Facebook application review: Elven Blood

I choose this application to review, because I was a fan of RPG games, and played some textbased RPG games before.

First, the most important things the presenting team said about this application are:

1. This game is a niche application, caters to Fantasy/RPG crowd. And, they copied this game to caters to other groups of users.

2. This game is a viral game, and get money from advertisements. And, they built platforms for advertisers.

3. It faces drastic user plunge, as the game has no development for top users.

My comments

This game is a niche application, caters to Fantasy/RPG crowd.

Having 1,000,000 users after two months, this is a relatively successful game. I agree with the presenting group that this game caters to RPG players. It has what it needs to make a successful start: Quest, Items, Exp and Levels, a Gameworld, plus a Storyline. This game shows there’s a lot of RPG gamers out there on Facebook, and it successfully gets them to play.

The lesson here is :  you don’t need to make something mainstream that everyone needs, but try to cater to a special potential groups and make something they really like. Facebook has more than 100,000,000 users, so, you are already successful if you can get 1-2% of them to use your application. Maybe only 1 or 2 persons out of 100 play RPG games, but if you get all of those RPG gamers, you’re already rich.

This game is a viral game, and get money from advertisements. And, they built platforms for advertisers.

What I think important here is that the makers of this game have built platforms for facebook advertisers, rather than rely on other advertising agents.

It faces drastic user plunge, as the game has no development for top users.

There’s a question. Should I work more to satisfy those top users, or just simply ignore them and start a new business circle, i.e., a duplicated game with different story? In my opinion, it’s hard and bitter, to drop a large amount of users and move on another game. MMORPG games attract gamers mainly because of the rewards (exp or items) after they do quests, with a good storyline and gameworld as a sidekick. MMORPG gamers are addictive partly because of the ladder board and its competitiveness. Once the top users are gone, other gamers will also be gone.

The lesson here is : pay effort to develope the storyline and the gameworld, make a never ending game.


6 responses to “Facebook application review: Elven Blood

  1. Hey,

    Agree with you on that one! I think it was the key point which helped Playfish succeed. They succeeded in roping in new people as well as help retain the old users. For instance, I did try out GeoChallenge as I’m a fan of Word Challenge – but I still play WC.

  2. Well, i don’t think they drop their users just like that…rather, they have created 3 new games after elven blood and as the elven blood game progresses, they invite u to try the other 3 games as bonus levels or something….so they have a new story line, while retaining the old one ppl are done with.

  3. I have a comment for the last point on game continuity for top gamers. Actually we face this problem in Captain Cook too.

    Will a never-ending storyline be really good? Will it create a problem of boredom? Sometimes when you reach a certain point, you simply think that “OK! this is not going to end! BYE!”

    How about User-generated Content? Letting top players be part of your game development. Let them set some gaming parameters for the lower-ranked players. This way PERHAPS it’ll be interactive.

    What do you think?

  4. Nice idea about letting the top players create their own features and levels on the games so that they are still actuvely involved…


  5. hey kar meng…maybe you can try this: everytime u start the game, u start from a different scenario….and u randomly choose the scenario from a pool…and make it such that every scenario is influenced by the previous one in some small way….so the users can have say x*x permutations of stories ! in effect u create x scenarios, but u get more no of storyline, with some changes in your coding….well, i havent played captain cook yet…so i cant provide suggestions specifically…but i thought i ll voice out some personal ideas i got from analysing elven blood 😀

  6. Agree on the part about developing games (or apps for that matter) for niche groups of people. This will help increase the Average Revenue Per User significantly as more targeted advertisements can be thrown at them.

    One thing I’m picking out though, is that outsourcing advertising to a company like MyOfferPal or other services might not be a bad thing. Unless the company has sufficient business people to do Ad sales, outsourcing could very well save them some manpower to develop more stages 🙂

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