Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
don't do you much good (unless you're also converting these players into pay-
ing users). Ask yourself how many of your total users actually pay, expressed
as a percentage, and how much each user gives you on average in a given time
span. This is the only sure-fire way accurately to predict what your revenues
will look like.
ARPU: Average Revenue per User
Take your total revenue for a given time period (say, a month) and divide it
by the total number of users that month. The result is an ARPU (average rev-
enue per user), a number that tells you how much revenue you can expect,
on average, for every person who plays your game. If you can get this number
to be as high as a dollar per user, per month, you're probably doing quite well
(assuming that you can scale up the total number of users without significant
added operational costs).
ARPPU: Average Revenue per Paying User
To determine the ARPPU (average revenue per paying user), take your total
revenue for a given time period and divide it up amongst the total number of
users who paid you any amount during that same time period. For a game such
as World of Warcraft , in which all users have a fixed subscription price, this
amount is quite easy to predict and should be identical to the ARPU (ignor-
ing trial subscriptions). However, with microtransactions and other freemium-
model approaches, this number will typically be much higher than your ARPU,
as the vast majority of your users will never pay you anything, and this metric
tracks only the average for those who do.
UAC: User Acquisition Cost
How much money will you spend, on average, to get a new user to try your
game? UAC (user acquisition cost) is an aggregate of your development cost,
advertising cost, backend server costs, and the like. Your first user is by far
the most expensive; the minute you acquire your second user, this cost is
cut in half. Before long, this cost will level out to a point such that you
can reasonably calculate what the cost of each additional user you attract
is likely to be. You can compare this info against the ARPU to determine
whether it makes sense for you to pump money into your advertising bud-
get. The greater the virality of your product, the lower this cost can go, as
your users “infect” others and turn them on to your product without you
spending a penny.
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