NEW USER BALANCE

The value a new player receives after the tutorial (if a tutorial exists)

  • The value includes all types of currency (primary, secondary, and others)
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Key Takeaways:

  • The new user economy is generally meant to allow players to become deeply committed to your game. Players should experience positive emotions with feelings of achievement, relationship, ownership, and flow (see Player Motivations in the Appendix for a full list)
  • This does not mean that early players should not monetize. Boosting play and progression should drive monetization
  • Be generous with your Starter Pack or 30 Day Subscription packages. If your content is good, your game economy will absorb this amount
  • For new apps, the New User Balance should be positioned against the core competitor (if adopting a positional strategy)

An early free player should feel like she is driving down a highway going 60 miles per hour. A paying player should feel like she is driving at 300 miles per hour. – Jeff Witt, expert economy builder

NEW USER TUNING

The New User Balance divided by the Default Bet is the Default Tuning. The Default Bet divided by the Minimum Bet is the Minimum Tuning

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Key Takeaways:

  • There are times when the early economy should pinch players. This is typically the right tuning for apps with RMG content and apps with classic machines. Tight tuning will make players feel more Risk and Thrill—two core player motivations—early on. The app will more closely emulate playing in a real casino (where cash is often tight)
  • The tuning should also be influenced by the payback period and therefore overall strategy of your company. Tighter tuning will generally pay back earlier, but a smaller amount in the long-run. It can also give earlier indications of the success (or failure) of the app; important information for companies with smaller pockets

DAILY FREE VALUE

The estimated amount of value that players may collect for free in a given time period each day

  • The value includes the primary, secondary, and tertiary bonuses
  • The payout amount of each feature is the average of 5 collections of that feature
  • We reduced the time-per-day that players may collect bonuses from 24 hours to 6 hours to demonstrate heavily-engaged player economy; thus, values have decreased
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Key Takeaways:

  • Build flexibility into the economy system to increase your chances of strong monetization in the long run. This can be done by having major inflow and outflow systems driven by live ops, temp-features, and sales
  • Use inflationary tactics for larger course corrections when economy inflation slows down revenue
  • View your role as managing the economy (instead of simply building). Closely monitor all economy and put features in place to inflate and deflate the economy (much like a real country economy)
  • Understand how the free value feels for light, medium, and heavily engaged players. In the downloadable Excel spreadsheet, the hours a player collects from the app is easily adjustable. For the graphs below, the different hours heavily engaged players collect is 5 per day
  • If monetization and retention comes from non-machine features to drive positive emotions—often the case for social games that emotionally award with relationships—then a larger Daily Free Value should be considered

A game should be built so that the players can travel on that highway for thousands and thousands of miles. A game needs to be built with this kind of depth – Jeff Witt

CURRENCY EXCHANGE RATE

The amount of primary currency that players receive for a non-sale $5 package (or nearest package to $5)

  • All currencies are converted from the primary currency using the buy page, dialogues, and other app-provided methods
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Key takeaways:

  • Let players make informed purchasing decisions. Then, make missions attainable for free players (even if it takes 20-30 days to complete). Inform paying players generally how much faster they will attain their goal with a purchase
  • Change sales regularly so that players purchase when they need coins AND when they believe they are getting a great deal. If discount amounts remain relatively stagnant, players will typically only purchase when necessary
  • Keep the currency numbers relatively realistic for apps with RMG content to mirror the real world
  • Consider adopting multiple currencies for more social apps. The more complicated the economy, the more flexibility you have to manipulate currency and items. Given the success of mid-core features, mid-core economy systems will likely also succeed (they obviously do in Bingo)
  • Clearly set player expectations of how much $1 of value should be worth to set a baseline of the real world economy to the game’s economy