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:
- 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.
- Paid App: Buy the game from websites or gaming portals such as Steam.
- 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.
- 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.