Matthew Wiggins: Planning for the reactive key to F2P success

Poor reactive decision making can be avoided, asserts JiggeryPokery’s CEO
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Matther Wiggins, CEO of Guildford studio JiggeryPokery used his F2P Summit address yesterday in part to argue the case for avoiding poor reactive planning, sharing advice on preparing in advance for success through free-to-play.

The former Wonderland Games CEO and co-founder presented his case by looking to his experience developing the early iOS hit GodFinger.

“Typically, user acquisition companies will tell you money is the solution here. It isn’t,” said Wiggins, later adding: “Paid acquisition is typically not he best way to go.”

“Money isn’t the solution, but it helps. If you have some, do use it,” he continued.

Instead, said Wiggins, good planning is essential to finding free-to-play success. But making a strict plan before starting out on a game project was not the best approach.

“The plan you have is never going be what actually happens,” warned Wiggins. “You have to be prepared for the good and the bad.”

The JiggeryPokery CEO explained that in developing a game to be released for free, there are constant unpredictable factors to consider.

“F2P is a very reactive model,” he said. “The problem with that is that sometimes reactive decision making can be poor.”

Think about all the possible decisions and outcomes in advance, and how you may respond, recommended Wiggins.

“You always need to be thinking about possible situations you may face,” he said. “Will Apple support you? Will your servers hold up? Will you have all the data you need?”

“When you face those issues, responding rationally is really important.”

This approach was key to the success of GodFinger, offered Wiggins. For example, Wonderland Games lined up outsourcing teams so as to be prepared if their then sole artist was not enough to handle asset updates and related content drops.

“The important thing is to really understand the problems, and craft the best solutions,” said Wiggins.

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