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Video postmortem: Deconstructing the success of Puzzle & Dragons

July 11, 2014 | By Staff

"If you raise your ARPU too high, players will not last very long. When the ARPU is high, we intentionally give away items so it's not too high -- and I don't think this is something other publishers were doing."
- GungHo CEO Kazuki Morishita explains how his company has found success by carefully controlling player spending in Puzzle & Dragons.

Puzzle & Dragons has reaped remarkable profits for developer GungHo Online, and during GDC 2014 the game's executive producer (and GungHo CEO) Kazuki Morishita took the stage to give a polite, measured look back at how the game was designed to entice players while generating sustainable profit.

Morishita led his audience through the game's early development, explaining how GungHo Online found success in the Japanese mobile market several years ago and then capitalized on that success to stoke the average revenue per Puzzle & Dragons player without burning them out -- a delicate balancing act, as it turns out. Morishita also looked ahead to the future of the Puzzle & Dragons franchise, and the company's approach to game development in the wake of F2P gaining traction in the West. at the beginning of the game's development and its exciting journey up until now.

His talk is worth watching, so we've gone ahead and embedded the free video of "Puzzle & Dragons Postmortem" above. You can also watch it (translated into English) here on the GDC Vault. You can watch the Japanese language version here.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC Next already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

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