A passionate developer has a vision for an amazing game and spends long hours working on it. And then, when it’s done, he finds out that he doesn’t know how to profit from it. How can this be changed?
It's best to hear from your fellow developers who can share their experience about solutions that worked out for them. We gave those ideas on Game Design and Monetization a listen at at Casual Connect in Kiev (November 2017) and prepared a summary for you.
The best monetization model for your game
Alexander Solodko from Wildec LLC explained that his experience made him realize that in-app advertising worked great for simple games. Additionally, more complex ones could do well incorporating in-app purchases.
Making money with in-app advertising as a small company is a good way to start
Games are a business like any other, and Ivan Domanko from Highcore.io believes that monetization needs to be part of the foundation of the game in the design process if a developer is willing to succeed and be able to pay bills.
There is nothing wrong with being a developer as a hobby. But in order to take it to the next level and have games cover your expenses, you will need to incorporate game monetization of some kind.
Ads and UX
On the other hand, Michal Bujko from Orbital Knight also thinks that when a developer starts to design a game from the very beginning, he needs to have a glimpse or idea on how to monetize.
Finding the sweet spot between ads and user experience is the key. What works best truly depends on the user base , but some other things can be obvious. For example, if an interstitial is used at the beginning of a short session game, the audience will drop heavily. But in a game where a session is a little longer, people might be willing to watch an ad because they know they will be spending around 15 minutes on it.
Ad policies depend a lot on the public the game is meant for
For Kirill Lazackovich of Go Kids!, it’s a little different. He works with educational kids apps, and monetization for that niche is very limited because it depends on the age of kids. He varies between in-app advertising and premium.
Making users come back is also important
For premium games a developer should concentrate on quality to impress users, says Mikhail Shagin from FIFTYTWO. He also added that for “free to play games”, it’s better to concentrate on retention so publishers can attract users to return to the game every day.
It is easier to ask a user to watch an ad for a few seconds than asking for a dollar. But the performance of in-app advertising depends on the retention, in other words, the average time spent by a user on a game.
There is no golden rule for the game industry
If a developer’s goal is to go from indie to a larger game studio with employees, rent, and other expenses, then there is no way premium monetization alone will work. If a publisher is looking for ways to increase profits, incorporating freemium is the way to go.
You can find the complete panel “Publishers Review the Correlation between Game Design and Monetization” at CasualConnect Kiev – November 2017 here.