Close to the Edge, Down by the Water

Close to the Edge, Down by the Water

Rapid cycles of development and rapid changes of business
model are now the norm in iPhone and mobile games. 3 to 6 month cycles, with
constant patching and upgrading in the released version mean a radical change
in the games environment. Much has been said about the technical and games
designs issues involved, but what about the cash flow?

Cost curves

Low during design

Middle size during production

High at release and marketing

Low during in field metrics and patching

Risk curves

Risk is low at design

High before release

Low after release

Income curves

None before release now (no distributor up fronts)

Lots in 3 months after release

A little for the long tail

In a nutshell: by bringing release closer to innovation, and
bringing monetisation closer to release, iPhone, social gaming, and mobile
games apps have radically de-risked the cash flow of games companies. Now that
is something we can all applaud and learn from!

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