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Virtual Reality Game Videos: Roller Coasters

Ok, so we’ve had a load of requests to include Roller Coasters in our series of game videos in virtual reality. Roller Coaster rides is one of the top ‘first experiences’ that people have with a VR headset (and you can download them here).

Why? Because the person wearing the headset gets an immediate sense of presence and it’s a great way for them to quickly ‘get’ what VR is all about. And for the people standing around watching the person wearing the headset, they almost always get a reason to smile….then they want a go! Roller Coasters was also a game genre we tested with kids for our Oculus Rift research.

Buckle-up, here we go. We should probably start with this guy because he’s only had 4.3m views on YouTube.

Continue reading →

Paying Conversion Metrics for Facebook and iOS Games: Q2 2013

This is the second post in our Q2 2013 update on key metrics for Facebook and iOS games (the first post covered Engagement Metrics (DAU/MAU)). This post assesses the Paying User conversion rate, calculated as the % of active users who are also paying users. Here’s a recap on the methodology:

We’ve gathered this data since Q1 2011 from the following sources:

  • Client Audits: We perform KPI and metric benchmarking for our clients with games in these categories.
  • Game-Supplied: If you don’t ask you don’t get. We receive data on request on an on-going basis from game developers.
  • Market Data: In addition to the two direct data sources above, we gather data from a variety of publically available sources.

To add a further level of insight, we segment the game data into genres, as follows:

  • Casual Games: These are typically 2D games that are very easy to learn how to play but typically have a never-ending game mechanic. Examples would be Tetris, Angry Birds, BeJeweled (at the top end) and sub-genres such as arcade, running and racing type games in the mid-range. These games appeal to users of all ages with a bias towards males.

  • Word/Quiz Games: These are typically text-based (with supporting graphics) that are quiz, general knowledge, logic or solution based. Examples would be Words With Friends, Scrabble and the Puzzler series. These games appeal most to adult gamers, with a slight bias towards males. Age-wise the prime segment is 25 years and older.

  • Nurturing: These are typically graphics-led games involving virtual pets, character/avatar customisation and other games with nurturing mechanics, including cooking. Examples would be Talking Tom, Tap Tap Hotel, Ovi Pets, Stardoll and other virtual pet games. These games appeal to kids, tweens and early teens with a strong bias towards girls/females.

  • Resource Management: These are typically games whereby users have to gather, harvest and manage assets within a gaming environment which often resembe a 2 or 2.5D virtual world. Importantly though, these games are typically not avatar driven. These games on SocNets heavily leverage the social graph and examples include FarmVille (and ‘X’-Ville variants), Hay Day, Cafe World, Airport City, GalaStories and Sim City. These games appeal most to adult gamers and in particular women aged 30+.

  • Light Virtual World: These are typically games based around the principles of virtual worlds and are usually avatar-driven with elements such as room customisation and socialisation. Examples would be YoVille, Social Life, KingsRoad, Avataria, Habbo Hotel, Happy Life, sMeet, Sanalike and HeroZero. These games appeal most to young and middle-aged adults with a bias towards women.

So, here’s the chart showing the Paying Conversion rates for Facebook games. Nurturing games come out top for user monetization rates with Quiz games in second place. Light virtual worlds moved into third highest place from Q2 2012.

paying conversion facebook gamesHere’s the same chart, this time showing iOS games.

Quiz games come out top for user monetization rates on iOS. Light virtual worlds come in at second place for iOS compared to third place for Facebook games.

Casual games and Resource Mgmt games performed lowest for both Facebook and iOS.

paying conversion ios games













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Audio from KZero Digital Kids Presentation

Kidswire, the supporting news site for the Digital Kids Conference has just released audio from all the presentations. How nice of them. The KZero session is here and starts from 21:48. As with all our presentations and most of our reports, can you view it on Slideshare, embedded below.

RPG Galaxy Slideshare presentation

KZero Galaxy Q1 2012
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Announcing the KZero RPG Galaxy chart

We’ve been slogging away at this for a while, so now we’re delighted to announce the first publication of what we’re calling the RPG Galaxy chart. Anyone who’s ever asked us ‘Where is World of Warcraft?’ now knows where to look!

The Role Playing Games (RPG) Galaxy chart is similar in style to the Virtual Worlds Universe chart (see what we did there ;) ) and shows total cumulative registered accounts for:

  • MMORPG: Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game
  • FPS: First Person Shooter
  • ARTS: Action Real Time Strategy
  • MOBA: Multiplayer Online Battle Arena
  • MOR: Multiplayer Online Racing

As usual with the first iteration of these types of charts, it’s extremely important to point out that these are very much work-in-progress and contain estimates. These charts will be published on a quarterly basis and will improve (in terms of accuracy) over time. We’ll also be adding in new games with each edition.

High res versions of the chart can be ordered here and here’s the Slideshare version. Shown below is the segment showing games with an estimated average age between 20 and 25.

In this age range, fr0m a MMORPG perspective Dragons Nest leads the pack with 100m cumulative registered accounts with Dofus in second place with 55m.

The other juggernaut in this segment is a QQ Speed, an online racing game with 100m registered accounts.

From a ARTS point of view Travian is a major player with 80 registered accounts.

Moving onto the next age range of 25 to 30…

We estimate World of Warcraft to have 90m cumulative registered users and therefore the largest RPG in this age group. Ragnarok Online and Perfect World tie in second place with 50m.

More updates to follow!

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But where is World of Warcraft?

‘But where is World of Warcraft?’ is something we get asked a lot.

Of course, this is a reference to the Universe chart, our virtually famous visualisation tool for the virtual world and MMO sectors. The Universe chart focusses mainly on social worlds as opposed to roleplay-driven 3D environments.

However, as we know, the lines are increasingly blurred between these categories. So, often people see the Universe chart and assume World of Warcraft would be included because of the high levels of brand awareness and generalist classification view that it’s a virtual world. But, to date we’ve steered away from role-play worlds and therefore the older demographics playing these games in massive numbers.

We’re delighted to announce that we’re putting the finishing touches to the RPG Galaxy chart. This chart (and segments) will show cumulative registered accounts for the following game types:

  • MMORPG: Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game
  • FPS: First Person Shooter
  • ARTS: Action Real Time Strategy
  • MOBA: Multiplayer Online Battle Arena
  • MOR: Multiplayer Online Racing

Each game/world is shown in terms of account totals and the average player age. If you’ve not seen the Universe chart before, here’s some background:

  • We show cumulative registered accounts and not active users or subscriptions. The latter two are in most cases sensitive data and companies are understandably reluctant to publish or provide the numbers (unless they’re chest-beating)
  • We strive to obtain data directly from the companies or from approved press releases / articles
  • In some cases we estimate the account totals
  • The charts are updated quarterly
The RPG Galaxy chart will include over 50 games, such as Runescape, Drift City, League of Legends, Blackshot, Crazyracing Kartrider, Maple Story, Star Wars (Old Republic and Clone War Adventures), QQ Speed, Travian, Dragon Nest, Tribal Wars , Lord of the Rings online and of course World of Warcraft.
We’ll be providing updates on the RPG Galaxy chart via our Facebook page.

Exclusive report for Engage! Expo

Next month sees the first Engage! Expo and Conference of 2011 taking place in New York.

As a strong supporter of this event we’re pleased to announce that our latest report, ‘Virtual Worlds: 2011 and Beyond’ is being made exclusively available to all attendees of the conference, before it’s made available on the KZero website.

The report includes market forecasts, growth areas for kids, tween, teen and adult worlds as well as in-depth analysis and insight into micro-level developments in the virtual world and MMO sectors. Also included are references to important players in the market.

If you’re considering attending Engage! can you receive a $100 discount off the two-day price by clicking here.

Speaking at Engage Expo

masts1-2The upcoming Engage Expo in NYC has a strong focus on toys and virtual goods this time around, much like our evolving client base.

I’ll be speaking on the Virtual Worlds and Games by the Numbers panel which is part of the Online Games and Virtual Worlds track.

Other speakers on the panel (the usual suspects ;) ) are:

Michael Cai (VP of Video Games, Interpret)

Barry Gilbert (VP and Research Director, Strategy Analytics)

Anita Frazier (Industry Analyst, Toys and Video Games, NPD Group).

If you’re attending and would like to meet up, let me know.

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WeEveWorld Online

Alternative title: Wee’s in Space

What the heck! WeeWorld and Eve Online! Maybe they’ve been reading this post


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Brands in virtual worlds. A definitive list (virtually)

A little while ago we started tracking brands in virtual worlds. Here’s our latest take on this activity – screenshots of brands and companies inside virtual worlds. Of course, Second Life plays a major role here, but we’ve now got some more recent examples from WeeWorld, Playstation Home, Football Superstars, Stardoll and a few more (and we’ll be adding in some more examples pretty soon). Click-away…