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5 Best Monetizing Strategies for HTML5 Games

by Dylan Moran on 12/14/16 09:18:00 am

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

 

When you have invested time in creating, distributing and promoting a game you must definitely consider earning some money from it. If you have worked hard and it’s your serious endeavour to make a living from game development, just read on to know about the best game monetizing options you have and choose your right approach. 

                                 

1. Paid games

This is the most obvious choice for monetizing a game by selling it to your users for a fixed, up-front fee. The amount you charge can then depend on the market competition, features of the game and some other small marketing factors. For example, an arcade iOS title is sold for minimum $0.99, but the RPG-style desktop games can cost up to $20. But to know which price quotation is most suitable for your game, you need to do an in-depth market research and follow the market standards.

To make sure you earn a decent amount from your game, you need to invest some quality time in game marketing. Only the best games are able to break even or make profits but they still need luck for that.

2. In-game purchases

Instead of charging an upfront fee from the users to play your game, you can offer a free game download and offer additional features for some cost. This system is commonly known as the in-app purchases (IAPs). For example, you can charge a fee for the player to play the bonus levels, use better weapons, or add more fuel to play further. The designing of a concept for a good in-game purchase system is also a challenging task.

One of the limitations of this system is that you might need some minimum number of game downloads to make IAPs effective. And even after that only a small proportion of players are found to actually pay for IAPs, no matter how popular the game is. So the more users play your game, the higher are your chances for being paid.

3. Display adverts

This is mainly a source of passive income that involves showing adverts of third party marketers within your game play. Many companies offer advertising portals where you can sign up for display advertising and allow them to show adverts in your game, for example: gamedev, LeadBolt and more. The income received through this channel is usually proportional the number of players you are able to attract towards the game. You will get a percentage of the total earnings the marketers get through the players of your game. The complete system is user friendly: easy implementation and clear track of total earnings of the marketers.

In order for you to get the maximum benefits from this monetization strategy, your game marketing should be very strong and the game should also be very addictive, which is quiet challenging in itself. If your game idea is strong enough to go viral, you can easily make a lot of money out of adverts.

4. Offer Social Share items

If your game is rich in social features, you have better chances of attracting a wider audience towards the game. For example: a user who likes your game would definitely like to share it with his friends. And by having social share options, you make it easy for him to do so.

But that is very common in all games these days, so what differentiates your game from other games? Almost every game has a strategy to ask the players to share their game achievements with friends each time they meet a milestone. But to move a step ahead from crowd, you can try different ideas like, letting your players share their game rewards with friends, share their lives with friends, or if not share buy these items as a gift.

Similarly, try something like creating groups of friends and let them play in teams. For those friends who are not experts and not willing participate, can be the spectator. He can rather watch the game and win extra bonus by betting on the teams. Just like the real world sports betting, where spectators bet on some team and win a lottery. As a reward you can offer extra lives, more points or unlock some paid features/game levels. This would encourage the players to get more involved in the game and make purchases of difficult levels or powers to compete with their friends.

5. Video Adverts

Video ads have got more popular than simple banner ads these days. Commonly these are shown at the beginning of a game when it is loading. And further it can be added anywhere within the game as you find appropriate according to your game. Just need to be sure that it does not abruptly hinder the player’s game to annoy him. It should be very subtle, but visible enough to grab their attention to click or at least watch full video. It is ideal to add video adverts between the game sessions or when the game is over.

We have many options of earning money from your game. Like, you might also be interested in selling licenses or doing branding within the game play. It is totally up to your choice which strategy appeals to you more. The only thing that is important to understand is how and why you believe your players would spend money on games for you to make profits.


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