Avery Alix of Popcap Talks Strategy in Free-To-Play Mobile Games


This week Avery Alix of Popcap (the company that brought us Plants Vs Zombies) gave a talk at the Montreal International Game Summit about mobile and web revenue strategies when moving from the a paid model of selling video games to the free to play market.

Popcap is a company that has been around for years making games that bring delightfully charming experiences to players. On the other side of the coin Popcap is a company that leads by example showing the industry how to generate staggering amounts of revenue in today’s mobile-social market while respecting your player base.

Those of us who had the pleasure of going to Avery’s talk were treated with a refreshingly human strategy for mobile-social game revenue. Avery covered a lot of the decision making process when it comes to revenue strategies in free to play, explaining how a company can generate revenue without ever abusing your players’ trust. This ethical debate has been around for as long as the in-app purchase strategy stating viral strategies and timing mechanics are unethical. Avery addressed the moral dilemma backed with hard numbers showing us that we don’t need to make any moral tradeoffs to have a profitable game; Players see the value you add to a game and there is nothing unethical with offering premium content with a price tag. Bringing a player back on a schedule helps avoid player burn-out and offers revenue opportunities  that weren’t previously possible.

For those of us who aren’t involved in the Games Industry we can still look to Popcap as a brilliant example of how to make yourself stand out in a market of clones and shallow market strategies. Marketing a product today is harder and more rewarding then it ever has been, especially in the mobile-social space. With a slue of new revenue models and technologies we can be sure to see an entirely new breed of mobile-social games in the future. Today’s market is just the tip of the iceberg.