It’s an increasing trend within the industry to make games available for a small fee or even for free. However, Telltale CEO Dan Connors asserts that the constant banging on about volume for the digital market tends to obfuscate the metric that release matters: revenue.
“Daily average users, monthly average users, number of install, it’s all very sexy,” said Connors, “But the amount of dollars attached to the user is where, from a business standpoint, the rubber meets the road.”
In particular, he called out the tendency to slash prices on the App Store. “There’ll be a giant sale on iOS where a major company may offer up its entire library for 99¢ and some of that includes $59.99 retail products at console,” said Connors. “So someone just sold $600 million dollars worth of content for $7 million, and considers it a success.”
While the so-called episodic model has gone out of fashion, Connors notes that modern digital offerings are an evolution of different “episodes” worth of content. “They’re just calling it different names, there’s a DLC campaign for everything and there’s multiple DLC campaigns for everything so they’re just installing a bigger initial chunk and then building off of it. Free-to-play with microtransactions is in a way episodic as well, it’s just additional content to keep the player engaged,” he said, noting, “We’re the only ones who still call it episodic, but I think it is what everyone’s doing.”