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Game On: Energize Your Business with Social Media Games by Jon Radoff

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Chapter 8

Understanding Social Game Business Models

In this chapter, you’ll learn:

  • Why attention is the ultimate currency in social games
  • Approaches used by social games to monetize players
  • Techniques for acquiring players
  • Metrics for measuring player acquisition, attention, and revenue
  • How to create a spreadsheet that captures your game’s business model
  • Different modes of testing you can use to design, develop, and operate your game

This chapter shows you how social games can earn a profit by managing customer acquisition costs and maximizing revenue. A few simple tools can help you think about your own products, whether they are games or aspire to be game-like. The central idea of this chapter is that attention is the ultimate currency that exists within games, and the business goal of a successful game is to convert that attention into dollars.

This chapter also further discusses the pairing of emotions and numbers that is prevalent throughout this book. Emotions are associated with the right brain—subjective, intuitive, and random—whereas numbers are part of the left-brain modes of linear reasoning and objective analysis. Still, each is essential to game design, especially social media games.

Emotions drive the game experience, explaining why people play a game and think it’s so fun. Without emotion, there is no game, but it is through coldness of numbers that you can detect whether you’re eliciting the emotions you hoped for because emotion is how you create attention—and ...

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