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Are we predictably irrational about the word free? Or is it the concept?

Apple has just started an experiment that should be fascinating  for behavioural psychologist Dan Ariely. Ariely is the man behind the popular psychology title, Predictably Irrational. In Chapter 3, he explains at length the powerful drive that FREE! has on our purchasing behaviours. Here is my description of Ariely’s experiment, taken from my book, The...

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How to do a Kickstarter right, the Kitfox Games way

Over on Gamasutra, Tanya X. Short of Kitfox Games sets out her lessons learned from the successful Kickstarter for Moon Hunters. The team, which had already developed and released mobile game Shattered Planet, set out to raise C$45,000 and closed the campaign with $178,986 from 6,044 backers. The post-mortem is excellent, and not just for...

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Subway Surfers has more monthly players than League of Legends, and other new stats

Deputy Editor Zoya Street has added another round of updates to the spreadsheet stats pages, including some data on player numbers that might surprise you. You’ll find links below to the pages where we gather benchmark data on all of the most important KPIs for free-to-play games.   MAUs Subway Surfers, Kiloo: 140 million MAUs...

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Novelty is the key to attention

In this fantastic talk, Chelsea Howe discusses player engagement and the attention economy. How do you keep players coming back to your game for months on end? She gives a number of practical examples, alongside some design theory to explain why these techniques for retention and engagement work so well. Stand-out moments include an examination of how...

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Kim Kardashian’s mobile game made $51 million in revenue in 4 months

SuperData Research’s roundup of the US digital gaming market has just come out. One key figure for me: Kim Kardashian: Hollywood made $51 million in its first four months. Given that this is a US report, that might be in the US only, which suggests the game is more than on-track to deliver $100 million...

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What I learned from soft-launching in Canada

This is a guest post from Jeremy Born   I knew it was a gamble right from the start. Forfeiting your relatively safe, more traditional corporate career for the sake of a dream, in this case, building an independent gaming software company.  Every day I kept reading about the financial success stories behind Candy Crush...

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CC image by Frits Ahlefeldt-Laurvig

“Economy of favours” – in praise of SF’s indie cliques

“I don’t know a lot of people who went indie because they wanted to do PR” Being an indie game developer means being responsible for much more than just designing a game: you could find yourself having to act as producer, head of finance, CTO, PR and everything else imaginable. In this Casual Connect talk...

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[Gamesbriefers] Will VR be free-to-play?

Question: The first range of consumer VR headsets are likely to be hitting the market shortly, led by the Samsung Gear VR. Will VR be a console-style device, where pay-upfront pricing dominates? Or will the platform trend towards free-to-play? And how is the involvement of Samsung (for mobile), Facebook (for Oculus) and Sony (for Morpheus)...

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Conversion rates

Benchmarks are bollocks?

This is a guest post from Chris Kempt in response to a recent post by Nicholas   Last week I was at the UKIE AGM (a triumph once again) and while I was there I received a good-natured ribbing for my recent performance on the BBC’s Dragons Den – I’m probably paraphrasing badly but I think...

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Nothing to do, no reason to come back #f2ptoolbox

The F2P toolbox will teach you 54 of the most important and high-impact ideas in modern game design. This is one of them: make sure players always have something on their to-do list. For a full explanation, see the complete book: available now in digital and physical formats. Learn more on the F2P toolbox homepage...

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