This Mobile Game is Making $2 Million a Day

This Mobile Game is Making $2 Million a Day

Puzzle & Dragons is sitting on a hoard of gold.

Ever wondered why developers seem to be flocking to the mobile market like them hills be full of gold? Well it's because them hills actually are full of gold. Puzzle & Dragons, a match-three puzzler from GungHo Online Entertainment, is supposedly bringing in around 6 billion yen ($64 million) a month.

According to details taken from the publisher's most-recent financial report - as translated by industry consultant, Serkan Toto - the game's 8 million registered players have been driving the company's significant growth. In the 2012 fiscal year, GungHo saw its sales grow by 168.8 percent and its profits by a whopping 690.1 percent.

So, what's Puzzle & Dragons? It's essentially what you'd get if you tried to cross breed Pokemon and Bejewled. The game is, of course, free-to-play. The microtransaction hook comes in the form of Magic Stones, which restore health, unlock new monsters and allow you to restart failed dungeons. GungHo has been selling a lot of Magic Stones.

The game was released in Japan last February, with an English version making it to the U.S. and Europe in November.

GungHo's growth shows no sign of stopping. According to the listed financial details for January of this year, sales have hit 9.5 billion yen, a 1022.4 percent increase year-over-year. Some of that cash went towards the acquisition of No More Heroes and Lollipop Chainsaw developer, Grasshopper Manufacture.

Source: Gamasutra

Permalink

Microtransactions... The way of the future. Sorry fellas!

... I feel slightly sick.

It won't last. People eventually get tired of it and then they move on to something else.

Now is the perfect time for them to just dissolve the company and run away with whatever they've made.

My God, It's Superman 3 all over again.
CURSE YOU RICHARD PRYOR!

Isn't this from the same country where they're having to impose laws on certain forms/amounts of micro-transactions in a day?

Adam Jensen:
It won't last. People eventually get tired of it and then they move on to something else.

Ya but by then the developers will be set for life multiple times over.

mateushac:
Now is the perfect time for them to just dissolve the company and run away with whatever they've made.

Agreed. I might wait for growth to just slow down a little or steady out then sell :)

Like Peanut Butter and Chocolate, this is what happens when you take two of the worlds most addicting games (Pokemon and Bejeweled) and mix them together.

Seriously, whoever came up with this idea is the most dastardly and evil of the evil geniuses.

Because the mobile market is full of idiots that don't know that games like this are worth maybe 5$ on other platforms and will gladly fork over dozens of dollars just to get through the game easier and quicker?

We used to have cheat codes. That was to hard for the casual crowd though. They had to press buttons and stuff! Do you know how hard it was to enter those codes in sequence! Makes their brain hurt so much. So they gladly fork over money to SKIP THROUGH the game rather than play it.

It's like what happened to Transformers all over. It made money. By lobotomizing itself and then whoring on the street.

I'm sorry, I was a little too busy trying to find this game and missed the point of the article? Seriously, a game company has made what sounds like a fantastic game and people are upset that they're making money off of it? Yeah, some companies abuse the hell out of microtransactions, but that doesn't sound like it's happening here. If people want to spend more money to get more out of an otherwise good game, I don't see a problem.

Adam Jensen:
It won't last. People eventually get tired of it and then they move on to something else.

The current form of it might not last, but I don't see microtransactions in general going anywhere. After all, they're hardly new. Collectable soccer cards? Magic The Gathering? Pokemon? Microtransactions have been making millions for at least as long as I've been on this particular plane of existence.

Well, the actual rub is that if you look at that game it's objectively crap, it just happens to be a piece of shovelware that lucked into hitting it big. You could develop hundreds of games like that for the price of 1 AAA title and only need to succeed a couple of times to make it profitable. That's why I think companies are flocking to this paticular platform, especially when they spend tens of millions on turds and take a bath.

I understand it from a business perspective, and it is not good for gaming as a whole.

That said, I do not think AAA gaming will go away entirely, since there is still a market for it, but I do suspect we'll see less and less titles for a while at least.

Yep. There's also the fact that iDOLM@STER and its subsidiaries, all games about raising cute girls to be top idols, is making cash hand over fist as well. 1 billion yen a month might not be nearly as much as 6 billion but when you consider that that's revenue it's still mighty impressive.

Oh and the 15 CDs that were released, all for characters in the game that had never had voices previously and that were singles with only a single song and a 5 minute drama track all made it into the Oricon top 10 for their first weeks on the market.

http://www.animenewsnetwork.com.au/news/2013-02-17/nikkei/idolm@ster-tie-ins-earn-10-billion+yen

Now if you'll excuse me, my usual site just got stock of WebMoney and I need to buy some gacha rolls in Cinderella Girls.

Therumancer:
Well, the actual rub is that if you look at that game it's objectively crap, it just happens to be a piece of shovelware that lucked into hitting it big. You could develop hundreds of games like that for the price of 1 AAA title and only need to succeed a couple of times to make it profitable. That's why I think companies are flocking to this paticular platform, especially when they spend tens of millions on turds and take a bath.

I understand it from a business perspective, and it is not good for gaming as a whole.

That said, I do not think AAA gaming will go away entirely, since there is still a market for it, but I do suspect we'll see less and less titles for a while at least.

Not sure how you define "objectively crap", personally I define it as buggy to the point of being unplayable. This looks at least functional, not deep or very interesting but functional.

-Dragmire-:

Therumancer:
Well, the actual rub is that if you look at that game it's objectively crap, it just happens to be a piece of shovelware that lucked into hitting it big. You could develop hundreds of games like that for the price of 1 AAA title and only need to succeed a couple of times to make it profitable. That's why I think companies are flocking to this paticular platform, especially when they spend tens of millions on turds and take a bath.

I understand it from a business perspective, and it is not good for gaming as a whole.

That said, I do not think AAA gaming will go away entirely, since there is still a market for it, but I do suspect we'll see less and less titles for a while at least.

Not sure how you define "objectively crap", personally I define it as buggy to the point of being unplayable. This looks at least functional, not deep or very interesting but functional.

In this case by comparing it to other well received AAA level shooters in terms of visuals, FX, presentation, etc... In which case it falls far short of the bar, never mind raising that bar as it promised to do. Some people digging around in the code trying to find ways improve the game, found that the basic code doesn't even take advantage of cards and technology newer than five years ago, which does a lot to explain why the game looks like it does, especially compared to the demos which apparently exploited current technology and innovations as were promised.

Now granted, if you were to compare this game to say a bunch of indie productions using 5 year old technology, then it wouldn't seem as bad. If they were charging $10 or maybe #20 for what was being presented as a fly by night effort by fans, that would be one thing... but in this case they didn't, it's presented as a AAA game, charging AAA prices. Hence why it can be considered objectively terrible, and is getting hammered so hard beyond the lies told about it.

Therumancer:

-Dragmire-:

Therumancer:
Well, the actual rub is that if you look at that game it's objectively crap, it just happens to be a piece of shovelware that lucked into hitting it big. You could develop hundreds of games like that for the price of 1 AAA title and only need to succeed a couple of times to make it profitable. That's why I think companies are flocking to this paticular platform, especially when they spend tens of millions on turds and take a bath.

I understand it from a business perspective, and it is not good for gaming as a whole.

That said, I do not think AAA gaming will go away entirely, since there is still a market for it, but I do suspect we'll see less and less titles for a while at least.

Not sure how you define "objectively crap", personally I define it as buggy to the point of being unplayable. This looks at least functional, not deep or very interesting but functional.

In this case by comparing it to other well received AAA level shooters in terms of visuals, FX, presentation, etc... In which case it falls far short of the bar, never mind raising that bar as it promised to do. Some people digging around in the code trying to find ways improve the game, found that the basic code doesn't even take advantage of cards and technology newer than five years ago, which does a lot to explain why the game looks like it does, especially compared to the demos which apparently exploited current technology and innovations as were promised.

Now granted, if you were to compare this game to say a bunch of indie productions using 5 year old technology, then it wouldn't seem as bad. If they were charging $10 or maybe #20 for what was being presented as a fly by night effort by fans, that would be one thing... but in this case they didn't, it's presented as a AAA game, charging AAA prices. Hence why it can be considered objectively terrible, and is getting hammered so hard beyond the lies told about it.

Did I miss something? It says up top the game is free to play with a focus on microtransactions.

edit: I can't find any indication of them advertising the game as AAA competition on their site either.

source:http://www.gunghoonline.com/games/puzzle-dragons/

Its amazing how the arcade business model still works in Japan, and other Asian countries. Dungeon Fighter has a similar style of microtransactions for arcade style "credits". It will be interesting to see if this game can catch on at all in the west, or will people just stick with bejeweled.

I am depressed this kind of "arcade" game is making this much money for so little effort on the developer's part.

This game wasn't designed by game designers, it looks like a social scientist and a addictive substance expert got together and found how to use social media to make money.

My concern is more and more developers will try and replicate this exact formula.

It's the free market at work, for better or for worse. Nobody's getting lied to or mislead. Humanity just sucks.

Ok fuck science. I'm getting out of this god damn career because I don't make infinity billion yen per fucking day.

space marines and xenos and dragons and vampires. You gotta do some stuff and symbols fall down and you move them and then FUCKING COMBO HOLY SHIT YOU UNLOCKED THE. poke-something-or other. And you need Infinity Stones to er, do stuff, involving things. Infinity stones for cash money. First times free, brother. And sister. If you crush up infinity stones at the malus of insanity you get incredible energy powder which is dispensed from your cable modem. Blow that magical insanity dust up your nose and KABOOSH you have a instant energy boost for matching more symbols.

I can't really judge until I've tried it, so until then...

The 5 million other games that have made less then 10 bunks that are on on the same market cry themselves to sleep every night.

For every mega-success there are so many failed and neglected other games on most mobile marketplaces.

Oh THAT'S the game that has my mum failing to function all day.

...Fuck that game.

-Dragmire-:
[

Not sure how you define "objectively crap", personally I define it as buggy to the point of being unplayable. This looks at least functional, not deep or very interesting but functional.

In this case by comparing it to other well received AAA level shooters in terms of visuals, FX, presentation, etc... In which case it falls far short of the bar, never mind raising that bar as it promised to do. Some people digging around in the code trying to find ways improve the game, found that the basic code doesn't even take advantage of cards and technology newer than five years ago, which does a lot to explain why the game looks like it does, especially compared to the demos which apparently exploited current technology and innovations as were promised.

Now granted, if you were to compare this game to say a bunch of indie productions using 5 year old technology, then it wouldn't seem as bad. If they were charging $10 or maybe #20 for what was being presented as a fly by night effort by fans, that would be one thing... but in this case they didn't, it's presented as a AAA game, charging AAA prices. Hence why it can be considered objectively terrible, and is getting hammered so hard beyond the lies told about it.[/quote]

Did I miss something? It says up top the game is free to play with a focus on microtransaction
edit: I can't find any indication of them advertising the game as AAA competition on their site either.

source:http://www.gunghoonline.com/games/puzzle-dragons/[/quote]

[blinks] Somehow it seems like a post I wrote in response to Aliens, Colonial Marines, wound up being put in this thread by accident. Since I called two things objectively crap recently. Apologies. Not entirely sure how that happened.

That said when it comes PUZZLE-DRAGONS, like most indie games it's a piece of shovelware. There was a time when stores still had decent computer sections where you'd find all the real games on one side of an aisle, and all the shovelware garbage on the other side. Titles like "Alien Disco Inferno", "Cute Knight", and tons of hidden object games, many of which were later repurposed into apps for portable devices. A lot of crap wound up getting a new lease on life simply because it was able to run on a tablet, where real games, were unable to.

The thing is though that as time has gone on we've started to see the development of more real games brought onto the tablet. Things like Baldur's Gate, and a few similar levels of titles being developed from scratch. To put things into perspective if you were in an old school software aisle, Baldur's Gate would be on one side with the real games, Puzzle Dragons would be buried among the stinking heaps of jewel case games and shovelware in it's own little section. Something like this belongs as a minigame attached to a real game, not it's own product.

Of course the casual market being what it is, especially on tablets at the moment, you can still score big on shovelware, there was a time where it worked with full sized PCs as well, which is why people kept trying it right down until "the end". Things like Puzzle Dragons represent why big companies want to grab their own shovels and a giant pile of manure to sling at the masses, hoping for that one hit before the bubble bursts. You basically have the big companies looking at games like this and going "wow, what a steaming pile", then at the money it made and going "well, I can squueze out a turd that runny... let's see if I can make 2 million a day too".

Grey Carter:
This Mobile Game is Making $2 Million a Day

Puzzle & Dragons is sitting on a hoard of gold.

Wow, really? That's quite a bit of scratch. Let's read...

Ever wondered why developers seem to be flocking to the mobile market like them hills be full of gold? Well it's because them hills actually are full of gold. Puzzle & Dragons, a match-three puzzler from GungHo Online Entertainment, is supposedly bringing in around 6 billion yen ($64 million) a month.

*whistle* Wow. Wish I was making that kind of scratch.

According to details taken from the publisher's most-recent financial report - as translated by industry consultant, Serkan Toto - the game's 8 million registered players have been driving the company's significant growth. In the 2012 fiscal year, GungHo saw its sales grow by 168.8 percent and its profits by a whopping 690.1 percent.

Now that is a lot of growth. I'd be careful; growing that quickly can also lead to you falling just as fast. If you want your growth to continue, it should be steady and supported by more than one means.

So, what's Puzzle & Dragons? It's essentially what you'd get if you tried to cross breed Pokemon and Bejewled. The game is, of course, free-to-play. The microtransaction hook comes in the form of Magic Stones, which restore health, unlock new monsters and allow you to restart failed dungeons. GungHo has been selling a lot of Magic Stones.

Ahhhh, so thaaat's how they're doing it. It's "free-to-play"...until you need to pay to try again. Sneaky.

The game was released in Japan last February, with an English version making it to the U.S. and Europe in November.

GungHo's growth shows no sign of stopping. According to the listed financial details for January of this year, sales have hit 9.5 billion yen, a 1022.4 percent increase year-over-year. Some of that cash went towards the acquisition of No More Heroes and Lollipop Chainsaw developer, Grasshopper Manufacture.

Well, that's nice for them; I just hope that they'll come up with games that are a bit more...substantial than "Pokemon meets Bejeweled"....Hey, what was that last part again?

Some of that cash went towards the acquisition of No More Heroes and Lollipop Chainsaw developer, Grasshopper Manufacture.

....Oh...Oh, God no....NOOO!! That--it--NO! Nononononono! This...great.

I now predict that there will be a free-to-play No More Heroes puzzle game coming to iOS. You can pay for new beam katanas, health and strength upgrades, new clothing, and to fight each Ranked Assassin. It will be the FF: All The Bravest of NMH lore. T.T

Therumancer:

-Dragmire-:

Therumancer:

Did I miss something? It says up top the game is free to play with a focus on microtransaction
edit: I can't find any indication of them advertising the game as AAA competition on their site either.

source:http://www.gunghoonline.com/games/puzzle-dragons/

[blinks] Somehow it seems like a post I wrote in response to Aliens, Colonial Marines, wound up being put in this thread by accident. Since I called two things objectively crap recently. Apologies. Not entirely sure how that happened.

...snip...

Ah, no problem. I thought that might be the case.

No harm no foul.

Guy Jackson:

Adam Jensen:
It won't last. People eventually get tired of it and then they move on to something else.

The current form of it might not last, but I don't see microtransactions in general going anywhere. After all, they're hardly new. Collectable soccer cards? Magic The Gathering? Pokemon? Microtransactions have been making millions for at least as long as I've been on this particular plane of existence.

Wow! You really just blew my mind! I've never thought of collectable cards as microtransactions, but I can totally see the similarities. Getting a boost, or extra content in a game isn't all the different then having to buy new cards to get the latest features. How is buying new skins for a video game (or horse armor) all that different than Magic players buying a basic land card for 8 bucks because it has an unique picture.

Congratulations on having a forum post on the Internet actually change someone's mind!

 

Reply to Thread

Log in or Register to Comment
Have an account? Login below:
With Facebook:Login With Facebook
or
Username:  
Password:  
  
Not registered? To sign up for an account with The Escapist:
Register With Facebook
Register With Facebook
or
Register for a free account here