Arcade Game Maker Pedagogical Product Line: Marketing and Product Plan
|Revision Control Table|
|Version Number||Date Revised||
|Description of Change||Person Responsible|
The Arcade Game Maker (AGM) product line organization will produce a series of arcade games ranging from low to high obstacle count with a range of interaction effects. Each game is for one player who controls, to some degree, the moving objects. The objective is to score points by hitting stationary obstacles. For more details about AGM products, see Arcade Game Maker Pedagogical Product Line: Scope. The games range from low obstacle count to high and will be available on a variety of platforms.
The AGM product line is described in a series of documents that are related as shown in the following figure. This interactive map shows the order in which the documents should be read for the first time. After readers are familiar with the documents, they can go directly to the information needed.
This document is the marketing and product plan. Its purpose is to communicate the marketing strategy that provides the rationale for which products are to be built and when.
This document establishes the high-level context for product line decisions. In a product line, assets are designed as reusable within the product line's context. That is, no attempt is made to make an asset "as general as possible," so each design decision is made with regard to the products in the product line. This context is formalized in the scope and refined in the architecture.
This document is intended primarily for stakeholders who are responsible for scoping and business case development. Managers can use the information that supports product planning, architects can use the information that supports commonality and variability analysis, and product developers will find the rationale for including each product in the product line.
Use in Product Planning and Production
This document is used in the earliest stages of product line planning. It is input into the business case for the software product line and provides information for the product line scope and schedule.
AGM has been producing large-scale computer games for many years. Our latest analysis points to new markets that we have not yet served. Competitors are serving those markets already, but we believe that our experience and reputation will allow us to capture a sizable market share, approximately 30%, in a very short time.
The following table identifies three product types that we will analyze. The freeware games are simple implementations of basic games that are used to attract potential customers to our Web site. While the implementations can be simple, the quality must be high-these games represent AGM. The commercial PC games will run on a standard PC and be the "professional" versions of the freeware (i.e., they'll have more features than basic freeware games). Finally, the commercial wireless games will be sold to wireless carriers who will make the games available to their subscribers by download. The wireless games will be created by porting the professional PC games to a variety of wireless platforms.
|Example Attribute/Product Matrix|
|Feature||Freeware Arcade Games||Commercial PC Games||Commercial Wireless Games|
|Display||Standard bitmaps||Vector graphics||Wireless access protocol (WAP) bitmap|
|Game pieces||Simple icons||Dynamic icons||Dynamic icons|
|Scoring||High scores stored locally||Local storage/scores shared with subscription||Scores stored on network/subscription required|
The feature model for the AGM product line can be found in the Arcade Game Maker Pedagogical Product Line: Scope document.
Analysis and Projections
We have identified a possible hook around which we could build a marketing campaign: a "nostalgia" series in which we release Brickles, Pong, and maybe Bowling. The newest generation of players generally doesn't know these games, but their parents do. We believe that releasing these games for new platforms and even old ones would be successful.
We have identified an underserved opportunity that might be profitable if we can meet the necessary price point. Companies are always looking for new items to give away at conventions and conferences, and one exciting option is simple computer games that are customized to include company-specific icons and product presentations.
The following table shows our projected sales by product type over three release dates. Sales figures were developed based on the information presented earlier in the Marketing and Product Plan.
|Projected Sales Figures|
|December 2004||May 2005||September 2005|
|Freeware PC games||300,000*||300,000*||300,000*|
|Wireless device games||400,000||750,000||200,000|
|Customized convention giveaways||500,000||500,000||4,500,000|
* Number of downloads versus dollars.
The freeware games will generate moderate attention when they are deployed. They won't generate any revenue, but we estimate that sales for other releases would be 25% less if they are released before the freeware versions attract players to our Web site.
The wireless games will be built for the Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP) 1.0 standard that will be widely available on wireless devices about April 2005. MIDP 1.0 will have a short life cycle: MIDP 2.0 will be released fall 2005.
The convention giveaways sales figures reflect increasing attendance as the economy recovers. We do not expect this business to be profitable until fall 2005.
We recommend that the product types described in the previous table be put into production as soon as possible. Note that the figures in the body of the table provide a possible production sequence based on optimizing the sales figures. We recommend a nostalgic game series. Brickles, Pong, and Bowling tested positively with clients we interviewed. These games should be released in each of the three forms shown in the Example Attribute/Product Matrix table.
Maintaining the Marketing and Product Plan1
Periodically, the marketing group will scan the business environment and update the marketing and product plan. A scan will be initiated by the following events:
- a recent major change in economic forecasts
- a change in the company's strategic goals
- a year's passing since the last scan
As shown in the next figure, a scan begins with data collection and is followed by data analysis and information dissemination to upstream and downstream consumers.
Process Flow for Maintaining the Marketing and Product Plan
References and Further Reading
For details about the references cited in this document, see Arcade Game Maker Pedagogical Product Line: Bibliography.
1 This section is the "attached process" described by Clements and Northrop [Clements 02]. For the product line marketing and product plan, the process focuses mainly on tracking industry and consumer changes.