Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rewards Of 'Free-To-Play' MMOs

James reveals that Three Rings' MMO Puzzle Pirates takes in approximately $50 each month from each paying user (ARPPU) for a total of $230,000 a month, all resulting from microtransactions.

In February, 2005, James chose to launch a free-to-play version of Puzzle Pirates alongside the original subscription model (which contributes an additional $70,000 each month from subscription fees).

Four and a half years later, James has learned a lot -- that the average revenue per user (ARPU) is between one and two dollars a month, but only about 10% of his player base has ever paid him anything. As a result, he says, approximately 5,000 gamers are generating the $230,000 in revenue he sees each month.

"The pivot number -- the number to focus on -- is not the $50 ARPPU but the $1-2 ARPU," he says. "That's the number that a new paying customer is worth to you. If that number were, say, 20 cents, you'd probably have a difficult time building a business."

"But if that number were, say, $3 then you have a good business that enables you to go to a flash distribution site and say, 'Hey, put my game up on your site and I'll give you a dollar for every new user you send me.' They'd surely be interested in that."

Article Link (Gamasutra)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

iRobot creates new business unit for healthcare robotics

It looks like iRobot is betting on healthcare robotics in a fairly big way, with it taking advantage of the recent TEDMED conference to announce that it's forming a new business unit focused solely on the still burgeoning industry. That unit will be headed up by Tod Loofbourrow, who [...] thinks "the long-term potential of robotics to extend independent living is profound." While he's just as light on specifics, iRobot CEO Colin Angle is no less ambitious about the company's goals, saying that iRobot's "healthcare mission is add a million years of independent living to our customers."