Regular readers here will know that marketing is both a creative art and a science. This is part of what makes it both fascinating and demanding. Here is an article by Mario Alemi, Head of Research at In Numero LLC which gives an insight into the science of pricing games correctly for the market:
How many complaints have you heard about Apple destroying the video game industry? Competition is so high, prices went so down, no publisher can pay the development of a high quality video game selling at 99 cents….
But a few publishers, mainly newcomers, are making good money –which means it is possible. Here we are going to analyse market data to understand which variables make a successful application.
Application stores like App Store, Android Market or OVI have increased competition, shrunk margins, and up to a certain level cannibalised the console market. But on the other hand they have also introduced positive novelties for publishers:
* Zero distribution cost
* Huge market size
* New technologies
* More than everything: data. Publishers can monitor almost on real time the effect of price changes or, for instance, on-line ads.
Let's then take the available data, and see how we can build a relatively simple model to forecast the success of a mobile game.
First question: when will a game appeal to customers?
1. If it's good quality
2. If it has good visibility.
At In Numero, we monitor the Customer Satisfaction and the Web Visibility for about 4,000 applications. Let's then plot the following chart: on the horizontal axis a number which ranks Customer Satisfaction and Web Visibility of Top Grossing games, i.e. it is "1? for the application with highest quality and highest visibility, and on the vertical axis the Top Grossing ranking. Ideally, applications on top of the Customer Satisfaction and Web Visibility ranking should be the stars on the Top Grossing ranking. Below is the chart.
Although there is a certain correlation between the two variables, the result is not satisfactory. We could hardly predict grossing levels from this chart.