[casual_games] Re: Different Payment Models
jimgreer at gmail.com
Mon Oct 9 12:49:49 EDT 2006
I have a somewhat different take on this discussion - my experience in
casual games was at Pogo/Club Pogo. As many of you know Pogo's revenue is
principally from subscriptions, with ads and downloadables playing a smaller
(but important) role. As of May I believe they were at 1.4M subscribers
paying $35/year or $5/month - for a premium version of the web game
experience. The biggest selling point of the subscription are the enhanced
community features - badges/challenges, private chat, members only chat
I agree that the $20 jumbo payment is not right for all kinds of
audiences/games. I also think that for many games that number of players you
lose by requiring a download doesn't make sense - when you are talking about
going to a broader audience at a lower price, you're better of with a Flash
or Shockwave game in the browser.
So you make money off of everyone on ads - for the smaller percentage that's
willing to pay more, you can sell premium content for microtransactions.
This could be either extra levels, play modes, etc or it could be community
features and the like around the site.
I left Pogo in May to start Kongregate - we are building a web games site
with community features as powerful as Pogo's, but targeting a younger, more
male audience. I'd be happy to share details of that offering with anyone
interested, but what's more relevant for this list is how we get games and
We will be something of a "YouTube for web games" site - anyone can upload a
game, though only the highest rated ones will make it to the homepage. When
you upload a game, it is auto-magically wrapped with chat, profiles, rich
media ads, etc. With just a smidgen of programming you can use our 1-click
microtransaction payment system, and make your game part of our
challenge/card system. We share revenue from ads and microtransactions.
We're betting on web games and community and not selling downloadables at
all. Not that I don't think downloadables make sense, I just think the field
is pretty crowded. Anyone with a web game promoting a downloadable is more
than welcome to put the web game on our site - the click through to purchase
would go to your own site and we wouldn't take a cut of that.
We've been furiously developing this over the summer, and will be sending
out invitations to our private alpha this week. Feel free to email me with
questions, or if you just want an invite.
jim at kongregate.com
home: 159 Dolores #4, SF CA 94103
work: 430 Fillmore Suite A, SF CA 94117
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