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Amazon's Mike Hines on moving from players and IAPs to fans and alternative revenue streams

Amazon's Mike Hines on moving from players and IAPs to fans and alternative revenue streams

At Pocket Gamer Connects San Francisco 2015, Amazon's developer evangelist Mike Hines gave a crash course talk on the topic of turning your players into more valuable groups - notably influencers, content creators and fans.

You need a solid game to begin with. But developers should be thinking about how to create fans even before their games are released.

Kickstarter is one example, while Vlambeer's decision to develop Nuclear Throne live on Twitch is more sophisticated example, even if as Rami Ismail has pointed out, the approach has doubled the game's production schedule.

Of course, once your game is released the likes of Twitch and YouTube are ideal places to cultivate influencers, who can turn people in players, and players into fans.

Players to makers

Another option is to open your games to content creators. Empowering content creators helps spread your game's presence and understanding in ways that your team might not be equipped to handle, Hines argues.

Celebrating creative and passionate customers also generates a positive cycle, with Hines pointing to Disney's Club Penguin's acceptance of user-generated content.

Influencers help move your game into the mainstream.
Mike Hines

If one student gets their image up on the website, you can bet that when the rest of their class finds out, they will all want to get their image on the website.

In this way, influencers help move your game into the mainstream, although Hines also points out that to maximise these effects, developers need to reduce any blocks to widespread adoption, and be on the devices that their fans use.

The final piece of the puzzle is linking these player types into the alternative revenue streams such as physical merchandising and the new opportunities of 3D printing - something Amazon has just launched - as well as advertising revenues that can generated from Twitch and Kickstarter.

Essentially, Hines says, you need to find ways to diversify your product to help empower your fans to spread information about your game.


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