Analysis of Micro-transaction psychology of mobile vs PC games

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Analysis of Micro-transaction psychology of mobile vs PC games

Micro-transaction has become a major strategy for developers looking for extra game profits. The two most popular platforms are obviously the mobile and PC markets. However, although their starting points are the same, their micro-transaction operations are very different. It is especially necessary for games that intend to switch between the two platforms to understand the differences between them.

USD and cents

Let's start with the mobile market. First, we will ignore those dedicated handheld video game platforms 3DS and Vita In this article, because using this device is not the same as using a smartphone or tablet.

Most smartphone or tablet game players do not purchase devices to play games. Games are only a secondary feature on these devices, and game designers are also familiar with this and will take this into account when designing and pricing mobile games.

When most people play mobile games, they try to get a fast experience and pass the time while waiting in the queue. Although you can play a mobile game for several hours in a row, the actual design is also a quick experience, not an immersive gameplay.

Therefore, it is easy to get tired of playing mobile games for a long time, but there is also a conflict: to maximize profits, designers want people to play games for a long time but not for a long time.

This is the source of profit models that save time, pay, wait, and shortcuts. By using a paid or waiting system, designers can limit the frequency at which people do not have to spend money to play games. In this way, they can reduce the cost of paying users and make them enjoy a few minutes of fun with only one dollar or so. It sounds like a bad business.

Most games are created around profitability, because the mobile and social gaming markets are designed with simple mechanisms that can be expanded through multiple adjustments. This market allows designers to continually add challenges or new content to players as they move forward by simply adjusting the value.

Therefore, when you start playing a game, the player may have to wait for about 10 seconds between the rounds or operations. This will eventually increase to several minutes, hours, or even more.

At this time, users may lose patience and choose to spend a dollar to continue the game, which seems to be taken for granted.

But on the other hand, designers must be aware of the extended range of game costs, although the $100 pay currency is a worthwhile option, they must be cautious about pricing for the game. Claiming that the app is a free model, and then asking players to spend $20 to complete all levels may not be easy to accept, especially in the market where a large number of low-price games are flooded with 99 cents.

User retention is a major problem in the development of mobile games. It is also a phenomenon we see in independent and other platform palm games. It is not suitable for general users to create an 80-hour RPG with a fee of 20 USD for smartphones.

First of all, they will leave behind because of this price, and spending so much time on a game is not as good as having a quick start on multiple games. From the perspective of game sales, the PC market is very similar, so if you can spend less than $20, you will enjoy the same amount of fun, why do we need to buy a retail game for $60?

Although saving time and fast consumption is a feasible promotion for the mobile market, they prefer different options for Hard Core players.

Protracted War

Mobile Game users usually play these games to pass the time, But PC players are different. Most PC game players will free up a lot of time to play games, so if you get older, you may be forced to work and family factors and have only one hour or so of time.

For me, I have two hours of game time each day. Even so, when people sit in front of a computer and play games, they do not want to be told that they can no longer play any more. They can only continue to play when the next time they are full of energy.

Imagine that if blizzard embeds a paid or waiting mechanism in the World of Warcraft or Diablo 3, it will be attacked by players. For PC players, everything is an investment, and their users are also very savvy. They know everything about the micro-transaction mode you are using.

You can try to force users to spend money by designing or playing a text game. These players will surely be lost in large quantities. When people spend money on PC games or F2P games, they must know what value their money is spent on.

Mobile game players may spend a dollar or two to accelerate the game for a short time, but advanced players won't be so good. They must know whether the money they spend is worth it, not just for money.

Again, you are not only competing with other F2P games, but playing with all the games on the market. There are too many games available to users.

In addition, this also means that you can develop content with a higher price. As long as it is valuable, someone will always purchase it.

For example, the price of paid skin in league of legends may be as high as $20. If you invest this price in mobile games, you must be crazy, because it does not include the impulse to buy products linked to the platform. But for PC players who are immersed in it and want to reflect their own support, they will purchase.

In other words, high-quality micro-transactions are always better than small micro-transactions that win by quantity. This model allows users to pay for rounds or competitions, and will definitely force all PC game players away.

A worse way is to give paying players only one chance to get what they want. As we have mentioned in previous articles, we must treat PC game players with a clear and clear attitude. Let them know that if they spend X dollars, they will be able to get things, not the opportunity to get things.

Xuanjicang in transactions

This involves what the users can get. If someone pays for a paid currency in league of legends, they are clearly aware of the purpose of the currency: new champion, skin, and Rune. You don't have to guess this. They can go directly to the store to buy products.

Both mobile and PC platforms have whale users: they are very small proportions, fully attracted by the game, and will buy almost everything.

Although they are conducive to generating revenue for games, they are only a small part of the group and the number is not as large as that of average users. Creating a game that clearly targets whale users clearly drives more users away.

When porting A F2P game or profit-making game from one platform to another, you need to pay special attention to the intersection of game design and micro-transaction. EA's Plants vs. botnets 2 is an example. This micro-transaction-focused game later changed its profit model on the PC platform.

The game has less micro-transaction content than before, making it more difficult to get a return. Some people suspect that EA is doing this to make the game more attractive to the PC market.

The final feasibility of porting a mobile game to the PC market can be determined by the following question: if all the profit elements are removed, is there any playability for the game?

For many mobile games, their limited game design and systems mean that they do not have much substantive content, which is why micro-transaction contents are restricted. As we have said before, it is easy to get tired of a mobile game designed to experience for a long time.

This is also the reason why games such as League of legends, Card Hunter, and Path of Exile are feasible, therefore, both micro-transaction models are still very attractive games. If the game is completely free, it will not be split.

Quality first

Finally, designing a high-quality game is an important factor, and it is also a factor that distinguishes between trying to quickly attract gold and developing a quality experience.

Although making your game profitable is an important goal, the benchmark for measuring the quality of your F2P game is whether you can persuade users to pay only for supporting the game.

It is not easy to achieve this. Only a few F2P Games actually do it. But for designers pursuing benefits such as League of legends, this is part of the success of Riot Games, it is also an important factor for anyone who wants to create a successful F2P game.


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