Posted tagged ‘virtualgoods’

Why HeyZap Coins and Mochi Coins fall short

July 21, 2009

Recently both HeyZap and Mochi Media launched virtual goods platforms for Flash games. In short they allow players to purchase game items with hard currency. Want to kill zombies more effectively? Buy this $0,05/600 Mochi coins double-barrel shotgun! With virtual goods being the “new advertising” as far as internet business models go, why does this effort fall short? Jussi, we thought you loved virtual goods!

Oh yes, I still love virtual goods. There is nothing wrong with the basic premise of the service offered by HeyZap and Mochi Media, but plenty of issues with trying to monetize primarily single player Flash game experiences. It’s the classic “If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is there to see it, does it really fall” problem. I can buy a better shotgun, but without other players, my friends and my rivals , what is the point? Why would I bling out my virtual house if my friend’s can visit? Is there anybody to listen when I boast about my exploits? Is there anybody to best? Anybody to share this experience with?

Due to the nature of the games they serve HeyZap and Mochi Media are currently limited to effectively selling you “cheat codes“. It’s a hollow experience without the social context offered by persistent multiplayer games (e.g. MMOs or social games), and I don’t expect this to save Flash games developers. In HeyZap’s and Mochi Media’s shoes I’d be investing heavily into providing the tools to let Flash developers create these persistent multiplayer experiences (Nonoba is doing it). However, as a Flash developer I wouldn’t wait – I’d jump ship to social games this instant (massive & free distribution, social context, paying customers = the win).

Further reading

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Virtual Goods Summit 2008 mindmaps

December 16, 2008

vgsummit2008Before I started Everyplay I was researching the virtual goods market, and I stumbled upon the most excellent Virtual Goods Summit 2007 organized by Charles Hudson. I was glued to the panel videos (BTW, they are still relevant). The US pioneers of this market were speaking frankly, openly and insightfully. There was lot to be learned: from market data, conversion rates, ARPUs to best practices.

The Virtual Goods Summit 2008 lived up to the great expectations set up by the first event. The sessions ranged from very good to simply outstanding. The Metrics presentation by Daniel James and Andrew Chen was amazingly detailed, candid and stock full of industry leading insights. I loved when Susan Wu put the virtual good economy vendors on the hotseat. David Perry of Acclaim, Gene Hoffman of Vindicia and several other panelists really delivered on their respective panels.

However, watching 7 hours of video is not for the faint of heart and not all of the sessions were covered by bloggers. So I decided to post-humously liveblog live-mindmap the video recordings. These are not the most readable mindmaps I’ve created as I focused on capturing detail, not on distilling the gist of the panels.

What Users Want – Branded and User-Generated Virtual Goods

Making Virtual Economies Work – Lessons from the Leaders

Virtual Goods and Social Networks

Metrics for Virtual Goods Businesses: The Whirled Case Study

Generating Real Revenue from Virtual Goods

Getting Paid – Building a Dominant Payments and Billing Strategy

Do leave a comment if you found the mindmaps useful!