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All about battle passes: Insights and learnings from top mobile game developers
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About the talk

In this panel, we talk with top mobile game developers who have successfully implemented a battle pass and share Google Play insights to help developers better understand this growing mechanic. With a focus on mobile (but with learnings that are relevant for PC/Console), we cover reasons these developers chose to implement a battle pass, challenges they faced in designing and optimizing their battle pass, and what they track to determine the success of their battle pass.

About speakers

Aaron Hiscox
Business Development at Google
Frank Keienburg
Game Lead on Brawl Stars at Supercell
Joel Joensuu
Game Designer on Empires & Puzzles at Small Giant Games
David Du
Producer on State of Survival at FunPlus
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51, welcome to walk pedal all about boxing classes is my huge pleasure today to local folks, from three of the largest games on Google. Play, Two Joints a day to talk about that bottle or season pass. When is our history books and magazines polish it manager, Google Play and full train. The team have I spent some time in game development at pocket gems and 2K Games sell shortly before hands. I'd like to contact about why I was so excited to have a discussion. The first show me my cat wondering what is a battle pass

and it was like, why should we created this slide which explains some of the common features of battle passes? A summary about a possible season pass mechanical, encourages players to play more to unlock rewards over the course of the season. Is often a free track that old players can access at a paycheck, which place can unlock by purchasing the season pass and provide additional Rewards. Of course, everybody is different and get a hopefully we'll be able to discuss some of those differences during the pound today. And the reason why is because a

common feature cross console PC and mobile gaming. Priceless possibly in Dota 2 is fall back 2017. In 2018 fortnite up to the mechanic and following that has appeared in all the popular titles for me. The key takeaway from the slide is the huge variety of games and Sean price of a stamp to live for a mechanic to make the games, more fun and engage the players. And I'm thrilled to pick up our discussion with our amazing paddle. Festival, Norfolk Airport introduce themselves, Frankie wanted to do so, please. Hey guys, my name is fun

kind book and the game before rosters. He had supercell before joining supercell, at the end of 2014 of work for about 10 years of visit Europe, providing customer support to World of Warcraft, players around Europe. And yeah, no, yes. Hello. Thank you. I'm on from small Giants games where I work, as a senior designer on Empires & puzzles. What's mulch? I have known for For years. It's pretty much my whole career in in games. Hi, my baby due from SunPass.

I'm working on state of survival for almost two years. Thank you for having me in the panel. Special, thank you again, everyone for joining us. . Frank has a little bit about your goals when you and the team is supercell with signing the battle pass in Brawl Stars. Yeah, thanks for the question. So, obviously browsers launched without a pause at all. And we, we, we started like every other normal game has a regular series of IOP cetera, figured out very, very

quickly. Actually, that was, maybe a little younger than would be expected initially. And obviously, a lot of these players have played other. Big titles with a pause element in their combining that with retention. And the monetization side we thought like, okay, I pause my work. We do really well for brought us. and, The goal was really to get the general monetization up a little. So we have, we're looking really at the percentage of paying users per month and day, as well as at the same

time, trying to get her attention. Absorbs oil really helping helping both sides, the monetization side and the retention side. Now, we wanted to do all of this while still staying very free to play friendly, call philosophy of the team. And yeah, that's what tree what you try to achieve with us. Thanks, Mike. And this is the following question for the Clans game. What is Ellie, move her in this space and introducing the kind of quietly on what did you learn from the battle pass in Clash of Clans? And like what did you change when

you're adapting it for pearls does? Yeah, both Clash of Clans and Clash Royale release that process earlier than us because we had to reprioritize things. And just generally really busy after the launch, to Global the boss, of course, was a great thing because it was an opportunity to learn. What, what are the metrics you should look for? What are the the internal benchmarks is? He is incredibly hard to get the potty data from the outside about pasta pharmacist. Most companies are not openly talking about these. So seeing internally, like, what what works but doesn't work? What's really

important for us to understand Benchmark. And so we had something to two measures against. Are we doing better than them? Are we doing? Well? Sometime why that might be That was a 7-2 price point, which is reading reading on surprising. I mean, the Apostle sell for about, for 99 for a month. Now, for us, a monthly Cadence was not in the books. So we knew, okay. We, we are planning to release deposit every 8, to 10 weeks and then have a price tag of my 99 to it that the price was informed by it

that the amount of content and the value proposition. And yeah, I think the biggest advantage that we had an internal Benchmark, which really helps us to understand what we should expect from it. And once released we have cause then we're able to Benchmark against the other games and and say, okay, look guys. We are doing better. I hear you guys are doing better over there and learning from each other. Thanks, Frank. I'm going to, I'm going to put it slightly a mouse. Joel. Next question to you. Can you explain a little bit about what your goals for the battle

pass in Empires and puzzles? For example, and puzzles are very different game, too. State of survival. You know what we are goals for you and the team when he was designing about us. Yeah, so Asquith brawl Stars Battle pass. Something we made long into the life cycle of the game. So it wasn't something that we had from the get-go about engagements. We really wanted to get players who may be hard and played some of our to try those out and have fun and

especially, but wasn't really important for us for us to get some of the players who had taken part in the social aspects of our biggest social features called alliances. Are you playing chat with other other players? So we wanted to engage players into and encourage them to go into the alliance or someplace those events that are only available to people in the, how did you push plays into alliances with you about to pass? Well, the Polka Dot Structure felt like

something that's really works in this context, because we get those missions in the battle bus. So we're just make missions that are specific to the all the game. For example, we have missions like kill Titans a day, late Alliance verified. This really big monster together with all their Alliance, man. Sorry, but pretty much about the commission structure and Emissions. We chose for our battle pass Library Quest. Base system to allow progression through that battle pass when you were designing

your bottle. Pause. We always going to design it around Sonora Quest bait system. When I mean by that is, you know, the flip side to request. My sister might be something like Clash Royale, where is predicated on a based on the number of matches you play, right? As opposed to completing quests in that allows you to Progressive the pots. So what was it about a quest? Beast battle pass the, you know, the men that you designed it, that way. All those missions that last for the whole season. They are the ones that we are relieved. We really want to make this kind of a lot long-term

purpose to the singular events and Quest if we have and It just it just felt so natural. We really didn't think about other possibilities that much. Nice thing about a quest space battle pass. Is it affords? You a multiplex ability? Because you can also adjust you'll pass during the season, right? You can change the quests as the battle pass is progressing as opposed to just a being tied to Progression through the game, like winning battles, which is relatively fixed and you can't really change the house

of the Season lunches. So they know to change Quest from some developers is like a really interesting and helpful tool during the during the season. I guess it's also really depends on your audience in our case. Actually, the team was pretty split about the topic about half of the people in the team would say we just want the people play the game like like they do. Normally Quest might interfere with that and that might change that experience. So we shouldn't have Quest. We should just Recognize acknowledge. Basically the progress of the game that regular games and

then translate that into progress for the past. But then on the other side, like let's do Quest. Plants one variety of this lie, especially our audience again, young audience. They want things to change. That want something fresh all the time and Quest just have more potential to keep things fresh. And it also has like these, these hidden advantages that it allows us to Bush People gently in a specific Direction, like play a specific game mode, play with friends, hit play again. After you play with random people,

play specific brawler really, really helps us to to gently guide them and incentivize trying out new things that might have never tried even like, playing with friends. And so, it's, I think it's Aveda, Aveda, powerful tool, and I'll catch the way we structure it. That every day you get a couple of new Quest. And then there's some days where we give you extra Quest on top of that, all these Quest except for the daily ones, last the whole season 2 duration of the past. So that it was as advantage that it doesn't matter.

When in the teasing you started, you will always get a bunch of progress from the quest system. So actually even if you start theoretically should never play process. Do you install the game? You you stop buying the pass on the first day, you started in the first seven days or so, you can get almost 75% of progress just from playing the quest. If you would really play Everyday, all the quest you would have to grind to little, but you could do it. So I think it's it says multiple fresh. It incentivizes people to do the right thing and game.

And yeah, it's about was supposed to be very flexible with like the, the time required to finish the pus we could we could even you know, throw the next request. If we see people are a little bit slower this season. So we could just generate another Quest and that out and give everyone extra progress. So it's a very flexible system in my opinion. He I'm sure. David simple question to you. I mean, I know that you have a symbol S of daily tasks space system fuel pots. Can you speak to some maybe? Some of like the decision-making that happened on your side as he wasn't designed the

best pass-rusher. Should I have to happen to pass once caught a wild racing is actually happening for every two weeks in the gate. So this one we want to tie it into the daily Quest, the logic behind it is the Simplicity for the players understand. How do I change the points on to applefield deposit? I really love the idea of like a pooping in the past, so that it's like, you know, buying your ticket, and go to the buffet and you can eat it all. So was this one, the Simplicity, and

the confidence that the player can actually eat it. All, is that the main logic behind why we use the baby last appointment and the other one we have the record event. Pass is only happening when we have a, like a big Festival every month. And this one is really tied into Activity. The Players like really do every day to participate in the events. So this one is more flexible than other players. If they actually have more active with the game, the world game the points more easily, and then like, you know what, you need and more timely manner. And

that's why we desired the password me to start after 7 days. When the players join Leon. Join the game. You tell everyone, when they join the game. I'm at the theater in the time. The Apostle in. Open immediately. The Bible. Were you hoping to achieve and you a lot about how the player can come later in the game. And also how to reward the player they got. They can keep coming back. So when would you sign is about to pass? The first first priority is that we kind of like, you know giving player rewards to Tuesday,

coming back, coming back. And then the second one is that we want to provide the past value of money. So normally offers a week or two packs in game packs is about 17 times value on a secure server. David you're talking about. You know, the value proposition in the past, instead of survival and you took him out, like, you does, he says, 17 x value, and then up to study * Bali, web design of the past. How did you, how did you choose that value? Proposition is a question with any football. Develop is about like how rich to make that bottle. Pause? How did

you decide that? That was the correct value of her? Like we we are when we designed by the past like, you know where mine we kind of like once the player that you easily easily if he doubts that he'll do. Okay. This is the thing to buy, it's a no-brainer self for the value proposition. I think it's like we just going to over the top. All values are significantly lower. I guess, I guess I guess it's just a different philosophy. And in general, or regular on the high

high-end. I like 5x. Like the the the rule of thumb is more like 3x. Sometimes just 20% extra. So so far as five exits like reserved for special moments like talk Lunar New Year, Christmas a major celebration. But on the other side, we had the same philosophy. Like what was just described. We also wanted last to figure out the pass is the thing to buy. If you buy one thing in the game, this is what you want to go for. Now apostrophe play style, progression system entirely,

right? So we ripped out everything. We hadn't brought us. We just ripped out and be replaced it with a pause before that you get a token by playing the games. The token went them into kind of a coin purse. And once that was fooled, you would unlock. I got you and it feeds to pause and we we had to be like, there was a sentiment that even if you're free to play should feel much, much better than what was there before. So we we made sure that even on the free track-it will get more value than what you got before. And at the same time,

if you spending money, then then it it should feel like great. And so we ended up with like 10, 12 packs of value. The Curious Thing is we're not promoting both. So we don't have a Big Ten acts as well, fix thing in the marketing assets are not saying it anywhere, infect. So we made it almost like a community thing for them to figure out what is the value of the past and fun for them to have this feeling like this is really good value. May be a superstar doesn't understand and and so. So we ended up with this really great value proposition,

which witch is, which is great for the plants, but everyone really know. The Curious Thing about all positive quotes. Our past is based on premium currency. Call James rosters. And we give out free gems in the free track. So that means the practice that every other season, you get the brawl pass for free in Brawl Stars. And then it was one of these design decisions, which I mentioned in the, in the beginning, about being very free to play friendly. Now, it's the

dark patches so it's different. So we will like, very anxious before seeing the first results. Okay? To tell us in the foot is, it isn't going to work or not, but actual the Practical reality of things. This but we have a higher share of our players for the bus and the past generates more revenue for the. Are you so I think it worked and at the same time or free to play Community, didn't hate the introduction of the past. So supposed to be a success. Awesome, Joe.

I'm going to throw some Mo question to you, made in Empires & puzzles. How did you think about settings? I like the price and the length and the end of the value proposition of your past. That's a good question. So, with the price to pay, pretty much wants to know, how do people do within the industry are we wanted our prize bond to pay comparable to other than something that the players are familiar with. But on the other hand, we want to keep it the price quite low. So that it

would be available tomorrow players. I know that there are PJ games where you have like 50 $50 or even $100 battle passes. So that is not something that we wanted to do. What time is it? Atlanta? we have a two mans gay dance with much, and Well, origin of the reason was that, we had plant is really cool unique exclusive things that you would get from which it is not our battle pass, but we still stuck with the breathing room for us and players so that we could do some maintenance on the players.

Could do whatever they wanted for the father of time. So we ended up with these two days and that one. What time do the value of the rewards? We didn't really think about that first. That the whole point was to make this rewards that felt like that birthed it. So that the place would feel good. If it is something that they want the girls to boys. So we didn't think that much about how it ended up being the most compared. To other offers that we have extend bunch more value than any other offer or the best

person in the game. So that's our goal was for this to be a boxing gloves. If there's one thing that you bought, this is it so that it's pretty much Pretty much how how we ended up with the value, you know. Any test that about tamales stock. As a person with the first one was really challenging to find the right balance fold up for the whole feature. Of course, some estimates on how many players will completed average person with the first one to admit. So

next bus, a lot easier when compared to the first one. Your achievements achieving something. So Now that we made it slightly easier. It still feels challenging, but it is, it is manageable to a lot of our players. So, we are really happy with that. Other than that, of course, we have done in the smaller adjustments here and there like, Why would the difficulty of size set? Then we have to eat the report yet on their time of the time. And we actually just a dent.

To further, optimize its boss to adjust to the end of the battle pass didn't have any incentives to the players to continue that I can play that, play that last definition of the Bible. Talk about David. Did you see an improvement in by conversion? Could it Izzy mention that the best value offering the game? Was it a priority for you to sort of like see if you could convert Moore play as contacts to you is a great tool or all that, often times, the best tooling games to convert

Snoop and uses. I'm curious if you experience that way the old battle pass. Okay, I was a bottle, opener is actually a new hero is happening way way earlier yesterday they want when they play or make any purchase the second building pipeline when they when they pay that kind of the purchasing the game still on lost. Your first year, old named Lucky. That's actually a bottle opener. So that design purpose is not ready to open up the painting base, but more like you are giving extra extra value to those players who

occasionally pay not that much. But they kind of like in a want to make the repeated ice. So that's a little bit different from The other games which you know, using this to serve the public self open the opposite, the base of more Chu, you know, getting back to those like, you know, Bob lawyer supported the best of value, they can gas and as for the items they can unlock with purchase. A lot of times. I like a note more expensive or more rare items that they usually don't get

this other mess up in the game. So it's more like I told you make sense. I like, are you at your game is so different that I totally on the line with what I would have expected losses launched. How do you feel about optimizing it? I have you. Have you changed anything since since since you launched the battle? Pass me a be tested and nothing was ultimately stuck in the game. We do with you a lot of ID tags and a lot of changing the Magnesium. When will you start at the,

how how do we owe you? No consequence in the battle pass is very, very complex. It's actually a very complex class system. The player need to pick through it so that I can keep the points when we go through that list with the gal that all. Those are all the quest are already included in the baby class. So why don't we just combine them? So make it much more easier for four players to understand and that you can just go in the background don't have to take up their mind space. Right? So for

the second one is like, you know, a percentage of player who can complete all the past is very essential to us. So we we actually am I different kind of like, you know, about Clements for the past two to be completed. We tried a few different one. And the last one I think is pricing on, the pricing is also very important in the beginning. We only have one is called a 999 of your possible pasts beforehand if you could do it again. One thing we didn't have any.

Because you didn't have anything for the players to do, after they have finished, their battle pass. So they still could play the missions. And I still could get a points, but you couldn't do anything with the boys. It's something we knew about but then in the end we didn't have the time to implement it right away. So we fix it later on, but it would have been great. If we could have done that from the get-go, I think about when when implementing that's a follow.

What I say, some Special quests that would pop up when there is an ongoing event because we have a lot of things are, nice to have some special Quests for Four Tops events. Maybe someday. Hopefully then just one question for you. How do you encourage, repeat purchases off your battle pass each each season, like what do you think about it to designing the next one to keep players engaged? And, you know, you know, by the next pass. Or engaging in the next pasta should say. Yeah, that's a good

question. Women compared to men against or you guys have to email are originally to get the players engaged and wanted to purchase it every every single time. We understood that. Kind of development commitment, wasn't something that we are willing to appoint. So eventually we ended up with mostly having high-value consumer and level up their Heroes and us are getting these bottles. The high-value consumables are always new Heroes coming up. So in that sense, we always have value of the

players. We also do have some Cosmetics, black bass player avatars that are exclusive to each season of our path to follow. So there's one on the free side panel on the bedside and that is the only place you can get them. And then David the same question. Like David, how do you think about encouraging repeat engagement with your paw Siege season? Like I did, he play is coming back to the next season. I think the key is at Saint. The body would provide which the battle pass

need to grow with the players and Belvedere. Stay longer we go without eating again. I'm the kind of like a value and the other kind of like a items say they have or they need to operate. Them self a growing as well. But if we continue to provide the same value, the value of the battle pass it's going to be more and more irrelevant a long time. Do I think that is the keys to increase 8 with time? We saw players growth around the time to make sure that the battle pass. If you something very relevant and very appealing for the

players who are coming back and keep purchasing. The great also think that this is a lot of questions, the phone with all of you is that any question that you would like to ask the other panelists about, like, they told us you'd, like, in these questions, you know, I'm just curious, they had like, what kinds of things you're interested to hear from each other almost on your previous answer. Spot battle pass came out. I think that Read my two different from others to buy of

say, in a boss that you have a free report on each beer and on the bed. Cuz every second one, how to do decide that. That's what you want to do. Yeah, that's a great question, actually. I guess, I guess the Bass from that was the the fact that we room removed our regular progression systems. Eat before the pause and play. With unlock about 5, got your boxes a day in the average. So, that would be a constant feeling of revolt and progression for the Blaze. Pizza play fast song everyday, you would

have the most experience of opening a freak out you and it, it just felt really good actually and we want to preserve that, but with the brawl pass, if you would have skipped his, it would just have felt less rewarding would potentially have had a negative impact on her attention and concern our opinion. We just we knew what the value wanted to give out on the street side, which was slightly higher than what we gave our people. And then it was just a question of Distributing. Value over the track. But making sure we can get something every two, you just just has to stay in this constant

sense of progression. Cool. I don't have a great question, jail. Thanks Frank. Jolan David for sharing details, the thought of pastas as part of a pal today. It's been so awesome to have. You Allende, your feedback on is awesome. I'm so excited to see what amazing updates and features you two teams. Kind of early tonight. Thanks so much for joining us again.

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