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HELIOSO Playbook - INTRO - 8 modules

Hugues Ricour

on 16 November 2014

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Helioso is a consulting start up, serving clients on topics such as innovation, gamification and engagement.
Helioso’s clients look at creativity, design and service to dare thinking different and enrich their customers’ life.
With an office in Singapore, Helioso has access to major multinational and other corporations from every economic sector.

Mission : helping leaders develop their creative intelligence and their organization’s innovation potential, through keynote speeches, counseling of top management, training teams, moderating brainstorming sessions, and implementing tools.

Over the past 14 years, Hugues has produced amazing entertainment experiences (FIFA, Need For Speed, Assassin’s Creed) enjoyed by millions, growing a strong brand attachment. He was also involved in the digital transitions of Electronic Arts and Ubisoft.
He worked in Europe (3 years in Lyon, France), North America (5 years in Vancouver, BC, Canada) and Asia (7 years in Singapore).

For more information visit www.helioso.com or contact Hugues Ricour at hricour@hotmail.com


Video Games Industry Outlook
Introduction & Analysis
Playbook: “8 modules to drive change”
8 modules to inspire and kick off change
1. Creation & Brand Impact
2. Decoding Generation Y
3. Gamification & Design
4. From Acquisition to Engagement
5. Motivations and Behaviors
6. From Retail Product to Online Service
7. Consumer Intelligence
8. Innovation & Iteration process
HELIOSO’s Playbook
sources: Microsoft, wikipedia & ESRB
Value chain:
Capital & Publishing
: paying for development and seeking returns through licensing
Product and talent
: includes developers, designers and artists, working under individual contracts or as part of in-house development teams
Production and tools
: generates content production tools, game development middleware, customizable game engines and production tools
: publishing industry, generating and marketing catalogs of games for retail and online distribution.
Hardware or Software Platforms
: may be console-based, online media, or accessed through mobile devices. Now includes network infrastructures such as virtual machines, or software platforms such as browsers or even Facebook, etc.
: users/players of the games

How it works is detailed in HELIOSO’s playbook
Why we are awesome
. We are passionate
. We tell stories
. We constantly focus on our audience
. We enrich people’s life
. We address their cause engagement, with relevant and modern messages
. We teach while making them play
. We create an enjoyable experience while making them work
. We put quality & service first and react to their needs, being agile
. We become a 24/7 destination
Top Western Publishers:
1. Activision-Blizzard
2. Electronic Arts
3. Ubisoft
4. TakeTwo

The Bartle Test of Gamer Psychology
is a series of questions and an accompanying scoring formula that classifies players of multiplayer online games into 4 types based on their gaming preferences.

Bartle also described 8 player categories:
Friend, Griefer, Hacker, Networker, Opportunist, Planner, Politician, Scientist

sources: gamasutra, Bartle, Reiss “Who am I”, Duhigg, globoforce

Game Publishers constantly analyze gamers, such as:
. Player motivations and gamer types. ex: Aggressive, Balanced, Conservative
. Player needs, behaviors and reactions. ex: Loss aversion, Ability to accept defeat...
Playbook study:
. AC analytics
. Star Wars MMO
. League Of Legends
. NFS Autolog
HELIOSO’s playbook #5 Motivations & Behaviors
sources: Ubisoft, gamasutra
Iterative Design Development focuses small, talented teams on finding the correct design to realize a unique and innovative product by building fast and failing fast.
It offers a relatively large freedom and flexibility early on in a production cycle, allowing for a quick and reactive approach to design. It encourages collaboration of all disciplines from the start, teams can start producing straight away.
It can leverage the Agile project management methodology.

HELIOSO’s playbook #8 Innovation & Iteration Process
Playbook studies:
. Reaching 90+
. Development framework
. Playtests Lab, Mario Club
User focused Production process:
- Stage Gates: Visual Target & Playable Prototype, Alpha
- Game vision: One Pager method
- Feature owners, Agile & Backlog management
- Beta Testing & early community management

Playtesting & Tracking
during development:
. Focusing on the User Experience
. Identifying failure points, reasons for leaving, loss aversion
. Understanding the FUN and frustrations factors
. Requires constant Tracking and Monitoring tools
. Feeds continuous Development & Deployment
→ Feedback loop & re-activity
sources: gamasutra, wikipedia, social times
Learning by Doing
Stakes: Data & Agility (deployment)

Defining your Audience & organic acquisition
Designing your landing page, SEO, Ads
Designing Your Call to Action
Perfecting the Viral Loop & Building a community
Mastering the Right Platforms
Analyzing and Optimizing
Nailing the power of FREE: Free trial

HELIOSO’s playbook #4 From Acquisition to Engagement
Playbook study:
. Clash of Clans gifting
. Candy Crush metagame
. FIFA management mode
. AC re-acquisition
Engagement focus
. Accessibility, User Experience, Storytelling, Compulsion loop, Metagame and Progression design, Reward structure, Social features and peer influence, Community and Service, long term value, Teaching.

: refers to the game universe outside of the game itself. The use of out-of-game information or resources to affect in-game decisions.
sources: wikipedia, gamasutra, MTV

What we learnt:
. You don’t automatically get an audience
. Cause engagement in synch with their social issues matters
. Influencers: Celebrities, Experts, Ambassadors, the Crowd
. Values, attitudes & lifestyles, modernity are important
. Using Social media and entertainment references is key
. Beware with assumptions: Data and behaviors research is a MUST
“[Gen Yers] have been playing video games since childhood and have thus been immersed in the language and metaphors of gaming their entire lives.
“In a 2011 study conducted by MTV, Gen Yers reported that a ‘game-like metaphor’ applied to almost every aspect of their life. More than half also reported that ‘People my age see real life as a video game’ and ‘#winning is the slogan of my generation.’”

“Gen Y isn’t going to read the manual”.

45% rely on the internet and media for guidance & advice
52% have a mortgage
45% have consumer debt

Playbook study:
. Watchdogs topics
. FIFA Gameplay
. Journey storytelling
HELIOSO’s playbook #2 Decoding Generation Y
Generation Y is the demographic cohort with birth dates from the early 1980s to the early 2000s. Children born during this time period have had constant access to technology (computers, cell phones) in their youth. Also called millennials, echo boomers, internet generation, iGen, net generation.
Let's make the world a more playfully challenging place
Think Distributed
Become a Platform
Join the Post-Scarcity
Open-Source, Gift Economy
The Middleman Has Died
Your Worst Customers Are Your Best Friends
Your Best Customers Are Your Partners
Do What You Do Best and Link to the Rest
Get Out of the Way
Fail quickly, Make Mistakes Well...

. Social Media & Real Time Information
. Cloud & connected Services
. Oculus Rift
. Mobile apps, tablets
. New giant entrants: FB, Google, Amazon...
. User Generated Content & Crowdsourcing
. Crowdfunding & Kickstarter

The Crowd is your #1 ambassador

Opportunities & Trends
from viewer to actor
from hard to access to hard to master
from Alone to Together
from Discounts to Recommendations
on mobile, anywhere, at anytime

sources: OnLive, wikipedia & EA

HELIOSO’s playbook #6 from retail product to online service
Playbook studies:
. Pirate Bay to Steam
. Xbox Live, Twitch TV
. Sony PS4 Share
New consumption habits
. Retail decline & Piracy
. Launch is just the beginning
. Accessibility & Digital Platforms
. Dynamic & Connected:
→ Services, Stats & Progression
→ Recommendations, friends comparison
→ Peers behavior and influence
→ Real time data, Real world influences
→ Community driven, the power of Forums
→ User Generated content & mods
Playbook studies:
. Gamification principles
. UX, UI & Design methodologies
. GTAV, Sim City V, Candy Crush

sources: wikipedia, alivemobile, Gigya, gamingconceptz
Techniques leverage people's natural desires for competition, achievement, mastery, status, self-expression, altruism, and closure.
A core strategy is rewards for players who accomplish desired tasks (recognition).

Game Design
is the art of elaborating rules to facilitate interaction between players, for playful, educating or simulation purposes.

Rational Design
focuses on a step by step and ingredient approach to focus on accessibility and learning through a progressive challenge.

Over 70% of Forbes Global 2000 companies surveyed in 2013 said they planned to use gamification for the purposes of marketing and customer retention

HELIOSO’s playbook #3 Gamification & Design
: use of game thinking and game mechanics in non-game contexts to engage users in solving problems. Studied and applied in several domains: improving user engagement, physical exercise, return on investment, data quality and learning. Most studies find positive effects.

Applicable for Consumer engagement and Employee performance & motivation: Companies should incorporate key elements of the video game experience into the workplace, including real-time feedback, transparency about the quality of an employee’s performance, clear goal-setting, badges to mark achievements, a feeling of “leveling up,” and a healthy dose of team-based competition.

Organic Innovation
⅓ New / ⅓ Improve / ⅓ Keep

. People & Talent
. Technology
. Concept: Design & Art

Record pre-orders for a new Ubisoft IP
Promise & Impact
Values, identity & attachment really matter

Brand identity & IP
. Purpose & message
. Tone & Style
. Story & Characters
. Structure & Content
Playbook study:
. Watchdogs IP
. Minecraft breakthrough
. Assassin’s Creed brand
HELIOSO’s playbook #1 Creation & Brand Impact
→ Reducing friction
→ Improving the User Experience
→ Maximizing lifetime value
→ Boosting re-acquisition
→ Prioritizing Digital Hires

sources: Ubisoft, wikipedia, Statista, gamesindustry.biz
HELIOSO’s playbook #7 Consumer Intelligence
Playbook studies:
. AC mission ratings & DNA
. FIFA Online 2 monetization
. Zynga Farmville
What we analyse:
. in-game: movement, progression & economy, activities, customization, ratings, life cycle
. social and community activities, demographics, CRM, Brand history & engagement
. profiles, consumption, conversion and monetization, mobile activity

What we learn from our audience, and how?

Business Intelligence Analyst
, works with designers, developers, marketing, community, operations, and finance in developing a deep and broad understanding of players and game traffic. He analyses data and provides actionable insights and recommendations on how to enhance and optimize enjoyment, engagement and overall efficiencies in all areas of gameplay and the player life cycle.
Work on models, hypotheses, data needs, telemetry and KPIs
Own the collecting & reporting of Analytics, Monetisation & User Acquisition
Own pre-launch forecasts & live tracking models, revenue, costs, ROI
Evaluate performance of Ad networks and manage inbound campaigns
Identify major points of Churn and design A/B Market Testing trails
Identify optimal pricing and structure for In-App Purchases
Coordinate with Coders and Game Designers on changes based on Analytics findings measuring and optimizing engagement and retention

VGI: Life cycle & KSF
VGI - Actors, Barriers and Successes
1st Parties:
. Microsoft
. Sony
. Nintendo
Reasons why people don't play:
. Brushed away by complexity, stress and time required
. High price, anxious about transaction fees and other hidden bad surprises
. Don’t understand the rules, the basics and the vocabulary
. Fear about losing, bullying, concern about the competitive aspect
. Lack of trust in publishers, personal data usage,...
. Don’t know what peers do and think
Games allow to enjoy Life:
. Feeling rewarded, achievement
. Peer recognition, socializing
. Entertainment, Escape
. Good Time with friends and family
. Learning while playing
. Nobody judges, self expression, creation
. Good time investment, long term value
Stakes & Threats
. Piracy, 2nd hand sales
. other media competing for time
. Free To Play & Acquisition costs
. Digital transition
. Connected Services
. Retention
. Monetization
To watch:
. Tencent
. Supercell
. Valve
The customer's engagement and enjoyment start and peak during the anticipation and launch phase.
Full transcript