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“One more go” doesn’t work anymore

By on July 22, 2010

Game design has long had the objective of making users want “just one more go”. With more than a passing nod to the arcade business models of yesteryear, much design thought has gone into making users keep playing till the wee small hours of the night.

In today’s world, that’s bad design.

It used to be that once someone had forked over their cash, we had no way of getting more money from them. So all we could do was to make the game so addictive that people would stay up late – and then talk about staying up late. It was all about building good worth of mouth.

In this age of Facebook, web and iPhone free-to-play games, this isn’t what you need any more.

Now you need games that are “come back tomorrow” games.

Come back tomorrow

“Come back tomorrow” generates more users over time because the game is designed to keep people playing, not sating their desires in an orgy of “one more goes”

“Come back tomorrow” generates more ad revenue, because you get more impressions without interrupting the game flow.

“Come back tomorrow” generates more virtual goods revenue, because every time a player returns to your game, you have another chance to convert them.

Are you designing online games with a “one more go” mentality. Is it time to stop?

About Nicholas Lovell

Nicholas is the founder of Gamesbrief, a blog dedicated to the business of games. It aims to be informative, authoritative and above all helpful to developers grappling with business strategy. He is the author of a growing list of books about making money in the games industry and other digital media, including How to Publish a Game and Design Rules for Free-to-Play Games, and Penguin-published title The Curve: