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The business model - Taking cues and learning lessions from other F2Ps

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Hi Legate,

 

To add some further questions (although I don't know if I'm asking far too early):

  • Is the game going to be self-published, or are you looking into having the game being published by someone else (probably more relevant for the IOS/ potential android app)?
  • If the game is self-published - how will you handle account security and privacy etc. What will the terms and conditions be?
  • How will any currency conversation rates be determined? (I would hope that you just charge in USD, and so international people have the freedom to figure out how to optimise currency fees/rates, but Apple have their own currency conversion rates, which are currently way out of line compared to the daily spot rate.....)
  • Finally, are we able to reserve account usernames?

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Misekato;

 

Likely we will self-publish.

 

I don't think we've completely decided that policy, but it will be similar to other games we've seen and play.

 

Likely it will be USD, although you can't control things like the Apple Store. :)

 

We think that would be a pretty neat perk, but it won't be clear for some time yet. :)

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Misekato;

 

Likely we will self-publish.

 

I don't think we've completely decided that policy, but it will be similar to other games we've seen and play.

 

Likely it will be USD, although you can't control things like the Apple Store. :)

 

We think that would be a pretty neat perk, but it won't be clear for some time yet. :)

 

I'm aware of the benefits and downfalls of self-publishing, but are the pros and cons of working with another publisher? I mean...could it be that it could help you gain traffic due to the publisher's name, but then you'll have to pay the publisher some money?

 

Maybe the username reservation could be given to those who participate in the beta :).

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Procyon;

 

There are certainly pros and cons to every situation.

 

It's been talked about, that beta reservation. :)

 

We'll see!

 

Of course! I just think it'll be nice if we can get lots of traffic into the game :).

 

I did mean to ask this as a question, but how do you intend to advertise the game? As a public relations / marketing major, I'm a bit interested on this part because it is an interesting foray into a genre that's familiar to lots of people, but hasn't been strongly implemented internationally - the ship-girl genre.

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Procyon;

 

Oh, I don't know about that- I imagine, though, our marketing may discuss that later on! :)

 

More traffic the better!

 

Of course! It seems that you guys have a dedicated marketing team...which is good :D.

 

Maybe the community here could help shop around for good YouTubers to help advertise your game via their channels like GaijinGoombah :). I have read that utilizing such forms of media is an effective way to generate buzz since more people prefer watching a show than reading a press release (no insult to those who write them since I do a lot of them for my work -_-).

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Procyon;

 

Are you kidding? We would throw ourselves prostrate for that kind of help! :)

 

That was...amazing!

 

I'm sure the community could volunteer to scour cool YouTubers that might like these sort of things :)

 

On the other hand, yeah...GaijinGoombah pretty much made you guys a lot of money...and then some :D.

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Pretty sure some of you guys fainted, some were asking others to pinch them, and some didn't believe it :P

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Hi Legate,

 

I had a couple more questions, more about the BCS itself though. These are probably confidential (me being nosy), so feel free to say so if they are. (Actually, upon proof-reading - the only question I'm really interested is the one at the end (about reworks), I've just left the other questions in since these things would be nice to know.

 

The Kickstarter page says that the team is about 40 people (or more). I'm assuming that they wouldn't all be full time employees? Instead I imagine you have a smaller 'core team' but using contractors/ hiring people temporarily on a needs basis (i.e. on a project basis)?

  1. If this is the case, how well do you know those people, have you worked with them prior, or are you going through an open tender etc?
  2. Is there a contract for the specific work, or is it more of an 'arms-length silent agreement (due to past relationships etc). If there is a contract, how are they structured: for example I'm thinking in terms of art assets - how much oversight does the 'core team' have, what kind of timeframes and deliverables do they set?
  3. How are payments structured? Upfront payment with progress payments etc? Or just time based payments?

I guess they key thing I'm interested in is whether for example, any arrangements take into account the possibility that things might need to be reworked based on user feedback (e.g. the monthly updates, or beta feedback (if there is one) etc). The major risk here being cost blowouts if: work is not to standard (or inconsistent), user feedback suggests a rework might be needed, the person takes the money and runs (or for whatever other reason cannot complete - they get sick etc).

 

Once again, sorry if I'm being nosy, these were just a few things at the back of my mind.

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Misekato;

 

1) The core Team is pretty stable- we've been together since 2005. We constantly work with contractors and new artists that we meet, however.

2) We begin with contracts for specific work, and then evolve the relationship, if it is a good fit. The timetables are short: 1 week.

3) It's based on delivery.

 

There are a lot of risks besides the ones you enumerated, but we've been doing this for over a decade- we have very strong editorial controls in place. Sometimes things don't work out, of course, but we handle it case by case. It's more rare than common.

 

Interesting questions! :)

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Misekato;

 

1) The core Team is pretty stable- we've been together since 2005. We constantly work with contractors and new artists that we meet, however.

2) We begin with contracts for specific work, and then evolve the relationship, if it is a good fit. The timetables are short: 1 week.

3) It's based on delivery.

 

There are a lot of risks besides the ones you enumerated, but we've been doing this for over a decade- we have very strong editorial controls in place. Sometimes things don't work out, of course, but we handle it case by case. It's more rare than common.

 

Interesting questions! :)

 

If this game is successful, will you be hiring more staff? I mean...it kinda reminds of Hi-Rez Studios after Smite exploded in popularity. Hi-Rez Studios was originally quite small, but they had to get more help after their MOBA Smite did well.

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Procyon;

 

I imagine that the answer would be yes. But first...'39. ;)

 

Of course :). One step at a time...

 

Of course, I hope your marketing team is geared up for some serious press release writing and social media posting :D.

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going back to topic.

 

Hopefully the devs checks out all the games that are mentioned here and on other platforms(KS, other forums, etc). Because there are a lot of things that can be learnt from those other games that we might not be able to convey properly.

 

Learning from other F2P that are not mobile/web games would be useful too, like Warframe or Path of Exile for example.

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XKrieg;

 

Yep, there was a lot of discussion about some of the ones listed here before the Campaign, and that's sure to continue as they go along, too. If there's a good idea out there...we'd like to hear about it!

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Misekato;

 

1) The core Team is pretty stable- we've been together since 2005. We constantly work with contractors and new artists that we meet, however.

2) We begin with contracts for specific work, and then evolve the relationship, if it is a good fit. The timetables are short: 1 week.

3) It's based on delivery.

 

There are a lot of risks besides the ones you enumerated, but we've been doing this for over a decade- we have very strong editorial controls in place. Sometimes things don't work out, of course, but we handle it case by case. It's more rare than common.

 

Interesting questions! :)

 

Hi Legate,

 

Thanks for the answer, really appreciate the thorough background information. It really does give me (and I assume everyone else) the confidence that BCS have the experience to this project off.

 

Also, have you played any of the games by Kairosoft on android/iphone? Most of them have been cheaper games (maybe $4-5) but some of them have been free 2 play as well. They are also games that are predominately singleplayer but with multi player aspects. Might be worth it to check some of those games out to get some ideas - they are really addictive.

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My recommendation regarding a viable business model is something similar to Marvel Heroes, which is a Diablo (action RPG) game that is free to play, but you can pay money to unlock heroes and or to buy boosts and additional hero costumes (skins). Where I think that game shines is that you have several characters to choose from at the start and then by playing to accumulate shards which allow you to unlock most of the other content. Also very important is that it's not pay to win, you never have anything that gives you an unfair advantage, it's all mostly cosmetic. They do have boosts that give you increased exp, or chance at drops, but some of those are awarded to players over time as well. They give you awards and benefits for logging in regularly or during special events. I imagine you could also have some sort of boosts in this game that allowed you to increase your level faster, or allowed you to try and convince a Belle to join you more easily. I am certain that if you make some different outfit skins for the Belles people will surely buy a few especially if they are very different as opposed to some palette swapped colors. I do hope that however you choose to do it, it's not structured in such a way that it almost feels like having a part time job in order to gain access to some of the content. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with, and reading more of the suggestions from the community :)

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Chimaera;

 

Thanks! I don't think any of us have played Marvel Heroes, but I play Avenger's Academy. :)

 

I'll pass it along to the Team- but they are already going down the Customization & Convenience route, just as it sounds like you are suggesting!

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Hi ho!

 

Another game which nicely deals with the F2P model is Hearthstone. Virtually any option that suports the player's advance in the game (namely, cards) is sold in both game currency, gold, and IRL currency.

 

Even more so, you can craft almost any card that you couldn't obtain from said packs by gathering dust (the crafting material) from disenchanting cards, monthly chests (the higher your rating, the more dust) and a game mode called Arena. The exceptions are promotion cards (some are golden version of obtainable cards, others are cards otained by collecting a set) and Adventure-exclusive cards that are allowed in the Standard format, which can only be bought at the store (though the dust per gold ratio is much higher in these cards should you decide to disenchant them once they're out of the format - consider it as a long-term investment).

 

I believe there is more that can be learned from Hearthstone's model. I wonder what other forum members do think of its model...

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