A lot of gaming developers spend too much time thinking about how their games will look or play and not enough on how they will get paid. They assume that certain models will work for their apps and are surprised when they fall flat. Freemium games abound, but they’re not the best option for all. There are cases when getting paid upfront would actually make more sense. There is also more than one way to get monetized, and you could make the mistake of using too many of them at once or not enough. Let’s take a look at a few ways to monetize your gaming app.
Monthly Subscription Model
Monthly subscriptions don’t always work with games, but there are cases where they do. If you have an educational gaming app with multiple games instead of a singular game where you have to go towards a goal and finish it, then going for a monthly subscription makes sense, as long as you constantly add new games and features.
The challenge for many people here will be processing recurring payments simply and efficiently. We suggest that you look at Envestnet | Yodlee ACH payments. You can integrate their API seamlessly into your gaming app and process payments in all different forms fast. Envestnet | Yodlee’s ACH payments limit the risk of chargebacks by verifying customers’ information almost instantly and will also allow you to get money straight in your company’s coffers in as little as 24 hours with little to no risk of fraud.
Ads are another great way to make money from an app, but things can get extremely tricky here. You can decide to allow people to pay to remove ads, but many people could end up not paying and not clicking on ads either. How much you get from ads will also vary depending on the type of advertiser who advertises on your site and who’s ads players decide to click on.
Then comes user experience. If you are going to use ads, you have to use them in a way that is the least disruptive to the user experience possible. This is why we would suggest skippable pre-rolls over banners here. Skippable pre-rolls are short video ads that can be skipped at any moment. They can be shown right before a game or level. These tend to do very well if the ads served are filtered correctly since they occupy so much visual space but only for a short period. This allows them to have maximum impact without affecting the experience, and it could even enhance the experience if ads are for complementary apps or products.
In-app purchases are probably the single most effective game monetization method there is. Players can play the game for free or for a small fee and can make purchases either to advance or enhance their characters. Good apps do this subtly by allowing players to enjoy themselves without paying while others will put a very clear hard cap on non-paying players. The goal is to strike the delicate balance between the two and offer incentives for paying without making players feel extorted.
These are some of the most common ways that you can monetize an app. Before you start conceptualizing your project, it would be wise to first think about how you will make people pay and how to do it without ruining their experience.
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