GDC 2014

GDC 2014 Session Scheduler

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Service Design: Lessons Learned from Running 24/7 Game Services

Aaron Loeb  |  VP/Group GM of Mobile Development, Electronic Arts

Location: Room 304, South Hall

Format: Session
Track: ProductionBusiness, Marketing & Management
Vault Recording: Video

Aaron Loeb, VP & group GM at EA Mobile on titles such as The Simpsons: Tapped Out, argues that service must be as intentionally designed as games. Loeb calls on real examples from EA games, such as The Simpsons and The Sims Freeplay, to illustrate that running a 24/7 live service requires hard and consistent choice architecture - not just for your players, but for developers. Just as in game design, it is often what we choose not to do that will define our success. Key lesson learned: the current (and much discussed) tension in freemium game services between "creative" and "business," is a false dilemma. Creating long-term engagements with your players through quality and fun - even at the cost of short-term revenue - can probably lead to greater success. The "optimize everything" path does not necessarily lead to the best business results.


Drawing on practical examples from The Simpsons: Tapped Out, The Sims Freeplay and other hits, Aaron Loeb, VP & group GM at EA Mobile, demonstrates how careful choices made in designing services especially what not to do must be as important to developers today as choices about game design have always been.

Intended Audience

This talk is targeted at anyone entering the world of 24/7 game services, or anyone already running such services, who is looking to learn from past successes and mistakes of some of EA Mobile's biggest titles. The talk assumes attendees know their DAU from their DARPU, but is not specifically targeted to analysts.