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Free, hyper-casual games VS paid experiences: A Question

CatnipVRCatnipVR Posts: 4
NerveGear
I'm sorry if this is in the wrong section, as I'm still quite new to the forum. Apologies in advance.

So I've been thinking hard about the major issues with adaptation with Oculus Go, and remember back in September when I still had my HMD that there were barely any free experiences available. I think 80% of users mainly use it to stream videos since games are mostly paid, and I'd say a good percentage of users have little to no intention on purchasing experiences unless they're top quality. (no blame)

After asking around, I noticed that even games which charge $1.99 are quickly skimmed across with an "blindness effect". Many people over the last year have told me they'd prefer free "Ketchapp Style games" over games that charge money unless they're AA or AAA quality.
I'm not sure, but I feel mobileVR is moving in the direction of casual use (videos and games).

I'd been working with a team of outsourced devs from South Asia and had some beliefs that perhaps the App Stores have created an expectation of "freemium apps" in the modern user's mind.

So with a few mini projects in the pipeline, I wanted to get some feedback from you guys on if you think it would be better for me to launch out mini experiences (hyper casual games) just to get the VR ecosystem active. Of course I understand they can't be utter crap and have to offer some kind of a addictive loop/game mechanic.

I'm not too concerned about making a ROI yet, as I'd like to contribute to the stand-alone VR ecosystem and maybe push the needle. I think experimentation, data, and iteration are the most important things needed if we'd like to see the VR ecosystem thriving. (Especially OculusGo/GearVR type experiences).

Currently, I've noticed many devs don't talk about their experiences, nor is there sufficient information available on which direction indie devs should take.

From my experiences, I started in 2017 with outsourcing some "shovelware games" for Google Play and eventually Samsung's GearVR store. eCPM rates were on average $3 with VRads (Omnivirt seemed to perform the best so far. I've heard of fill rates dropping for VirtualSky.)
Download numbers were decent enough to see pretty good revenue even through the reviews were horrible.

Over the next months I felt freemium hyper-casual games dominate the App Stores, and with some engineering, I think that's what the VR ecosystem is missing too. 
Though it's not the devs fault, as making games costs time, energy, and money.

After after the Cardboard trend died off, I'd been thinking of going with a Ketchapp/Voodoo/Cheetah Mobile model (free, hyper casual games) and implementing it for Oculus Go/ GearVR users. And yes, I understand there are barely 1m active users on Go/Gear compared to the smartphone demographic. Monetisation isn't top priority yet. I think I'd say my priority would be building a network of casual games for returning users.

 The only problem is that I'm not too sure what kind of demand there is from current users, so I'd love feedback, thoughts, ideas on this. My first priority is trying to build something users would like. Revenue would be nice with VRads.
I'd love to hear the communities' thoughts on the endeavour my team has been on (3 hyper casual games still WIP). 

Of course, AAA titles with stories, artwork and complex mechanics win by far, but do you guys think the ecosystem could benefit from a "freemium"/casual model of VR games? Would you guys play casual games if they were free (with some VRads?)

Comments

  • Nekto2Nekto2 Posts: 193
    Art3mis
    So with a few mini projects in the pipeline, I wanted to get some feedback from you guys on if you think it would be better for me to launch out mini experiences (hyper casual games) just to get the VR ecosystem active.
    That would be great! But to be honest you can't expect to get enough earning yet.
    Try to publish a free game and you will see number of installs. That could be much less then 1m :(
    The only problem is that I'm not too sure what kind of demand there is from current users, so I'd love feedback, thoughts, ideas on this. My first priority is trying to build something users would like. Revenue would be nice with VRads.
    I'd love to hear the communities' thoughts on the endeavour my team has been on (3 hyper casual games still WIP).
    No one like ads :) But most of people will not pay. So that is the only way to get good games :(
    Still would be nice to pay for "adv off" feature with in-app purchase. Or for "a month adv off" for small fee. Some people have no credit card connected, so can't pay even $1.

    As for the game. I would be happy with casual game I could show to others without long tutorial.
    Some people will ask me to show them VR, but It is hard to find a game I could just show and that it will be instant WoW VR! With nice bright colors and action! (Like fireworks, big mountain places, night sky and etc).
    It could be really small to show a person for 5 minute.
    So If you run a game and there will not be any "create profile/press star/select .../see tutorial". You should jump to the game instantly. That will help if you show VR to someone and have no display casting. It is not easy to tell him what to press to start a game.

    They could be adults or children. Most of children will ask to see VR (even 3-5 years old). So very simple content with nice fury animal will be cool. But some will like to shoot at enemies.

    Game types could be:
    - shooting
    - defending (like moving shield in Arcanoid game), for those people who do not like shooting :)

    And for the longer play it would be nice to have multiplayer game to play and talk with friends. It could be board card game. But you can't expect a lot of players still.

    ps. usb keyboard is working on Go with OTG. You could play Leginon game (doom like) with asdw or arrow keys.
    Could you create a game with optional keyboard support? :)
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