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View Full Version : A giant research experiment?



SenorSwamp
02-19-2015, 07:05 AM
As I reflect on the arc of KA, I am beginning to think we are all part of a giant research experiment on the part of computer scientists/sociologists/behavioral psychologists somewhere, with the ultimate goal of seeing how people react to a series of increasingly bad experiences and eroding customer service.

Let us examine the facts:

Early on the "developers" et al were very active getting our feedback
They offered us solid gameplay, made adjustments based on our suggestions, and were very creative
Then, they started slipping--just a bit-- then apologized quickly and we were assured our trust was not misguided.
Then, the missteps increased to gigantic proportions. However, they brought in new orange and green font colors and once again assuaged our fears with promises.
Now, they have abandoned us completely while engaged in gross negligence.


Perhaps I am mistaken-- maybe this is simply a coincidence. I would like to think that no business could be run this poorly and that the rational explanation of a scientific experiment would give them an out.

If it is a scientific experiment, I am curious if there is a correlation between the gameplay/customer service degradation and the number of people who stopped playing. Anecdotally, I would say yes; however, there are so many of us still playing, posting, and chatting that perhaps the experiment has proven that we will stay around no matter what punishment they dole out.

E-I
02-19-2015, 07:19 AM
You give the the idiots Gree to much credit. No way they have enough collective brain cells to organize that kind of massive social experiment.

Max Power
02-19-2015, 08:20 AM
You give the the idiots Gree to much credit. No way they have enough collective brain cells to organize that kind of massive social experiment.

The entire "freemium" business model is one that is fairly new in the grand scheme of things. There is probably still a lot to be learned with the entire concept, and the marketplace acceptance of it. Even if they had responded to every request and kept fresh and welcome content coming, how do you reconcile attracting new players and making them competitive to replace lost revenue streams from people who quit for reasons other that the things on your list, or people who are years ahead in stats?

While your list reads someone like a rant on declining....well....everything.... there are signs it might be similar to most business models. When this game was pulling in serious dough and top ten in revenue generating, they could better afford to program, to hire developers, to assign people to forums for CS and interaction, etc. Looking in the app-store, War of Nations is the best revenue generating game for Gree right now, and it is ranked at #105, followed by Crime City at #181. I have a feeling the lack of revenue is a major factor in perceived and real downfalls.

That may be from the popularity of Clash of Clans or Boom Beach, people might be going to SimCity or Trivia Crack, or it may be a byproduct of misguided game decisions by Gree, it's tough to tell. But I think it will be the norm for Freemium games in the future. It starts hot, there is development and excitement, it plateaus or holds steady for a while, then there is a slow steady decline as new games, tired user databases, and more competing apps or maxed credit cards causes people to drift. I have a feeling it is not just a Gree issue, although they appear to be the poster boy right now for limited shelf life.

Unfortunately, the decline seems to be a self fulfilling prophecy. Decreasing revenues = worse game experience, worse game experience = more decreasing revenues. I do have a feeling that the market for all games still faces adjustment as people stop and think about the value they are getting for dollar spent. It's all good early on, but eventually there will be pushback.

PatrickMadison
02-19-2015, 10:20 AM
The entire "freemium" business model is one that is fairly new in the grand scheme of things. There is probably still a lot to be learned with the entire concept, and the marketplace acceptance of it. Even if they had responded to every request and kept fresh and welcome content coming, how do you reconcile attracting new players and making them competitive to replace lost revenue streams from people who quit for reasons other that the things on your list, or people who are years ahead in stats?

While your list reads someone like a rant on declining....well....everything.... there are signs it might be similar to most business models. When this game was pulling in serious dough and top ten in revenue generating, they could better afford to program, to hire developers, to assign people to forums for CS and interaction, etc. Looking in the app-store, War of Nations is the best revenue generating game for Gree right now, and it is ranked at #105, followed by Crime City at #181. I have a feeling the lack of revenue is a major factor in perceived and real downfalls.

That may be from the popularity of Clash of Clans or Boom Beach, people might be going to SimCity or Trivia Crack, or it may be a byproduct of misguided game decisions by Gree, it's tough to tell. But I think it will be the norm for Freemium games in the future. It starts hot, there is development and excitement, it plateaus or holds steady for a while, then there is a slow steady decline as new games, tired user databases, and more competing apps or maxed credit cards causes people to drift. I have a feeling it is not just a Gree issue, although they appear to be the poster boy right now for limited shelf life.

Unfortunately, the decline seems to be a self fulfilling prophecy. Decreasing revenues = worse game experience, worse game experience = more decreasing revenues. I do have a feeling that the market for all games still faces adjustment as people stop and think about the value they are getting for dollar spent. It's all good early on, but eventually there will be pushback.

Very well said!

SenorSwamp
02-19-2015, 10:26 AM
While your list reads someone like a rant on declining....well....everything....

I was kinda just being ridiculous. :)

I enjoyed your thoughts on what really might be happening though!

Max Power
02-19-2015, 10:54 AM
I was kinda just being ridiculous. :)

I enjoyed your thoughts on what really might be happening though!

No, I picked up on that, and given the youth of the business model, I would think it's fair to say that we are definitely Guinea Pigs. My experience in this specific game is a good example. I have bought a vault or three over the 2+ years I have been on it, but over time I don't see any value in that. The game is also becoming more and more confusing with a laundry list of limited time missions on your quests page. Even though I thought I would like Trials, turns out I don't. Lotta repetition, no meaningful prizes unless you accelerate, I just use trials to trigger other things now. Honestly, some days I wonder if I should either bother logging in. And I am not grooving on crafting stuff much either.

I would say in my limited spending life in this game, it is drifting away by design. Nothing they are adding interests me much.

the_bob
02-19-2015, 11:19 AM
The entire "freemium" business model is one that is fairly new in the grand scheme of things.

The freemium model may be new, but it's effects are already well understood. Essentially, freemium games are firecrackers. They lack longevity because the longer they exist, the greater the chance that they will explode a fiery death.

Max Power
02-20-2015, 06:53 AM
The freemium model may be new, but it's effects are already well understood. Essentially, freemium games are firecrackers. They lack longevity because the longer they exist, the greater the chance that they will explode a fiery death.

That may apply to many games, but look at Clash of Clans. They have found a way to make it stick around for a while and are both in the top ten. I imagine many developers will look at the game mechanics there and try and find a way to duplicate it. You are correct though, most games seem to burn out after a 12-24 month shelf life, at least from a top 200 revenue generating standpoint in the Apple store.

It's a cautionary tale that many big spenders and addicts would be well advised to heed. You could buy a BMW with what some people spend, and it will last a lot longer than 24 months.

Valid or
02-20-2015, 04:09 PM
That may apply to many games, but look at Clash of Clans. They have found a way to make it stick around for a while and are both in the top ten. I imagine many developers will look at the game mechanics there and try and find a way to duplicate it. You are correct though, most games seem to burn out after a 12-24 month shelf life, at least from a top 200 revenue generating standpoint in the Apple store.

It's a cautionary tale that many big spenders and addicts would be well advised to heed. You could buy a BMW with what some people spend, and it will last a lot longer than 24 months.
Clash of clans is prob a bad example. They have the highest refund rate due to unwanted in game purchases, and have been headlined in the news several times for such. Honestly given all press am surprised Apple has allowed that game to stay in the App Store.

the_bob
02-21-2015, 05:05 PM
Clash of clans is prob a bad example. They have the highest refund rate due to unwanted in game purchases, and have been headlined in the news several times for such. Honestly given all press am surprised Apple has allowed that game to stay in the App Store.

Yes, and it's newer than KA and other Gree games. You can't say they have a stable system, yet.

SenorSwamp
04-10-2015, 06:27 AM
Once again, this seems more true than ever. :)

Now, they have added in a variable to their experiment which is "turn the world upside down and see what these lemmings do!"