Jimquisition: Monetizing Whales For The Retention Of Virality

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Monetizing Whales For The Retention Of Virality

AKA how to sound like a complete and total dickhead.

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Ho boy, I sure felt the emotion in that.
And oh boy was it good, it even made me feel a bit guilty and I fucking agreed with everything you said.

When you spoke about the titles, oh man it just made me cringe.
People really do this?
Damn it, I can see why hope is running low in this industry.
I only hope that people won't do this crap stuff and not go to that "How to Avoid Backlash" seminar, because just as you said ... don't fucking do it in the first place.

Right and simple there Jim.
Now only if more developers listened to you, but they probably won't unless your whale call is the sound of money.

Still, a damn good video, it is something that was burned to my mind. (And I watched the Polaris podcast too)

NOW, now ... let me just read your Dynasty Warriors 8 Xtreme Legends review when it comes out to calm down. XD

if you're going to do something that causes backlash - don't fucking do it.

truer words can't ever be said.

Golden fucking ending. I normally don't have time to watch the Co-optional, but I made time for you.

That was GLORIOUS.
I'd really like a list of people who gave those whale panels so I can never give them a penny ever again.

Ha Great episode.

And here I was under the impression that GDC was -indeed- more about the passionate developers talking about their craft, rather than corporate suits talking about how to get away with screwing over their own customers.

The great film maker Terrence Malick said it best: "Always respect your audience." If you do not at least do that, then you are part of the problem.

Anything free to play I don't even bother with anymore. It just freaks me out that this micro transaction garbage has made its way into the paid market.

Thank God for Jim.

The co-optional podcast last week was great! So much fun has come out of it :D
It's a shame you and TB didn't let Jesse talk that much though lol.

I think this was the most disgusting topic in the whole calendar: "Kids & Mobile: Monetizing in a Freemium World". Seriousl going in to the level of disgusting and ethically grey.

Many countries have laws about protecting children from advertising and pressuring for money. - and for a reason.

This is just the kind of behavior that is currently driving EU trade commission to consider adding guidelines on what is F2P and what is not. We shouldn't need these kinds of directives/laws!

The industry is fully aware that they are killing themselves with behavior like this. And what they do?
Instead of sustainable innovation they try to rush in and make as much money they can and then merge in to a bigger company only be dissolved later.

Disgusting.

This entire GDC thing is indeed the most disgusting news I've heard in a while. It's outrageous and shows that the future of the gaming industry is, at the moment, about as doomed as the overall economy. Still, I have to disagree with your statement that "if it's going to piss people off, then don't do it". I mean, sometimes you ARE going to piss people off, even if you have good intentions. I mean, just look at Valve with Steam. Making Steam mandatory pissed a lot of people off, you know.

While I agree with most of this video here's a question about the backlash issue: What if it is backlash due to a controversial issue from critics outside the gaming market (for example violence in video games) which have been known to be an issue to cause game developers to shut down projects?

Wow, I don't see you get that pissed off very often. Don't blame you though. If they need a panel on how to reduce backlash then there's something wrong there.

xEightBitPlayerx:
Anything free to play I don't even bother with anymore. It just freaks me out that this micro transaction garbage has made its way into the paid market.

I agree. This development is one of the most scary evolutions within the gaming industry right now.
I could've never imagined micro-transactions having a presense in the paid market. The worst part of it is that people are actively defending it.

Makes you wonder (more like actively fear) what'll be next right?

To be fair Jim.. backlash can come from actually trying to improve a game. Like say rebalancing your heroes in a MOBA.. dear god. So it is possible to create backlash in your work to improve your own product.

verylost:
While I agree with most of this video here's a question about the backlash issue: What if it is backlash due to a controversial issue from critics outside the gaming market (for example violence in video games) which have been known to be an issue to cause game developers to shut down projects?

Said on Facebook:

My "panel" was not for creative people who take creative risks. They wouldn't try to "reduce backlash" anyway because they should believe in what they're doing, and know it's for the best. If you care about "reducing backlash," clearly you're doing something you know ain't right. Therefore, my "panel" only applies to a certain type of developer. A shit one.

I knew this Jimquisition was going to be this - thanks to the co-optional podcast and Jim's twitter feed - and I'd just like to say Thank God for you. The level of anger and disgust you convey for these abhorrent 'cunts' was needed.

Bravo.

You could really feel Jim's rightful wrath in this one.

But yeah, people refering to their costumers as "whales" are the same kind of cynical arseholes who refer to their staff as "human capital" and who see and care about nothing else but productivity and win margins. They exist everywhere, not just in the gaming industry, and I have nothing but scorn left for these creatures.

Thank you Jim for this episode.

I mostly agree, but panels on ways to monetize your game are in theory not a bad idea. There's still a lot of learning game developers need to do to strike a balance between their profits, their customers' well-being, and making sure the game itself remains fun at any level of investment.

However, the topics Jim listed highlight exactly the kind of conversation we shouldn't be having - how best to milk the few paying customers dry before they shove off to your next Skinner box.

BigTuk:
To be fair Jim.. backlash can come from actually trying to improve a game. Like say rebalancing your heroes in a MOBA.. dear god. So it is possible to create backlash in your work to improve your own product.

Well even pro players say Lee Sin is the most balanced champion in LOL and what Riot is doing with him is stupid. :P

Regarding the video it is kind of sad we're coming to this. Luckily a lot of people in the industry still genuinely love video games and make games out of pleasure. But there is so much stuff coming out today that you really need to inform yourself a lot about what's good and what's not. I mean, most people on this site probably are, but where do parents who know nothing about games and have to pick something for their kids even begin?

Weaver:
The co-optional podcast last week was great! So much fun has come out of it :D
It's a shame you and TB didn't let Jesse talk that much though lol.

I remember Jessie's connection fucking up most of the run time

verylost:
While I agree with most of this video here's a question about the backlash issue: What if it is backlash due to a controversial issue from critics outside the gaming market (for example violence in video games) which have been known to be an issue to cause game developers to shut down projects?

Beat me to it. That was pretty much the only thing I could think that might have been of any use from a panel called that. If it was about something about, say, dealing with the likes of Fox News (or MSNBC if you prefer) freaking out about how they heard from a guy who heard it from a guy that Dark Souls tells little Billy to worship Satan, that would be marginally interesting. Now, if it was mostly directed towards how companies could worm out of consumer being rightfully pissed about having to deal with micro-transactions and the like, then yeah, fuck 'em.

What I HATE most about the "minnows and whales" analogy is that it dehumanizes your customers. You may as well call them shit bags and cash bags. The analogy still works and it's much more clear on what you really think of them.

Wow, this is both hilarious and incredibly depressing at the same time. Jesus Christ, I always assumed these people would at least pretend to have some respect for their customers, but... wow.

"Whales".

Seriously.

What can even be said about this? The people who set up these panels and the people who decided they needed them must have realised how screwed up this crap was. I suppose they just don't care.

Clearly you just don't understand how the monetization of viralities can streamline the Six Sigma cash flows into mobile development. You need to reassess your scope creep and integrate your agile processes to maximize your baseline NPV and fulfill the critical path method for the Escapist Limited Whales Corporation.

Jimothy Sterling:

verylost:
While I agree with most of this video here's a question about the backlash issue: What if it is backlash due to a controversial issue from critics outside the gaming market (for example violence in video games) which have been known to be an issue to cause game developers to shut down projects?

Said on Facebook:

My "panel" was not for creative people who take creative risks. They wouldn't try to "reduce backlash" anyway because they should believe in what they're doing, and know it's for the best. If you care about "reducing backlash," clearly you're doing something you know ain't right. Therefore, my "panel" only applies to a certain type of developer. A shit one.

wait, wait, what? so the guy who made the "reducing backlash" panel wrote that. that's hilarious. I can imagine him getting all the developers in the room and then just berating them for half an hour for being shit because they wanted to do something people would hate and make them more money.

This planet...

I think I'm going to start drinking, and keep drinking until "How to Reduce Backlash" looks more like "How to Own Up to Your Mistakes...and Fix Them."

DirgeNovak:
I'd really like a list of people who gave those whale panels so I can never give them a penny ever again.

This times a million. Jim needs to be required viewing for everyone in the game industry.

Gaming is going straight into the toilet.

Also thanks for reminding me the disgrace that is going to be Roller Coaster Tycoon 4.

Great video, Jim, but one thing that I'm surprised wasn't brought up, by you or the other posters here:

The term "whale" comes from Las Vegas, and is another word for "high roller" -- i.e. somebody, often very wealthy, who drops huge amounts of money, often in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars, at the slots and the tables. Casinos love whales, and offer them lavish packages (called "comps") to draw them in, filled with private jets, limos, the best suites, and free lines of credit so they can keep gambling.

The fact that F2P developers have proudly adopted the term "whale" to describe the biggest junkies (sorry, players) illustrates perfectly how the F2P racket is pretty much only one step above casinos in terms of ethics. Maybe not even, because casinos are at least honest about the fact that they sucker people.

By the way, the term "Whale" is an casino term for an person who spends large amounts of cash on gambling. I.e High Roller, I am an bit disturbed that they are calling gamers that. its an telling use of that word. great video as always, Jim

Your panel on how to reduce backlash was way too long, this is my panel: Don't be a greedy twat and make good games.

I used to think that publishers where not evil just stupid but this convinced me that there evil, if they get the chance they would take every dollar out of your wallet and leave you homeless.

Also I like whales so I hate it how publishers use their name for their anti consumer bullshit.

Eric the Orange:
What I HATE most about the "minnows and whales" analogy is that it dehumanizes your customers. You may as well call them shit bags and cash bags. The analogy still works and it's much more clear on what you really think of them.

Exactly. They're corporate euphemisms for what they really think of the people using their product, used to "minimize backlash".

When you're only building a game for the small percentage of people who you can leech money out of and despise the rest, it infects your design at a fundamental level.

My My, Jim really snapped~
It was quite arousing~
Especially cause he's right, all this corporate bullshit needs to die in the deepest and most torturous pits of hell there are
On a side note: Jesse likes Dynasty Warriors? Now I wanna see him play one, so excuse me as I go find a window through which to badger him about that~

ars731:
By the way, the term "Whale" is an casino term for an person who spends large amounts of cash on gambling. I.e High Roller, I am an bit disturbed that they are calling gamers that. its an telling use of that word. great video as always, Jim

I am sure they are using it because didn't some study show that a very small percentage of F2P gamers spend all the money.

That will be the first slide shown at all these presentations, and then ways to get more whales as a percentage of playerbase, how to keep them, or how to transition a minnow to a whale.

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