Let’s be honest: no matter how much we enjoy building games, we’re all in this business because at some point we expect to make some money out of it. During the past decade, the mobile game industry has developed more efficient and lucrative ways to monetize your game. But exactly how do you develop a profitable game?
In this article, we’ll take a look at five common monetization strategies, and how you can use them to your advantage.
#1. Paid downloads
The Paid model is the most appealing strategy for most game developers, as it allows you to get a direct income from your game. However, there are also some downsides; you need to convince potential users to pay and download your game before they have even tried it. And this can be tricky. The threshold to download a paid mobile game is much higher than to download a free game.
#2. In-game purchases
The so-called freemium model is an excellent way to acquire users as well as cash. In this case, it’s all about thinking of ways to charge your users after they have downloaded your game. The freemium model works best when you don’t force your users to make in-game purchases; think providing the possibility to unlock secret levels or advanced features in exchange for a small fee, or seduce them into making a purchase and get free access to exclusive characters. This way, you’re giving your users the space they want, and the freedom to engage as much as they like.
You’ll probably be interested to know that the freemium model comes out as the most profitable monetizing strategy of all the five strategies.
#3. In-app ads
With this strategy, users download your app for free. Every time they are tricked into tapping on one of the advertisements that they encounter in your game, you earn money. This monetization method works best for games with high engagement rates, or in other words, games that are played on a daily basis. This is simply because the more your users play your game, the more views your ads get, which increases the chances of someone tapping on them.
#4. The sell off method
What would you do if someone offered you a generous amount of money to buy your game? This is definitely something to consider, as this relatively new monetization method becomes increasingly popular. People are not just buying games, however; they’re also willing to pay for your source code. This method, of course, also works the other way around: if you have some cash to invest, you could consider buying an existing mobile game with active users. There are various online ‘marketplaces’ where you can buy and sell mobile games, such as Chupamobile.
#5. The app buyout method
Imagine waking up one day and find a number of generous offers from Fortune 500 companies that want to acquire your game. It may sound farfetched, but should you ever come up with an addictive and unique, maybe even a one-of-a-kind game, it could definitely happen. This monetization strategy offers the smallest chance at success, but also the largest numbers.
Your game monetization strategy is not an afterthought; it should be determined before the game design process. While all of the mentioned strategies can be useful, they usually don’t work when you try to integrate all of them in the same game. Decide which strategy is best suited for your specific mobile game, and employ that one. Generating money with your game is definitely possible!