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Rockjaw

Viveport Arcade: Operator FAQs

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You're host PC will store all of the available games you downloaded (Viveport boasts 600+ available titles, but on a 2Tb pc you'll max out at about 50-100 depending on the games size, and no prime titles from what I've seen, so they want us to pay for access to all of these titles when we will never use a more than a quarter of them at a time), you then deploy the selected games to a client/gaming station and it has to be downloaded into the clients pc as well causing double storage space on both the host and the clients Pc's.

 

The host is really utilized as an account manager to manage the gaming stations, i.e., paid play time, distribution of games, ability to see availability of all stations in store from one central location and the ability to purchase and allocate points to stations for game play access.

 

However, you'll need a host pc for each location if you have two separate locations. As the clients receiving games and points must be from a host listed on the same internet connection.

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Ok, here's a crash course in economics for the viveport arcade team, please forward to them.

 

The Viveport Arcade pricing model is terribly flawed and will fail horribly and here is why: It's backwards.

 

You're model is to charge fee's to commercial operators in order to allow access to indie game licenses. As of today and the near future there is too much supply(games) and not enough demand(people willing to pay for games), so your model will and I'm sure has been getting destroyed. You have been negotiating with developers and you should have been negotiating with operators.

 

Your goal should be on increasing demand. Period. How? Through Affordable out of home VR gaming and demo experiences. You need to focus on selling as many commercial Vive headsets and accessories to as many operators as possible. INCLUDED in the purchase of the commercial VIVE should be select gaming content from select developers: Free of play by the minute charges. The developers who have made their titles available should be compensated by a percentage of the initial purchase, a direct one time fee, or include freemium models with in game purchases made available within their games.

 

This will allow a number of effects to unfold.

 

1. Awareness of the technology will increase dramatically. With this model you are placing operators on a foundation that encourages the opportunity of growth and expansion, which will simultaneously grow demand, assisting developers and ultimately assisting Vive.

 

2. Barrier to entry. With no barriers you will host a surplus of poor quality games and with a lack of operators bringing in gamers/customers, you will be drowning demand with supply. You will have a number of titles that will never be played or even downloaded and will have no way of gathering statistics on which games are successful and why. Having a larger sample size with customers and a smaller selection of games will allow operators and viveport to coordinate data to developers as to what customers like and what they want more of. Creating more targeted content to ensure return customers and not overflowing the gaming database with irrelevant content that will have nobody coming back second time.

 

3. Better content. With a freemium model developers will focus on in game purchases and return customers. They will make much better content and will have the insights of customers gained from operators to make their games more dynamic. User Profiled games, tradeable items, digital currency, Multi-player games, purchaseable in game items, buy-in tournaments, sponsorships, trophies. All of these will encourage customers to return, with friends and play for hours, together. The current model offers customers 600 games to play and they jump from one game to another for 30 minutes spending less than 3 minutes on each game and never come back because it was unfulfilling.

 

4. Developers will earn more money and focus on quality in order for their title to be "accepted" into the Viveport arcade instead of just expecting it once they've launched a game. Fewer games means more money for select developers, a direct targeted approach for future games and developers, and less overhead/storage requirements for operators. If they are the right games, they will be played at full occupancy and will require scheduled appointments. Once this is the case, the only option will be to purchase more Vives and create more stations for more customers.

 

For example:

The AppStore. In order for the AppStore to be successful there had to be a large consumer base of people who owned a smart phone (VIVE). Priority #1- increase ownerships of Vives. Price is too high for consumers, so focus on VR Operator centers to act as the "phone user." The Viveport is the AppStore and the developers Pay $0.30 to apple(VIVE) on every dollar they earn on users. The User (operator) only pays once to buy a game or in freemium models within in app purchases.

 

Guess which are the most successful applications. The free ones. And the free ones know if they create engaging content and offer in app purchases they will earn a fortune. No smartphone user pays app developers by the amount of time they spend on the app.

 

Not even Internet cafes pay the internet providers by the hours they utilize online. It's a flat monthly fee priced by speed.

 

The only way to make this work is to have a large supply of operators offering this to the public at a very affordable rate. That will drive repeat customers and allow operators to expand to more locations and reach more customers. Developers will never survive on one or two operators charging $50 an hour and they play their 1 game out of 600 games for five minutes. These developers are not making any money right now. And want to leach off commercial operators. I highly doubt consumers have or would purchase the games available on the viveport currently. And of course vive will sell more units.

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Ok, here's a crash course in economics for the viveport arcade team, please forward to them.

 

The Viveport Arcade pricing model is terribly flawed and will fail horribly and here is why: It's backwards.

 

You're model is to charge fee's to commercial operators in order to allow access to indie game licenses. As of today and the near future there is too much supply(games) and not enough demand(people willing to pay for games), so your model will and I'm sure has been getting destroyed. You have been negotiating with developers and you should have been negotiating with operators.

 

Your goal should be on increasing demand. Period. How? Through out of home VR gaming and demo experiences. You need to focus on selling as many commercial Vive headsets and accessories to as many operators as possible. INCLUDED in the purchase of the commercial VIVE should be select gaming content from select developers: Free of play by the minute charges. The developers who have made their titles available should be compensated by a percentage of the initial purchase, a direct one time fee, or include freemium models with in game purchases made available within their games.

 

This will allow a number of effects to unfold.

 

1. Awareness of the technology will increase dramatically. With this model you are placing operators on a foundation that encourages the opportunity of growth and expansion, which will simultaneously grow demand, assisting developers and ultimately assisting Vive.

 

2. Barrier to entry. With no barriers you will host a surplus of poor quality games and with a lack of operators bringing in gamers/customers, you will be drowning demand with supply. You will have a number of titles that will never be played or even downloaded and will have no way of gathering statistics on which games are successful and why. Having a larger sample size with customers and a smaller selection of games will allow operators and viveport to coordinate data to developers as to what customers like and what they want more. Creating more targeted content to ensure repeat customers and not overflowing the gaming database with irrelevant content that will have nobody coming back a second time.

 

3. Better content. With a freemium model developers will focus on in game purchases and return customers. They will make much better content and will have the insights of customers gained from operators to make their games more dynamic. User Profiled games, tradeable items, digital currency, Multi-player games, purchaseable in game items, buy-in tournaments, sponsorships, trophies. All of these will encourage customers to return, with friends and play for hours, together. The current model offers customers 600 games to play and they jump from one game to another for 30 minutes spending less than 3 minutes on each game and never come back because it was unfulfilling.

 

4. Developers will earn more money and focus on quality in order for their title to be "accepted" into the Viveport arcade instead of just expecting it once they've launched a game. Fewer games means more money for select developers, a direct targeted approach for future games and developers, and less overhead/storage requirements for operators. If they are the right games, they will be played at full occupancy and will require scheduled appointments. Once this is the case, the only option will be to purchase more Vives and create more stations for more customers.

 

For example:

The AppStore. In order for the AppStore to be successful there had to be a large consumer base of people who owned a smart phone (VIVE). Priority #1- increase ownerships of Vives. Price is too high for consumers, so focus on VR Operator centers to act as the "phone user." The Viveport is the AppStore and the developers Pay $0.30 to apple(VIVE) on every dollar they earn on users. The User (operator) only pays once to buy a game or in freemium models within in app purchases.

 

Guess which are the most successful applications. The free ones. And the free ones know if they create engaging content and offer in app purchases they will earn a fortune. No smartphone user pays app developers by the amount of time they spend on the app.

 

Not even Internet cafes pay the internet companies by the hours of usage. It's a flat monthly fee based on speeds.

 

 

The ONLY way to make this work is to have a large supply of operators offering this to the public at a Very affordable price. This is a quantity solution not a quality. Developers will never survive on one or two operators charging $50 an hour to play their 1 out of 600+ game for five minutes.

 

Developers are focused on immediate gains by bleeding out commercial operators but it's going to backfire when operators cannot stay in business. It's not in the best interest for vive or commercial operators short or long term. We have to work together and sacrifice in order to increase awareness & demand, only then can we begin implementing higher and creative fees through adoption.

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That was why I was asking, didn't quite understand why we had to double store the games.  I tried it today with Arcade Saga which is free to demo (12 x 5 min rounds only) and it seemed to be a bit of a mission to firstly download onto the host then deploy to the selected client.

 

Basically there is no way you can download a new game that a customer may ask for there and then without the customer having to wait a good 15-30 mins or longer depending on the size of the game.  You need to know in advance so that you can be ready so I agree whilst there is a 600+ library of games we will be limited to choosing 30 odd titles that we feel are the most popular.

 

I like the premise of Viveport Arcade but unfortunately it is not yet polished enough and the pricing needs to be reviewed.  Interestingly I was in correspondence with the arcade team and they mentioned that there is currently a promotion ongoing whereby prices are a lot better (off the top of my head I think it is $1,000 for 200k points instead of the advertised minimum purchase of $1,500 for 150k points).  Now why this isn't advertised on the viveport arcade site is a mystery to me.

 

Another frustration is that only wired money transfers are accepted currently.  Guys, come on! really?! 2017 and only wired money transfers are accepted? you then have to wait 2-3 days before you receive the points allocation.

 

We have a very tough decision to make as we will be opening imminently and we really are not sure whether we should opt for Viveport Arcade or stick to Steam commercial license for the timebeing (Steam isn't ideal either tbh).

 

In summary I don't think independent VR arcade owners are being treated fairly here and whilst a big portion of the blame rests on HTC/Steam's shoulders, I also feel many developers are overcharging for the monthly (per seat) pricing.

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When thinking about Viveport Arcade I see it as a premium tax to operators. 

The pricing is ludicrous, as well as a suggestion to buy a Vive Business Edition that cost unreasonable 1.5x (price + VAT) the cost of regular VIVE but I still have no clue where is that added value to be completely honest.

 

Just a quick napkin math of VIVE Tax below:

If they keep the pricing as is, they should provide more for Operators, spare parts after x-amount of hours or something, as otherwise, where is the added value for this ludicrous pricing? I bet a person or a group of people who came up with the pricing got bonuses or promotion as this is complete corporate BS.

600+ games where I bet 50% are poor quality and copies of other games. These are arcade games, not full-length AAA games.

 

I was thinking to become an Operator myself, but putting numbers together it doesn't seem to make any sense. Just look at the numbers below, I researched a place, big enough for 8 Vive setups @$20/hour, 4 employees (@minimum wage) to be able to run the place for 7 days a week and I would make a whopping 478 profit a month. Ok, ok, I know it's rough, there are no insurance expenses, accounting, payroll etc...  But still, that just adds up more cost and no profit at all.

 

Companies who's business is so closely tied with Virtual Reality, it's success and longevity are killing it, that includes game devs/publishers, how short sighted they are.

 

At this stage of VR, it's better to be an indie game studio with talented game designers and milk this market while this nonsense lasts and VR dies altogether. 

 

So what's wrong with the pricing.

17 points per minute, and higher for some other titles. Well, the best-selling titles probably are the ones that have higher point price per minute anyway. Flat price for all titles. The price has to come down from $10 to $5 at least, or completely different pricing structure at all.

Why is it that Operators have to cover all the cost. As  mentioned with AppStore, devs should be responsible for covering the cost of VIVEPort Arcade, not the Operators. And HTC's share of 50%, for what exactly? For providing a platform for its device?

It's like if Apple would charge all iOS users $5/hour for when the screen is on and device unlocked and in use for calls or messages.

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Hey guys I'm sure you've all heard about oculus rift dropping it's pricing down to $399 for their consumer HMD + controllers. And their target price point is to be at $300 for this equipment. While our friends here at vive are charging almost twice that for their consumer version and more than three times that for their business edition! Plus $10 an hour for commercial operator right to game licenses..

 

To put that into perspective for arcade operators you're looking to charge at least $30 an hour to keep your head above water (barely). As the price of these consumer electronics continues to decline, it's going to be very difficult for VR Arcade operators. From a customers point of view, they would try it once at an arcade as a "demo" and if they liked it they would go buy their own, because it would only take 10-12 one hour sessions before they've spent the same amount of money as they would to own it. And I am Excluding cost of the pc, which is another $800 for now.. but you get my point. Prices are only going to continue to fall and unless you're setting up a free roam VR warehouse you better look at VR for venues other than gaming, at least through the VIVEPORT.

 

They had the right idea with it but wrong focus, instead of trying to make indie developers happy, they should have catered to the arcade operators and focused primarily on selling their HMD at the enterprise level. Meaning eating up any licensing fees and not charging operators. If they did that when his first rolled out, there would have been hundreds of HMD units sold and many operators with 10-15 headsets at each store with multiple locations.

 

Technology evolves rapidly and HTC missed a nice niche opportunity.

 

Good luck all!

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Hey guys I'm sure you've all heard about oculus rift dropping it's pricing down to $399 for their consumer HMD + controllers. And their target price point is to be at $300 for this equipment. While our friends here at vive are charging almost twice that for their consumer version and more than three times that for their business edition! Plus $10 an hour for commercial operator right to game licenses..

 

To put that into perspective for arcade operators you're looking to charge at least $30 an hour to keep your head above water (barely). As the price of these consumer electronics continues to decline, it's going to be very difficult for VR Arcade operators. From a customers point of view, they would try it once at an arcade as a "demo" and if they liked it they would go buy their own, because it would only take 10-12 one hour sessions before they've spent the same amount of money as they would to own it. And I am Excluding cost of the pc, which is another $800 for now.. but you get my point. Prices are only going to continue to fall and unless you're setting up a free roam VR warehouse you better look at VR for venues other than gaming, at least through the VIVEPORT.

 

They had the right idea with it but wrong focus, instead of trying to make indie developers happy, they should have catered to the arcade operators and focused primarily on selling their HMD at the enterprise level. Meaning eating up any licensing fees and not charging operators. If they did that when his first rolled out, there would have been hundreds of HMD units sold and many operators with 10-15 headsets at each store with multiple locations.

 

Technology evolves rapidly and HTC missed a nice niche opportunity.

 

Good luck all!

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Could you please clarify if the Viveport Arcade system only covers the back-end content delivery and distributions to developers, or does it also cover front-end functions such as booking & payment processing?

 

Thanks

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No been onm here for a while... so heres an update: After a few months running I've realised one thing... Steams commerical licensing isn't bad. Rather than going for quantity go for quality. Curate your experiences. With about 3 or 4 different titles per rig you can allow customers to hop between more machines. We've only got 4 rigs, thats 16 different games to try in an hour! Obviosuly if you are really busy then they need to book a specific machine or two... but our approch there is to tell them to come with friends and get an exclusive booking.

The only difficult bit is having some multiplayer titles which means doubling up on licenses reducing the variety. Part of your marketing then is to rotate titles and bring back popular ones regulary and let people know what you'll be running. I can recommend springboardVR as an arcade mangement platform. It best feature..  disabling the system menu button. That's a 50% saving on labour costs :) As well as creating times gaming sessions it also has analytics showing you what games are played most, and also blocks access to steam home so people can't go buying new games if you accidentally forgot to uncheck the "remember card details" when renewing your licenses. It has a nice in HMD VR menu for launching games and the bit I'm really really waiitng for... which was a feature request from us... a booking system plug in for the website.  the other feature they added was to be able to create custom length game session on the quick menu. We have a 15 minute taster for £5 which people wandering past use. We don't advertise it on the website but when people have other plans they can't stop for an hour. But we've had repeat vistors for an hour with a group boking who were intially 15 minute walk ins. Still making a mahoosive loss of about £2,000 per month, but we haven't started marketing yet! Coming soon.

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Thanks for this post , it helps be better prepared for prospective Arcade startups.

QQ, so how do the current arcade owners buy the games, is it via steam or via ViveportArcade or do they buy individual commercial license games. Also is it a risk to start arcade using CE version of Vives .

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