Speaking to GamesIndustry.biz, the former Vice President of EA and current chairman of the German free-to-play browser-title developer InnoGames Gerhard Florin stated that while releasing a game in the Asian markets is likely to result in an influx of a new active users for free-to-play titles, these markets generally provide very poor returns for both developers and publishers. More information on the interview is included after the jump.
Florin indicated that while a theoretical release in the Phillipenes would obviously boost the number of daily or monthly active users, “but I’ll never make any money there. They are huge Facebook markets but deliver extremely small revenues. […] We’re more interested in the revenue making than the millions of people inflating our servers but never paying anything. The balance needs to be kept.”
CEO and co-founder of social game developer A Bit Lucky, Frederic Descamps indicated that inflated numbers will only corrupt data, which may pose problems for developers seeing as having accurate statistics about player behavior is essential to the long-term success of a free-to-play title. Speaking of the experiences of A Bit Lucky in these markets, Descamps added that the studio has “had a pretty terrible time, like most developers, in South East Asia. These regions only inflate your numbers and they muddy the water on the analytics side because you’ll see an influx of 20,000 people, but right away we know that most of them are not going to come back the next day.”
For these reasons, and despite the growing popurality of social gaming in Asian markets, A Bit Lucky therefore continues to target “North America and Europe because those are the audiences that retain the best and monetise the best.”