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Telltale: Revenue Is Key To Digital Success, Not Volume

Matt Gardner
Adventure Games, App Store, Digital Distribution, Telltale Games

Telltale: Revenue Is Key To Digital Success, Not Volume

Telltale's CEO Dan Connors has suggested that even in today's world post-Angry Birds world of 69p games and incremental microtransactions, revenue is the key to digital success rather than volume.

Chatting to GI.biz about the need to have flexible pricing when releasing across a multitude of platforms, Connors noted that it's been rather de rigeur to see console quality games hit the App Store at a vastly reduced price - aiding volume, perhaps, but resulting in a sharp loss of potential revenue.

"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. And say they move 10 million units, well at 99¢ each that's $7 million right? But that's $600 million dollars worth of content, if I'm doing the math right. So someone just sold $600 million dollars worth of content for $7 million, and considers it a success."

Connors suggested that one of the advantages of being an "episodic content company" has been that content can be sliced up in different ways to allow for low-price offerings whilst still being able to offer content at a price point they feel is indicative of the material's quality.

The bottom line, though, is that the bottom line means more than audience figures.

"It's still early, and volume is king, you can just say volume in a lot of places and and daily average users, monthly average users, number of install, it's all very sexy, but the amount of dollars attached to the user, from a business standpoint, is where the rubber meets the road."

Add a comment3 comments
asaunders  Jan. 16, 2012 at 12:43

Hold on 99 cents for their entire library with 10 million downloads equals $7 million? Well I think that's your problem right there. You can't do maths.

stevenjameshyde  Jan. 16, 2012 at 13:45

Hold on 99 cents for their entire library with 10 million downloads equals $7 million? Well I think that's your problem right there. You can't do maths.

Apple take a flat 30% cut from everything sold through the App Store

Last edited by stevenjameshyde, Jan. 16, 2012 at 14:43
Lemming  Jan. 16, 2012 at 16:41

Sorry but this chap is a numpty, I've probably spent in the region of £50+ on iphone games over the last 2 years with the majority going to Kairosoft for their excellent pixel graphic sim games (can't put them down and even pay the surprising £1.99 price tag). I'm pretty certain I haven't spent a penny on anything made by Telltale as the episodic nature of their games annoys me! When I buy a game, I want the whole game.. not the first hour! Episodic gaming is almost as bad as massive DLC releases soon after buying a game.. just include it on disc rather than milk your fan base.

I'm sure most Valve fans would much rather see Half Life 3 this year than the fabled HL2 Episode 3.. As for Telltale it sounds like their new Jurassic Park game is going to be very disappointing for a potentially great movie tie in.. Suspect they will be begging for 10 million sales of 69p compared to what they do make... Telltale seem to be a company who think AAA licenses will make up for D- gaming. Wallace and Gromit, Jurassic Park, Back to the Future.. great on paper but I'd rather play a cartoon catapult game on a tiny screen thanks!

At the end of the day isn't it about having a massive base of happy gamers all champing at the bit for your next release? Angry birds will likely become a dominant xbox arcade / PS3 title when it finally gets developed and then a big chunk of their millions of users will likely spent 800 MS points / £6 etc to get the "new" game on their favorite console. Even PC gaming is starting to move to this view point now with things like the Humble Bundle bringing amazing indie games to millions of users at a tiny cost. I'm sure all of their developers are made up to see their userbase grow by those numbers even if they only make a few dollars per sale.

Last edited by Lemming, Jan. 16, 2012 at 16:48


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