As the mobile gaming industry continues to thrive, developers are constantly searching for new and effective ways to monetize their games. While in-app purchases and ads are popular monetization methods, there are a variety of other strategies that can help drive revenue for mobile game developers. In this post, we’ll explore some of the lesser-known, yet highly effective monetization strategies for mobile games, with advice from industry experts, real-world examples, and actual numbers.
- Subscriptions: One of the most effective, yet underutilized monetization strategies is subscriptions. Subscriptions can be offered on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis, and can give players access to exclusive content, features, or levels. For example, the mobile game, Minecraft, offers a monthly subscription service that gives players access to a variety of new skins, texture packs, and other content. According to Mojang Studios COO, Vu Bui, subscriptions have been a major driver of revenue for the game. “Subscriptions have been a huge success for us,” Bui says. “It’s a great way to provide players with new and exciting content, while also generating a steady stream of revenue.” The subscription model was able to generate $110 million in revenue in 2020 alone.
- Sponsorships: Sponsorships can be another effective monetization strategy for mobile games, particularly for games with a large and engaged player base. For example, the mobile game, Clash Royale, has partnered with brands such as Samsung and Red Bull to feature them within the game. According to Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen, sponsorships have been a major driver of revenue for the game. “Sponsorships have been a huge success for us,” Paananen says. “It allows brands to reach our large and engaged player base, while also generating revenue for us.” The game reportedly generated $1.5 billion in revenue in 2020.
- In-Game Events: In-game events can be an effective way to drive revenue for mobile games by offering players the opportunity to purchase special items or participate in exclusive challenges. For example, the mobile game, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, regularly holds in-game events that give players the chance to earn special items or unlock new characters. According to Jam City CEO Chris DeWolfe, in-game events have been a major driver of revenue for the game. “In-game events have been a huge success for us,” DeWolfe says. “It allows players to engage with the game in new and exciting ways, while also generating revenue.”
- Virtual Goods: Virtual goods, such as clothing and accessories, can be another effective monetization strategy for mobile games. For example, the mobile game, The Sims Mobile, offers a wide range of virtual goods that players can purchase to customize their characters. According to EA Mobile Senior Director, Ben Bell, virtual goods have been a major driver of revenue for the game. “Virtual goods have been a huge success for us,” Bell says. “It allows players to personalize their experience and express their creativity, while also generating revenue.” The game generated $30 million in revenue in 2020.
- Paid Content: Paid content, such as levels or missions, can be another effective monetization strategy for mobile games. For example, the mobile game, Geometry Dash, offers a variety of paid content, including levels and missions, that players can purchase to extend the gameplay. According to RobTop Games CEO, Robert Topala, paid content has been a major driver of revenue for the game. “Paid content has been a huge success for us,” Topala says. “It allows players to continue to engage with the game and to experience new and exciting challenges, while also generating revenue.”
In conclusion, there are many different ways to monetize mobile games, and the best strategy will depend on the game and the target audience. By considering the options above and experimenting with different monetization strategies, game developers can find the right approach to generate revenue and create a sustainable business model. The statistics and numbers provided above are just examples and should not be taken as typical results, as it depends on the game, the audience and the execution of the monetization strategy.
It’s important to note that some of these strategies may work better for certain types of games or target audiences. For instance, subscriptions and sponsorships may work better for games with a dedicated player base, while in-game events and virtual goods may be more effective for games that encourage social interaction and player expression.
Additionally, it’s important to track and analyze the performance of different monetization strategies to understand which ones are working best for your game. By staying up-to-date with industry trends and being open to experimenting with new monetization strategies, mobile game developers can increase their chances of success and profitability in the mobile gaming industry.
In the end, as the mobile gaming industry continues to evolve, developers should always be on the lookout for new and innovative monetization strategies. These “hidden gems” can often prove to be the key to a game’s success and profitability.