Gaming Your Way

May contain nuts.

Whose the daddy ?

Slowly but surely getting closer to the deadlines for the current projects. That's not really a time to worry, as it means they'll be done soon.

To everyone I owe an email too, sorry, I do love you, I just can't show it right now.

Just to give the blog a slight shot in the arm, I found an article which you guys may find interesting.

In-Depth: Biggest 10 Browser-Based Game Sites Ranked

A few surprises for me there, I thought some of the portals listed would have been higher up. There's an insane amount of traffic and therefore ad revenue being generated by those 10.

There's an interesting nod of the head to the newer browser plug-ins ( Such as Unity3D, which is coming to Windows at last, and StoneTrip, not to mention QuakeLive , which although "closed", is still bringing quality 3D to the web within a community ) at the end of the article,
"It also means that we will probably start to see a shift in the monetization model," he predicts. "This will be hugely underscored by 2008 technology developments allowing full-blown immersive 3D in the browser."
The future is more than papervision and Away ? Possibly. Hopefully. I think there will be a lot of smaller micro studios with existing 3D pipelines who will be looking at browser based content a lot more now, as an alternative to XNA and WiiWare ( And iPhone ), all of which are either already really saturated, or heading that way.
It won't be long before mochi, google and gameJacket ads are in more than Flash, and perhaps that's the Flash killer app that everyone has been glancing over their shoulder looking for all this time. It won't be silverlight, or Unity or any other plug-in, it'll be mochi-ads and gameJacket. If you can make money from Flash and make the same amount from something done in Unity, which are you as a game developer going to want to play with the most ?

Yeah, me too.

Squize.

Comments (10) -

  • tonypa

    1/30/2009 7:49:23 PM |

    Not too many from the top10 have much to do with Flash. Many use Java or ActiveX instead and ActiveX means they only run with IE and Windows. I am not even sure what WildTangent is doing there, they dont even have browser plugin anymore, only downloadable games.

    As about making money with browser-based games, how many from those top10 are buying games from indie developers? Addictinggames and spil group only? And even those do not allow any external ads in games, its through buying licences only (so boringly 90s). Other sites are closed to outside developers so practically none of that insane amount of traffic and ad revenue is speading down to game developers pocket. Unless you work for them of course.

    I too think Mochi has done more to Flash games in last years then Adobe. Its kind of sad to never heard anything about FlashCS4 after its release, like it does not even exist anymore. But unlike you, I honestly do not see SL or Unity as online game platform yet. I do hope they both fail and game developers who jump over from Flash will all burn in hell (runs away laughing madly...)

  • Squize

    1/30/2009 8:15:14 PM |

    "As about making money with browser-based games, how many from those top10 are buying games from indie developers? Addicting games and spil group only?"

    I think miniclip still do, Spil are quite new to the actual buying games as opposed to being the ultimate shovelware collection of sites, but I do see your point.
    And yeah, the big boys won't let you have your own ads ( Won't even let you have your own link in some cases ) so basically if you're selling to them it's a case of taking a hit on the money just for the exposure for your game.

    That in itself is a double edged sword. It's all well and good 10 million + people playing your game in a very short space of time but it's another thing making it, or yourself, a known brand.
    If the game is a hit ( Above the usual amount of traffic ) then you're perhaps looking at a sequel ( For the same portal ), or to make your company brand a hit you need to be selling a good couple of games to the same portal ( Nitrome have nailed this totally, but I wonder how many cheap deals they had to swallow during that brand building period before they were in a better position to negotiate a decent amount ? Also they're quite unique in that they have a very distinctive look and feel to all there games which they stick with. You can spot one of their games a mile off ).

    "I do hope they both fail and game developers who jump over from Flash will all burn in hell (runs away laughing madly...)"

    lol

    I'm really interested in Unity, I have been for ages, and every new thing I read about it increases my interest ( The head of Atari saying things like the windows launch will push it through the roof, them getting a former criterion big boy on board after praising it and saying that's what they should have done with Renderware etc. There are a lot of clever people with a lot of money openly saying it's very good ).
    There's a huge amount of potential with it, and I think it may tempt some of the big game devs to port some old games to it ( For playing in the browser ) as the assets will already exist. It does just need it's own mochi and then it's up and running.

  • guess

    2/1/2009 6:54:21 PM |

    wrong.
    think about effect of ingame ad systems to pricing of flash games (lead to dumping of prices thanks to people dreaming of making it up with ad returns) compared to how much money ingame ad systems bring in average for average game (not much). Ingame ad systems in flash market: false promises.

  • Squize

    2/1/2009 7:19:01 PM |

    Hi me@me.com ( We honestly don't have the time to sell peoples email addresses, so you don't have to worry about putting a false one in there. If we do get time, we'll give you a share of what we make ).

    I don't think Flash prices have dumped, they've always been painfully low in the indy sector, although it's true that some sponsors will reduce the amount they offer if you retain your own ads.

    My reasoning about Unity needing it's own mochi to kickstart it is because look how many people have got into Flash thanks to ads and sponsorship ( Both of which pay fuck all 99% of the time ).
    I'm not saying that ads are a realistic way for people to make money, I'm saying they're a very good incentive for people to produce games on the off chance they are in that 1%.

    How about you ? Would you rather develop a game using Unity with or without ads in it ( I mean in terms of revenue, not in terms of artistic merit ) ?

  • tonypa

    2/1/2009 8:57:09 PM |

    Quote: "Ingame ad systems in flash market: false promises."

    For most developers and most games that can be true. Revenue from ads depends number of plays (and where the players are coming from). Most games never get enough views to gather sums to get excited about. But popular games do.

    I dont know how to make hugely popular games. But I am still lucky enough to gather money from ads so I dont have to work. Yes, the best part is that even if I dont make anything for a month, I still get payed. And you dont have to sell your game to greedy sponsors (you know, games are like children or kidneys, every time you sell one, part of your soul dies).

  • guess

    2/1/2009 9:47:48 PM |

    i think it hurts the image/representation of a game more to have ads in it than have it on a sponsor page. At least a big part of the audience hates ads.
    Also its no guess but a fact that many sites pay lower and lower the more they can get games for free or a low sum because a) many hand their games out for free or very low sums thanks to adding ads into them and b) as Squize said the promise of being able to earn money with flash games attracts more and more kids.
    And yes, it is a false promise because the flash ad systems pay ridiculously low sums and at the same time the market gets flooded with kids thinking they can make a nice buck with flash games.
    In reality only big portals with many games and the ad system companies make the big bucks. So the ad systems have lead to the portals controlling the market problem getting worse.
    On game developer side the number of people who makes propper money with ad systems in flash games is so low that it counts as exception underlying the rule.
    See, a few years ago one could easily license a halfway ok doing game for several k, up to over 10k, how many games make such sums with mochi or gamejacket? <0.1%?

  • guess

    2/1/2009 9:51:30 PM |

    to Squize: initially i thought it would be good to have ad systms running in unity games but as you can see i reviewed the market in the last few months and meanwhile i am happy the ad systems don´t run in unity games. One can nicely license them around for propper sums and the market is not flooded by kids giving their games away believing in the false ad market promises.
    Ads can work out in console games or iPhone games but for flash/web stuff they pay so low that its an understatement to say its a false promise, its really a big bubble lie.

  • Squize

    2/1/2009 10:29:44 PM |

    "At least a big part of the audience hates ads."

    True, but the vast majority of these people want everything on the net for free and almost by default believe anyone earning any sort of money from their games is doing something wrong ( As they play your game on an ad filled portal where the cpm is $5 not $0.50 and who did nothing to aid in the development of the game at all. It's like their favourite pet portal can do no wrong, yet they don't actually create a thing, they're just a shop front for those who do ).

    "In reality only big portals with many games and the ad system companies make the big bucks."

    Yep. My pet hate is paid placements, man that just screws the market for everyone.

    As to having no ads in Unity / looking to just sell bespoke games, I really don't know what the market is for unity games. I imagine it's still a hard sell ( Yeah it's pretty and 3D is always a wow, but a much smaller user base than Flash, plus the development costs have to be much greater. $50k worth of swf will get you a lot more than $50k of Unity ).
    It's hard enough trying to sell added value to a Flash project.

    "See, a few years ago one could easily license a halfway ok doing game for several k, up to over 10k"

    Well I missed that phase in the indy scene. Back when I started there were a handful of big portals buying games, miniclip, shockwave etc. and they paid next to nothing as no one else was buying games, it was a total buyers market.
    I've never known a strong indy market paying amounts on par with adver-game projects. There was either a tiny amount of portals and no other possible way to generate income, or then it was bang, everyone is a sponsor all of a sudden happily paying people $50 for a game ( And people accepting that )

    "And yes, it is a false promise because the flash ad systems pay ridiculously low sums and at the same time the market gets flooded with kids thinking they can make a nice buck with flash games. "

    Yeah and the vast majority of kids churn out shit and sell it for next to nothing, which keeps the underlying price for indy Flash content low ( The majority of portals are just shovelware, even the ones who sponsor. They'd rather buy 10 exclusive crap games for $1000 than 1 semi-decent one ).
    But... it's important that there's new blood coming to the market, so for all the script kiddies who think they're l33t haxors 'cause they can use a decompiler and put their name into a game to re-sell it to a dumb ass sponsor for $30, there will be a handful of potentially great coders who will make great things.

    "you know, games are like children or kidneys, every time you sell one, part of your soul dies"

    Too true, and beautifully put :)

  • tonypa

    2/2/2009 8:44:01 AM |

    More options to get money is always good. You think sponsors pay laughably small amounts - dont sell it to sponsors, use ads instead. You think ads are paying too little - make your own portal and get those millions of visitors coming.

    The market of Flash games is pretty similar to books: everyone thinks they can write properly but only few will be hugely successful like Harry Potter and make the author very rich. Many books remain unknown for large public, even when authors themselves think they have written fantastic piece. And I am sure every writer thinks publishers and shops are earning too much money without doing anything. Nobody is expecting to earn millions for book that readers dont like to read or from a book that was created by filling in the blanks in template or from a book that is being sold only in one shop next to the authors home, yet such expectation are pretty common for Flash games.

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