Viveport Arcade: Operator FAQs

Explorer

Re: Viveport Pricing

[ Edited ]
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.
Contributor

Re: Viveport Pricing

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.

New Arrival

Re: Viveport Pricing

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:

image.png

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.

 image.png

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 @sector7vr 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.

New Arrival

Re: Viveport Arcade: Operator FAQs

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

Builder

Re: Viveport Arcade: Operator FAQs

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 Smiley Happy 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.

________________________________
Simon Heath. Founder of theVRhub
New Arrival

Re: Viveport Arcade: Operator FAQs

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 .

Re: Viveport Arcade: Operator FAQs

[ Edited ]

Some publishers will talk to you, some won't. Before bothering them, check the Discussion, and their website, because someone's already likely asked them about it, or they have placed the commercial pricing on their website. I'll try to stay away from most of the Steam commercial pricing because most of it is ridiculous, a $8.99 game commercial pricing for $39.99 *CYBERPONG* .

 

CE version of Vive .. it has a different EULA/T+C that excludes commercial use, so that's not a viable avenue.

Re: Viveport Arcade: Operator FAQs

Another point of view.. we are VR evangelists for VIVE headsets and VR games.. yes, we are making a profit allowing people to play their games, however the players may go home and buy a VIVE and/or that cool game they had fun playing at our establishment. The publishers should pay US, or provide the games at a discount, as we're helping them reach a wider audience than they're able to get on their own.

New Arrival

Re: Viveport Arcade: Operator FAQs

[ Edited ]
Is it already possible to use rift with viveport software ? There are comming some more nice features ? Do you think you give discount on points because of bad responses ?
New Arrival

Re: Viveport Arcade: Operator FAQs

Just as a quick pointer, you can actually disable the menu button without using springboard; it's in the developer section of the steamVR settings (definately saves the labor cost though lol).

Re: Viveport Pricing

It appears the Viveport Arcade is finally "live" for North America .. https://arcade.viveport.com/landing .. I couldn't find the actual values for the points purchases and game per-minute-costs without first creating the account and installing the ACM software. Once done, I could see the base purchase price for points works out to $100 for 20,000 points. Small bonuses are given for larger points purchases but there appears to be a restriction per-day for points or dollars purchased and spent.

 

Most all of the games I'd looked at in the past or purchased via STEAM for myself were 1,000 points per hour = $.083333 USD/minute  = $5 USD/hr. That seems to be the default value - Overkill VR, Arizona Sunshine, Panzer Panic, "Spacecats with Lasers VR" and "Volumetric Oscilloscope" were all the same price. This is better than the previous pricing I'd seen but I'm probably going to use a small selection of games I curate and get them from Steam Cafe and other licensing arrangements .. I don't see the client co-existing with the other VR arcade clients out there like SynthesisVR or the others. I'm assuming games I've licensed like Space Pirate Trainer can't be added to the client menu if they aren't available in the Viveport Arcade?

Re: Viveport Pricing

Oh yes, one more thing .. PLEASE add a SEARCH button in the ACM server interface? If I'm looking for a specific game (and I usually am!) I should be able to search it instead of paging through 599 available VR games .. the categories like "Multiplayer" aren't necessarily accurate and would lead me to believe Panzer Panic doesn't exist in Viveport Arcade .. it's not listed as multiplayer, though it certainly is (in the STEAM version at least!).
New Arrival

Re: Viveport Arcade: Operator FAQs

Per the Section below, how do we go about integrating games unavailable in Viveport Arcade? Space Pirate Trainer is a must have especially with the new full release. 

 

I have direct deals with certain developers or want to pursue deals independently, how does that affect using Viveport Arcade?


Viveport Arcade is meant as efficient solution for both operators and developers to mitigate having to independently negotiate hundreds of deals and to establish a transparent payment and reporting system for both sides. If in certain cases there are pre-existing arrangements between operator and developer, we respect those partnerships and an operator may simply choose to not select that specific title from the Viveport Arcade portfolio if also available. Viveport Arcade will not be responsible for the deal terms made independently of the Viveport Arcade program; however, we will work with the operator to ensure integration if using the platform UI. If there is a title not apparent on the available titles, operators may inquire directly to the Viveport Arcade team for potential support in securing the title.

Vive Staff

Re: Viveport Arcade: Operator FAQs

Hi @Infiniteloopvr ,

We understand how important this is and it is nearly the top of our priority list. At this stage of the beta, we're currently focused on ensuring stability and performance of Viveport titles. We are looking forward to expanding the client to be able to work with external content within the next few months once we finish fully flushing out the integration methodology. I can confirm that it is a feature slated on our near-future roadmap given how critical it is to operator flexibility. 


- David R

Technical Specialist; San Francisco, CA