Things to Consider While Monetizing A Game

Mobile Game Monetisation

The success of a game depends on many factors that make mobile game monetisation, such as an amazing design, best graphics and interaction, compelling game-play, marketing prowess, and well-thought out monetisation options.

Making a profitable game is one of the motives of game development. A game developer can consider these options to monetize a game:

  1. Subscription: Pay a monthly subscription fee and start playing the game. You can play the game till the subscription is active. If you subscribe, you can choose from a list of games and play as much as you want.
  1. Paid App: Buy the game from websites or gaming portals such as Steam.
  1. Freemium or Free-to-Play (FTP): Download the game from Google Play Store or App Store for free and play the game. Later, you can optionally pay for in-app purchases that enhance your playing experience. You can buy coins, characters, currency, and so on. For example, you can even buy Usain Bolt (the fastest man in the world) to run for you in Temple Run 2.
  1. Advertisement: A game can include adverts in the form of commercial breaks and product placement. In this method, place an advert on the screen (often a full-screen advert) during the course of the game. Such an advert usually interrupts the game.

5 Things to Consider While Monetizing a Game

Figure out your monetisation strategy and integrate it into early game design documentation.

If you are a game developer, you need to start thinking about how to make money selling your game even before you decide the format, style, and structure of the game. This is in the pre-production or the prototyping phase. To achieve your goal, the monetisation strategy must interact well with the game design.

We spoke to Satish Chandra, an alumnus of Backstage Pass Institute of Gaming & Technology and the Founder of Teapot Game Studio. He says:

“If the game is scoped to have a detailed monetisation strategy that’s woven into the game design process, then it is absolutely essential to develop monetisation on par with the game design. On the other hand, if the game’s monetisation is delinked from game design, then monetisation takes a back seat. But mobile gaming is increasingly shifting towards the former.”

The monetisation strategy must be flexible and tailor-made for your game.

The player who downloads the game must come back for more. A well-thought-out monetisation strategy that understands the end-user and makes him happy will yield the benefits. You can understand and predict user behaviour by looking at your competitors’ games.

Satish says, “User surveys can really help here. At this point, you should also be absolutely clear about who your target audience are, and their spending habits.”

Study the successes and failures of free-to-play games.

There are many free-to-play games available in the app stores. If you study what went right and what went wrong with games similar to the one you want to build, you can avoid the mistakes in monetisation.

Satish says, “The key is to look at the competition in the genre of games you are against. Make a note of what they are doing right, and what they are doing wrong. Look for ways where you can give more value to the players, and come up with a list of areas where your product/game can stand out from the competition.

Have a good idea of what your monetisation levels are, regardless of the stage of game development you are in.

Each member of your team makes choices that affect the game’s monetisation strategy and having a clear idea ensures that your team gets the desired results.

Satish says, “A solid monetisation model is harder not just to code, but also to design. Resources will have to be spent not just in bug testing but also balancing the monetisation strategy.”

He adds, “The ease of adding monetisation into a game is directly dependent on how complex the monetisation is.”

Use segmentation to monetize different user behaviour.

A game developer can adopt different monetisation strategies in one game. You need to find the right balance between providing plenty of free content for all the people and allow your biggest fans to give you money for playing the part of the game they love a lot.

For example, when a user wants to make in-app purchases that enhance his gameplay, do not interrupt him with adverts. Instead, if a user is not willing to buy anything, it is best to show him adverts that are not interruptive and is built into the game design.

You need to plan ahead, understand your target audience well and then implement monetisation into your game design. This will bring revenue by reaching out to more people who want to play the games you make.

Satish was kind enough to share the gameplay trailer of “Enemy Waters”. Take a look and enjoy.

 

US polls bring rich dividends to city game developers

US polls bring rich dividends to city game developers

The ‘Avion Flight Simulator’ downloaded more than 7.5 million times

When people across the globe were backing either Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump late last year, two game developers from the city bet their luck on the U.S. presidential elections.

Finally when the elections were declared, Asar Dhandala and Satish Chandra were richer by a few lakhs. The duo behind the mobile game, ‘Avion Flight Simulator’ introduced an update during the elections which doubled their revenues.

“We wanted to take advantage of the elections and introduced Air Force One flight, the official carrier of the U.S. President to the existing fleet,” said Mr. Dhandala.

“Users had to purchase the flight for $ 3 if they wanted to fly it using simulator. A lot of people paid for the additional feature and our revenues doubled during the U.S. elections,” he added.

The game has been downloaded more than 7.5 million times on Android, IOS and Windows operating systems since its launch in mid-2015. The game also helped the team generate revenues of around Rs. 50 lakh.

The game is a big hit in other countries than in India.

According to the developers, the game has the maximum downloads from USA, Russia, Brazil and Germany followed by India in the fifth position.

It was a chance meeting of the two gamers from Backstage Pass Institute of Gaming and Technology which gave birth to the idea of working on a simulator game.

“Though our target was three months, we developed the game within two months. We almost worked for 18 hours a day.

We analysed the top games and went through the reviews. We wanted to develop a product which was the best among the flight simulator games.

We are glad that our game is in the second position in this category of mobile games,” said Mr. Dhandala.

In 2017, the youngsters want to come up with a better version of the game which includes refined engines and improved graphics.

A Chart Topping Mobile Game

A Chart Topping Mobile Game from Hamara Hyderabad

Backstage Pass Students Did It Again

50,00,000 downloads and counting…

Yes, that’s the number of downloads of the Avion Flight Simulator ™ game on the Google Play Store and counting.

Students of Backstage Pass Institute of Gaming & Technology, Satish Chandra and Asar Dhandala, are the creators of the Avionics Flight Simulator ™, 2015 game. Currently, the game is the 3rd most popular game in the world among similar games on Google Play.

Asar completed his B.F.A and Satish was a student of the PG Diploma in Game Design programme. Satish was a Systems Engineer at Infosys before he dropped out to pursue gaming while Asar turned an entrepreneur in his student days with Seven Summits.

Here is the making of the game, in their own words.

The Genesis

“While working on some project, we discovered that both of us have a penchant for aircraft. That got us both excited. We both started getting along very well and started talking more and more about the concept”.

“I already tried to make a flight simulator game and failed once. So, when I met Satish, I thought we could together build the game. Besides, he had already built two flight sim games through TeaPOT games with a million downloads each”, says Asar.

“Initially we were coding like 6 hours a day. On one of those days, we met in the coffee shop to discuss the progress. I came to know that I had to travel to San Francisco for Casual Connect USA, 2015 and we joked that we should finish before I leave for the conference”.

“Later we got serious about the jokes. We thought, why not?”,  adds Satish, quietly.

“That’s when the real game started. From 6 to 7 hours of coding a day, we jumped to 20 hours of coding a day”.

The Method

Satish chips in. “Since we both liked flight simulators, we knew what to build. We took the most played simulator games at that point and analyzed each of them in our own way. Essentially, we were building our kind of flight simulator. Like kids who fancy a helicopter full of candy. We were no different”.

The Madness

“Marketing? That’s the craziest thing in hindsight. There wasn’t any:zero marketing. No user acquisition. No spreading the word around the world. We just joined the Play Store and the Microsoft Store. All that we did was every mobile near us had the game running on it. Friends, family, neighbours, just about anyone known to us”. Both laugh heartily.

The Aha Moment

“The zero-day. That was a great moment. The zero-day retention was 30%. And that’s a winner. We knew it. After that, there is no looking back. The game took its own course. It has been totally organic”. A hush descends on the conversation, characteristic of experiencing something before the experience.

What Happened

Asar breaks the silence, “I guess all the right elements were there. While we designed the game together, we stuck to our areas of expertise. Satish was programming and I took care of 2D Art and visualisation. Satish is a very professional coder. Trust me, it is extremely important to have the right team in place”.

The Stage

“Besides meeting each other, at Backstage Pass we learned how to get into the game industry. This is a very important turn in our journey as entrepreneurs. And I went on to publishing my first commercial game. And, so did Asar”, adds Satish.

Recounts Asar, “Backstage Pass helped me with partly financing some of my trips to conferences, gave me the freedom to work on my games and they spread the word of Avion”.

What’s Next

“We are working on the next version of Avion and we are also planning to come up with a new game by mid-2017”.

Advice

“It’s perfectly OK if you are looking for a secure job. But to be an entrepreneur, you should fail fast, and fail early”, pat comes the suggestion from Satish.

“You got to build many games before you have a winner. I made as many as 14 games. So just make. Make as many as you can”.

About Backstage Pass

Backstage Pass Institute of Game Development offers various courses in game design, game art and game development. Backstage Pass has collaborated with JNAFAU, Hyderabad to offer bachelor’s and P.G. Diploma courses. Backstage Pass alumni include entrepreneurs, employees of start-ups and MNCs, and students of acclaimed universities across the globe.

For more information, please email to: info@backstagepass.co.in or call: 040-800 800 2794/800 800 2795.

2016-06-17

4 Ways to Earn While Studying Gaming

For students who want to support themselves while studying or work for the sake of gaining experience, or both, we are bringing out this article on how to earn while learning.

Making Gameplay Videos and Monetizing Through YouTube

Gameplay videos teach you how to play a particular game using a video hosted on YouTube. There are many famous gameplay video makers such as PewDiePie, Yogscast, Rooster Teeth, and CaptainSparklez. It takes a while to earn the scales that these players have achieved. But it is worth trying. And remember, India is an untapped market in games.

E-sports

E-sports are competitive video game contests. And they carry handsome prize money to the winners. Players enjoy stardom, fan following and sponsorship’s as well. Dota 2 isa fine example of this kind, with a prize money of USD 18 million.

Indian Gaming League (IGL), Comic Con, Bangalore are some of the well-known e-sports platforms to reckon with in India.

Internships

If it is a year-long diploma course, you will apply for internship mid-way through the course. If it is a 4-year B.Tech.course in Game Development, you will officially start the internship in the final semester.

Collaborating with Seniors

Network as much as you can to nurture contacts. Similarly, develop expertise in areas of your interest. And then collaborate with your contacts to work for clients and seniors. It is OK even if you work for free for some months. The experience you gain is invaluable. The stepping stone for your next assignment is the fact that you have some real experience, not whether you earned money from your previousjob.

What Next?

By the time you pass out of school, you should ship at least one well-polished game. Publishing a game takes a lot of effort and tenacity and therefore speaks a lot about you. Consequently, it acts as the best stepping stone for an exciting career after college.