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Ways to Monetise a Game

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Adam K
Adam K

What different ways are there to monetise a mobile phone game?

There are several ways to monetize a mobile phone game, each with its own advantages and considerations. There are many more ways than what we’re going to cover here, but here are some popular methods:

Paid App: Users pay a one-time fee upfront to download and access the game. This approach can provide immediate revenue, but it might deter some potential players who prefer free games.

Freemium Model: The game is free to download and play, but offers in-app purchases (IAPs) for virtual goods, power-ups, levels, characters, or other enhancements. This model can generate a steady stream of income from dedicated players.

In-App Advertising: You can integrate ads into your game, such as banner ads, interstitial ads, or rewarded video ads. Ad revenue comes from advertisers paying to display their content to your players.

Subscriptions: Offer players a subscription that provides them with premium content, early access, special items, or other perks on a regular basis. This can create a recurring revenue stream.

When is it best to use the paid app approach to monetising a mobile phone game?

Using the paid app approach to monetize a mobile phone game can be effective in certain situations. Here are some scenarios where the paid app approach might be a good fit:

High-Quality Premium Experience: If your game offers a polished and high-quality gaming experience that stands out from the competition, players might be more willing to pay upfront for it.

No In-App Purchases (IAPs): Some players prefer not to engage with in-app purchases or advertisements. A paid app model can cater to this audience by offering a complete gaming experience without any additional costs or distractions.

Strong Brand or IP: If your game is based on a well-known brand, intellectual property, or franchise, players might be more inclined to pay for it due to their familiarity and loyalty to the brand.

No Dependency on Continuous Updates: If your game doesn't require frequent updates or content additions to remain engaging, a paid model can work well. Players will have a clear understanding of what they're getting upfront.

Minimalistic or No Ads: Some players are willing to pay to avoid advertisements. If your game offers an ad-free experience, this could be a selling point.

Single Payment for All Content: If your game includes all content and features without the need for additional purchases, players might find value in a one-time payment.

It's important to consider your target audience, the type of game you're creating, and the competitive landscape when deciding on the best monetization approach. Keep in mind that the mobile gaming market is highly competitive, and the paid app model might require strong marketing efforts to convince players of the value they'll receive in exchange for their payment.

When is it best to use the freemium approach to monetising a mobile phone game?

The freemium approach can be an effective monetization strategy for many mobile phone games, especially those that thrive on engagement and a continuous player base. Here are some situations where the freemium approach is often a good fit:

Engagement-Driven Games: If your game's success relies on long-term engagement and building a dedicated player community, the freemium model can be advantageous. Offering a free download attracts a larger player base, which can lead to increased social interactions and competitiveness.

In-App Purchases (IAPs): If your game can offer a variety of virtual goods, power-ups, cosmetics, and other items that players can purchase to enhance their experience, the freemium model aligns well with this structure.

Regular Content Updates: Games that plan to release new content, levels, characters, or events on a regular basis can benefit from the freemium model. Players who are already engaged may be more likely to make purchases to access the new content.

Gacha or Collectible Mechanics: If your game includes gacha-style mechanics, where players can spend currency to collect random items, characters, or rewards, the freemium model can encourage players to spend in pursuit of rare items.

Ad-Supported Revenue: Incorporating in-game ads can generate revenue even from players who don't make IAPs. The freemium model allows you to earn from both ads and IAPs simultaneously.

Lower Barrier to Entry: Offering a free download can attract players who might be hesitant to pay upfront for a game they're unfamiliar with. This allows players to try out the game without financial commitment.

Remember that successful freemium monetization requires a balance between providing value to players and encouraging spending without making the game feel overly pay-to-win or exploitative. It's important to carefully design your IAP offerings, set fair prices, and prioritize a positive player experience to build trust and retain players over the long term.

When is it best to use the in-app advertising approach to monetising a mobile phone game?

The in-app advertising approach can be a suitable monetization strategy for certain types of mobile phone games and specific target audiences. Here are some situations where using in-app advertising to monetize a game can be effective:

Casual Games with Frequent Sessions: Casual games that players pick up for short play sessions are well-suited for in-app advertising. Players are more likely to tolerate ads in between these quick gameplay sessions.

Free-to-Play Model: If your game is free to download and play, in-app advertising can provide a revenue stream while allowing players to access the game without upfront costs.

Wide Audience Appeal: Games that target a broad audience and have a large player base can benefit from in-app ads, as advertisers are more likely to pay for ad placements in games with a high user reach.

Non-Intrusive Implementation: In-app ads should be integrated in a way that doesn't disrupt the player experience. Non-intrusive ad formats like banner ads, static placements, or rewarded videos can be less disruptive to gameplay.

Rewarded Videos: Implementing rewarded video ads that give players in-game rewards (such as virtual currency, power-ups, or additional lives) can be an effective way to engage players while monetizing through advertising.

Trial Versions of Premium Games: If you have a premium version of your game available for purchase, you can offer a free version with in-app ads to allow players to experience the game before deciding to upgrade.

It's important to strike a balance between generating ad revenue and maintaining a positive player experience. Too many ads or intrusive ad formats can lead to player dissatisfaction and decreased retention. When implementing in-app ads, always prioritize the player's enjoyment of the game, as a positive user experience is crucial for long-term success.

When is it best to use the subscription approach to monetising a mobile phone game?

The subscription approach can be an effective monetization strategy for certain types of mobile phone games and specific player demographics. Here are some situations where using the subscription model to monetize a game can be a good fit:

Continuous Content Updates: If your game plans to release new content, levels, characters, or features on a regular basis, a subscription model can provide players with ongoing value and a reason to remain subscribed.

Premium Experience: If your game offers a premium or exclusive experience that goes beyond what's available in the free version, a subscription can give players access to these features.

No In-App Purchases (IAPs): If you want to avoid the complexity of managing various IAPs and offer a comprehensive experience for a recurring fee, a subscription model can be a straightforward option.

Advanced Features or Bonuses: Subscribers can be granted access to advanced features, special bonuses, faster progression, or exclusive in-game items that non-subscribers don't have.

Ad-Free Experience: A common selling point for subscriptions is offering an ad-free gaming experience. Players who dislike ads may be more inclined to subscribe.

Affordable Pricing: Subscription models can offer players an affordable way to access premium features and content without the initial high cost of purchasing a premium game.

It's important to clearly communicate the value proposition of the subscription to potential subscribers and ensure that the features and content offered are compelling enough to justify the recurring payment. Additionally, keep in mind that subscription models require ongoing content development and maintenance to retain subscribers and provide continued value.

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