Growth & Monetization Weekly: Dead Games, Second Screens & Hard Currency

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Throughout the week we sift through a long list of news and insights about apps, growth and monetization to keep up on industry trends. We usually share the best stuff via our Twitter feed, but this is our super-enthusiastically-recommended fodder for your Saturday reading session.

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This Week’s Best Reads

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Impetus: The game designed to die

It’s a rare thing that the life of a game can be described in one blog post, unless that game is designed specifically to die. This post from German Dominik Johann is a beautiful obituary to Impetus, the game he and friends built in a weekend for Ludum Dare 27, a rapid game development jam in which teams build around a central theme. LD27’s theme was “10 Seconds” and Dominik built a game intended to end, forever, within 10 seconds if nobody reset the 10 second timer.

Displayed in the background is a young woman in a space suit, unconscious and hooked to various tubes and pipes. She’s breathing slowly, there’s a flashing signal, sounds of her heart and a frequency monitor, which, ever so often, would skip a beat.

16,000 people showed up to keep this mysterious girl alive, but within 12 hours the game was dead. Find out why.

Why second screen gaming is so important to the future of EA games

Brian Crecente at Polygon sat down with EA Games Label head Patrick Soderlund at Gamescom to talk about the studios approach to social and second screen implementations in the face of younger player’s behavior patterns.

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Sure, EA’s a behemoth and their strategy’s not always all that interesting to small developers, but the implications of the second screen are a subject that affects everyone, and Crecente does a good job of teasing out how considerations for a new expected gaming experience will affect future game design decisions.

Early Struggles Launching Ionage Free-To-Play

We’ve already made it clear we’re big fans of developer diaries, and this week GamesBrief featured Tim Wicksteed and his experience launching Ionage as a free-to-play game. About a month in, Tim shares his success with monetization thus far, including some of the challenges he’s facing as he tries to perfect his revenue model. The post is full of juicy stats, some speculation about Russian hackers gaming his in-app purchases, and an honest assessment of his user growth thus far.

When you note that I’m a one-man team with just a single salary plus artwork and music costs to pay for, the metrics don’t need to compete with the number one grossing app on the chart for the game to be a financial success for me.

How Jelly Splash beats Candy Crush Saga in Monetization

Michail Katkoff dives head first into the ways that Wooga’s attempted to take the things that Candy Crush did right and improve on them. Specifically, he cites the inclusion of a hard currency as a crucial element that will drive Jelly Splash’s core KPI’s significantly higher.

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It seems like a simple adjustment to implement a virtual currency as opposed to direct payments, but the subtle differences can add up to a huge impact on the bottom line. Michail breaks down six core benefits to Wooga’s decision.

That’s it for this week!

Did we miss any? Share your favorite articles and posts of the week with us in the comments below, or tweet us at @superrewards.

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