So you’ve designed, developed, and launched your new title, and now it’s just a matter of sitting back and letting the money roll in…. except it’s not. The launch is just the beginning.
All too often the publisher makes money over the developer. They know how to market and monetize games. If you are going to self publish, the answer to how you are going to make a profit better not be “by making a game people will want to buy.” This is the basic requirement for monetization, but not a strategy. Getting your monetization strategy right is the key to being and remaining an independent studio.
Here are 3 questions to get your team headed in the right direction from the start.
Have we examined all monetization options?
Assess monetization options in the initial phases of development, as freemium, subscription, and paid app models operate best under different circumstances. If you are considering a subscription model for instance, you’ll want to think about keeping players engaged long term. Ask yourself: which model is best suited for our game and why?
After deciding on a model look at other monetization methods directly related to game play including virtual goods, upgrades, and vanity items for personalization. There are many options for monetization, so you could create an exhaustive list of all the features your fans may be willing to purchase. Each method will have its benefits and drawbacks. Ads, for instance, will provide revenue, but may interfere with gameplay and even cause players to abandon your game all together if you aren’t careful. Keep this in mind and be deliberate in the methods you choose.
Have we integrated monetization mechanics into the game design?
While you probably don’t want to design a game around your monetization strategy, you do want to be thinking about the features that can be monetized while you are designing and building your game. Think critically about players’ motivations and look for ways to capitalize on these. Clash of Clans does this by incentivizing players to buy gems to protect the towns they have invested their time building. Look at similar games to the one you are designing to get a sense of what works.
Keep in mind that making money from your game should create as little friction as possible. In reality, the majority of your revenue will come from a small percentage of players. Give these players as many purchasing avenues as possible, making it as simplistic as possible.
Will we be flexible enough to respond to the data?
Don’t assume that once you have a strategy in place you are done. Constantly seek and test user feedback to optimize your strategy. You may find your previous assumptions were wrong or find unexpected opportunities to monetize.
Study player behavior and learn from the choices early adopters make. Look at what features users are drawn to and what are they avoiding or having trouble with. Then use this information to highlight features in your marketing, refine the game experience, and decide on what to monetize.
Merchandise that rocks!
At Eucl3D we’ve built an SDK that allows gamers to purchase 3D printed models in-game. Suitable for all 3D games, this is a great addition to add to any of your current monetization channel and allows your biggest fans experience their game in a new dimension.