underestimate players’ willingness to spend (but give them fun in exchange)

27 Thanks!


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