Has Ankama cracked the 'freemium' model?

Has Ankama cracked the 'freemium' model?
Will Freeman

By Will Freeman

November 25th 2009 at 12:30PM

A look at how to convert free players to subscribers

In the latest part of his 'Extrordinary games' blog series, Games Investor Consulting's Rick Gibson has presented French studio Ankama as an example of how a developer can best attract subscribers with the 'freemium' methodology.

Ankama's MMO Dofus has attracted huge acceleration in user numbers, which currently stands at 22 million, ten per cent of whom are subscribers – a relatively high turnaround of free players to paid-up users. The company head-count, which stood at 25 before going freemium, now totals 400. Subsequently Gibson has taken a detailed look at the developer's progress.

"How did it achieve all this?" asked Gibson. "With the decision to go ‘free’, the company carefully constructed a commercial model that has proved very successful at converting free players to subscribers. Ankama set out strict and aggressive barriers between free play and premium areas, keeping 90 per cent of the game world behind the velvet rope, and restricting progression in almost every area of gameplay beyond the first basic steps. This free vs premium split is at the heart of both the gameplay and the company’s success."

To read the full feature and learn more about how to harness the potential of freemium subscriber models for your game, click here.