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Author Topic: Shadowbane places adds and goes add-based revenue  (Read 18078 times)
sinij
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on: February 21, 2007, 10:58:37 AM

Quote
Ashen Temper

The Test Server has been updated with a new patch. This patch includes the first update of Ubisoft's new revenue model which contains an advertisement video when you log onto the game, log out of the game, and during the teleportation from death (resurrection screen). The advertisement video will not show more than once every 10 minutes so if you die a few times in a row within 10 minutes, you'll only view one on the first death and then not till your next death that is 10 minutes or more from the last viewing.

Furthermore, upon the very first time you view the movies, they will be blank. This should only occur the first time, though.

This update should be upon the Test Server momentarily. This is the only update contained within this patch and should not be confused with the upcoming Content Patch.

I have mixed fillings about it. On one hand its in-game adds and I *hate* it, on other hand game is free of any subscription fee.

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
waylander
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Reply #1 on: February 21, 2007, 11:09:50 AM

I hope the time you take to watch this counts towards rez sickness expiration.

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sinij
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Reply #2 on: February 21, 2007, 11:10:29 AM

Potentially this move can put dying mmorpgs on life support, when you have subscription numbers fall below some critical level you can switch to add-based revenue and get resurge in your now 'free' game, or at least further stop account bleed.


This got me thinking, can you release new title and be successful with just add-based revenue? Lets say you have new mmorpg, you offer it for free download and skip whole publisher, box on the shelf and monthly fee process. Is 'box on the shelf' even matters anymore for getting your early subscriptions for mmorpg?

Anyone has any experience at what price can you realistically sell your add time? I'm trying to get a feel how much adds need to be shown to get ~$10/mo out of each player.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2007, 11:13:17 AM by sinij »

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
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Reply #3 on: February 21, 2007, 11:33:56 AM

Where did you see this? Didn't see anything about this on the forums or website.
sinij
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Reply #4 on: February 21, 2007, 11:50:41 AM

Ashen posted this on Ubi's SB Test Message boards, you have to log-in to access them, so you heard it here first!

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
shiznitz
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Reply #5 on: February 21, 2007, 12:02:12 PM

Anyone has any experience at what price can you realistically sell your add time? I'm trying to get a feel how much adds need to be shown to get ~$10/mo out of each player.

Advertising rates are not a secret. A streaming video web ad is in the $30-50 per 1,000 views ballpark. Network TV is about $30 and internet videa actually gets a higher rate because it can be targeted much better. However, let's use a $30 CPM (cost per thousand) since these ads lack the interactivity of a true web ad (i.e. there won't be any clickthrough).

So, if the average player logs in for 2 hours and sees 6 ads (log in, 4 deathscreens, log out) in those 2 hours that is six views per person or 18 cents per person per day. If he plays 20 days a month, that is $6.

Play with the math all you want, but the subscription model is better unless going free means at least a doubling of your customer base.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2007, 12:05:05 PM by shiznitz »

I have never played WoW.
JessicaM
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Reply #6 on: February 21, 2007, 12:04:48 PM

Anyone has any experience at what price can you realistically sell your add time? I'm trying to get a feel how much adds need to be shown to get ~$10/mo out of each player.

Ad-based revenue is incremental revenue in most situations.  You need a lot of unique viewers to make it truly worthwhile and support the live team developers.  The examples I've seen from looking at various online game revenue streams in the past couple years is actual revenue of between 20 cents and 27 cents per active player/per month.  That was with a minimum of 3 ad slots on the interface screen and as many as 5 ad slots.

These were for ad-supported MMOs, mostly browser based, that had anywhere from 30,000 (which brought in around $6,000 per month in ad revenue) to three million active players/unique ad-viewers per month, world-wide (about $200,000 per month on average in ad revenue for that one).  That last example also had about 100,000 players out of the 3 million paying about $3 per month for premium accounts (more features and no ads).  Obviously, the more eyeballs you have regularly, the higher the price you can command for ads.

It is a chicken-and-egg problem; can you survive long enough to build the eyeball base large enough to make enough ad revenue to survive long term?  For a web-based model and a smaller team, ads revenue CAN be significant, if you keep your team small and can drive a lot of eyeballs to your site.  For the average client-server MMO, which is generally more expensive to run, you need a LOT of ad-views to pay the bills.

Hope that helped.

shiznitz
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Reply #7 on: February 21, 2007, 12:07:34 PM

Even though Jessica's 20-27 cents is for a static image, it calls into question my $30 CPM for a game like Shadowbane.

I have never played WoW.
JessicaM
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Reply #8 on: February 21, 2007, 12:10:33 PM

I think you are right for videos, shiznitz.  My only caveat would be that not everyone gets those rates; much depends on your current base of unique users and/or your bargaining power.  An agency might give Ubi a preferential rate for SB, for example, in hopes of getting more business later on.
sinij
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Reply #9 on: February 21, 2007, 12:45:42 PM

SB's player base is all over the world - Europe, Asia and North America. How would you target your adds with this in mind?

So lets say ShadowBane has 2000-2500 players, lets say $25-35 CPM, each player sees 5-10 adds per play session each day, 25-30 days a month resulting in $6250 to $26250 per month or about $7 per month per player.

On paper it looks very feasible, especially if you factor the fact that you don't have added costs of billing.

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
JessicaM
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Reply #10 on: February 21, 2007, 01:27:50 PM

SB's player base is all over the world - Europe, Asia and North America. How would you target your adds with this in mind?

So lets say ShadowBane has 2000-2500 players, lets say $25-35 CPM, each player sees 5-10 adds per play session each day, 25-30 days a month resulting in $6250 to $26250 per month or about $7 per month per player.

On paper it looks very feasible, especially if you factor the fact that you don't have added costs of billing.

If they can get that kind of CPM and have that kind of player base, then they might be able to do it.  Beyond CPM, it really all depends on the maintenance costs; cost of the live team, server rental, bandwidth, et al.  No way to really know unless UbI is willing to share all that, :D.
Krakrok
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Reply #11 on: February 21, 2007, 02:25:43 PM


The number I saw on TechCrunch was...

Quote
Television networks are used to getting $0.30 and more in commercial advertising per viewer for a hit show.

Which is $300 CPM. The problem you run into is no one wants your international traffic and with only 2000-3000 users you can't just show them the same ad over and over (well you can but it won't last long). Additionally, that isn't enough users to sell geographically targeted ads for.

With that minimum amount of users you have to have a wide variety of ads otherwise the same person is going to see the same ad 600 times in a month which advertisers don't particularly like.

You'd be better off selling flat rate sponsorship slots on lengthy contracts.

shiznitz
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Reply #12 on: February 21, 2007, 02:30:51 PM

"for a hit show" $300. Ok. I was using average for run of the mill TV.

I have never played WoW.
sinij
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Reply #13 on: February 21, 2007, 03:14:12 PM

Lets say Blizzard decides to offer no-fee add-based accounts, I'd think they would have no problems matching monthly fee. So why is it not done? There must be a catch somewhere.

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
Murgos
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Reply #14 on: February 21, 2007, 03:34:47 PM

Pisses people off?  Potentially anyway.

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Reply #15 on: February 21, 2007, 04:33:38 PM

Lets say Blizzard decides to offer no-fee add-based accounts, I'd think they would have no problems matching monthly fee. So why is it not done? There must be a catch somewhere.

Ad based revenue is simply more risky.  A known, fixed rate of income is just preferable to a variable income stream; after all, the amount you command in your CPM changes over time based on popularity which is hardly static.  Plus, changes in the marketplace out of your control could dramatically affect the rates you can earn. Example, DAoC's could command X CPM; but as soon as WoW is released, DAoC's rates would start to go down, probably dramatically.  That sort of competitive risk is just something you want to minimize as much as possible.

Not to mention the fact that you must now appeal to both subscribers AND companies who want to advertise to your subscriber and therefore shifts your business plan to resemble more TV than subscription based service.

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Trippy
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Reply #16 on: February 21, 2007, 04:57:20 PM

SB's player base is all over the world - Europe, Asia and North America. How would you target your adds with this in mind?
It's easy enough these days to figure out where a person is playing from based on the IP address.
Nija
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Reply #17 on: February 21, 2007, 05:06:00 PM

SB's player base is all over the world - Europe, Asia and North America. How would you target your adds with this in mind?

http://www.arin.net
Nija
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Reply #18 on: February 21, 2007, 05:15:48 PM

We're probably only a few years away from a google ads banner right above the chat window, so it picks out keywords from what people are talking about in your guildspeak and gives you links to them.

SHANE COMPANY DIAMONDS!
guy3: please someone help me run UBRS for the 532nd time
dude: Hey come help me get these stones for attunement to blahblah6
chickwithdick: heehee
farmerinyourguildforcomedy: me china
POWER BLOW KIDNEY FLUSH! LESSEN YOUR CHANCES OF KIDNEY STONES!
Venkman
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Reply #19 on: February 22, 2007, 12:02:04 AM

Ad based revenue is simply more risky. 
I agree. It's one of the reasons I think we keep seeing ad-based revenue being lopped onto games just about dead anyway. It's best used (imho) has a way to defray some costs, particularly in how some use it (ads during levels loading, between levels, etc).

Ingame advertising is different and in my mind the greater potential. But that's not coming to this genre in force until more racing/sports/sci-fi titles are successful.
pxib
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Reply #20 on: February 22, 2007, 12:22:28 AM

Only the tank should be targeting adds, and just long enough to get aggro.

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Pendan
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Reply #21 on: February 22, 2007, 02:38:31 PM

Ad based revenue is only generated if users are logging in. Subscription base makes a lot of money from users not even playing. Some people forget to cancel after they stop playing. Some quit playing weeks to months before the subscription actually runs out. I know a person kept a subscription for a year just so once a month they could log in a pay their house maintenance fee. He claimed would return to active play some day and did not want to lose the house but never did play actively again. An add based revenue model would have gotten just 1 hit per month and not generated any money.

I feel in game ads work well for AO. They already had billboards advertising fake products or politics long before went to real ads. Only issue was appropriateness to the time period of the game for some ads. CoH is another game where this form of advertising could work.

If a game has “zoning” times/screens then ads can be done in a way that does not force the user to suspend play any longer than normal.

A game with an advancement model like Eve where you need to login every day to change the skill you are learning could be good for ad based revenue. Increase the number of hits without necessarily increasing costs of bandwidth and support.
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Reply #22 on: February 22, 2007, 02:52:26 PM

I can imagine that being REAL FUCKING ANNOYING to watch that ad during sieges. While I'm all for making money on the dried turd that is SB, I can't help but feel this will not end well.

Signe
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Reply #23 on: February 22, 2007, 05:50:12 PM

It wouldn't have really ended well anyway, I think.

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CmdrSlack
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Reply #24 on: February 22, 2007, 06:21:05 PM

Only the tank should be targeting adds, and just long enough to get aggro.

Heh, thanks for doing that.  That gaffe coming from someone who has claimed to have marketing/advertising experience, that's always struck me as funny too.

 :-D

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Venkman
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Reply #25 on: February 23, 2007, 08:55:38 AM

SB's player base is all over the world - Europe, Asia and North America. How would you target your adds with this in mind?
It's easy enough these days to figure out where a person is playing from based on the IP address.
Question: I know it's possible to spoof IP addresses, but does anyone have statistics on how often this happens, or even if there's been a study on it at all?
Pendan
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Reply #26 on: February 23, 2007, 11:08:05 AM

SB's player base is all over the world - Europe, Asia and North America. How would you target your adds with this in mind?
It's easy enough these days to figure out where a person is playing from based on the IP address.
Question: I know it's possible to spoof IP addresses, but does anyone have statistics on how often this happens, or even if there's been a study on it at all?
Don’t have an answer to the question but think it is funny that someone might have impulse control issues so spoofs IP address so get ads that are not tempting because for a different part of the world.
sinij
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Reply #27 on: February 23, 2007, 11:37:11 AM

SB's player base is all over the world - Europe, Asia and North America. How would you target your adds with this in mind?

http://www.arin.net

Knowing where they are from is not the problem, knowing what to advertise to them, and then coding targeted, as opposed to blank show-them-all, adds is what will be hard part.

I for one would have no idea what to try to sell to someone from Malaysia or where to get advertisers for said products. I'm sure deals can be made with local advertising agencies but would they bother for small 5% of even 100K subscriptions base, less 5% of sub 5K like SB.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2007, 11:39:22 AM by sinij »

Eternity is a very long time, especially towards the end.
Nija
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Reply #28 on: February 23, 2007, 11:49:19 AM

Malaysia? Viagra and decorative cd/dvd media spindles.

Shit, I should be in advertising.
Phred
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Reply #29 on: February 23, 2007, 04:47:19 PM

SB's player base is all over the world - Europe, Asia and North America. How would you target your adds with this in mind?
It's easy enough these days to figure out where a person is playing from based on the IP address.
Question: I know it's possible to spoof IP addresses, but does anyone have statistics on how often this happens, or even if there's been a study on it at all?

The trouble with spoofed packets is that the replies don't come back your machine they are sent to the address of the machine you are spoofing in the packet header. Unless you are using masquerading which isnt really spoofing. The only way to work with spoofed packets is when you now what the machine is going to send and can reply blind.

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Reply #30 on: February 23, 2007, 11:06:02 PM

Have we learned nothing from /pizza?  Every ad is for local restaurants that deliver, maybe maid services too.

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Trippy
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Reply #31 on: February 24, 2007, 12:46:12 AM

SB's player base is all over the world - Europe, Asia and North America. How would you target your adds with this in mind?
It's easy enough these days to figure out where a person is playing from based on the IP address.
Question: I know it's possible to spoof IP addresses, but does anyone have statistics on how often this happens, or even if there's been a study on it at all?
The trouble with spoofed packets is that the replies don't come back your machine they are sent to the address of the machine you are spoofing in the packet header. Unless you are using masquerading which isnt really spoofing. The only way to work with spoofed packets is when you now what the machine is going to send and can reply blind.
I think he's using "spoof" to mean connecting through a proxy rather than the normal networking use of that term.
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