Over time I have seen many games succeed or fail based on how they make money. I myself have had various games fail or succeed. The trick is all in how you earn your money. Today we will be going over various ways to earn money with both online and offline games.

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One of the most common ways to make money with your games is advertising. Advertising has been around for a long time and because of that, we have had lots of time for trial and error.

The first thing to remember, NEVER use popup ads, they are annoying, inconvenient, and will always scare away players that don’t want their game interrupted, and don’t like waiting. Often times, they show unprofessionalism and make games seem more amateurish.

Second, try and integrate the advertisements into the game. Don’t just have a banner ad always above the game, try and style advertisements to match the aesthetics of the game. For example, put a small advertisement in the options menu and give it a similar theme as another button in the menu.

Third, don’t use too many advertisements, as they can pull a player out of the ‘flow’ of the game. By using too many, you can start to see players lose interest in your game. Along with popup ads, it can make the game seem amateurish.

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Subscription games only work for MMO or games that play almost solely online. It is a bad idea to use this for single player games and such. This type of monetization works best for games that have a large and active community, or have constant and active updates.

Pay to Play

Pay to play is one of the most common methods for monetization. It has easily been around for the longest as it is the easiest to implement. For pay to play, one must simply sell a game. All you do is set s fixed price on a game and people will buy it, however, for this method to work, one must often have good trailers and reviews, as nobody will buy a shoddy game.

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Free to Play

Free to play is also one of the most common types of game monetization. For it, the game often has in-game content such as currency and items that players buy with real money. Free to play is one of the most hated types of game styles, partially to how people have made in the past.

To make free to play games work, one must remember to keep the game fully playable without full purchases. The best way to earn money is to have exclusive and creative content that is slightly better than normal game content but has unique quirks. This way players can do without it, but can still have a large amount of motivation to purchase the in-game content.


  • Call me an analyst

    You’re too easy at “Pay to Play”. There are more ways to earn more money with that strategy than the sequential trailer-demo-peek/blogger-review-full release-review-stragegy.

    Take a peek at the indie game stores and monitor the prices (isthereanydeal.com is a handy tool for that).

    You’ll notice that the most hyped games get a lower discount at autumn/christmas/easter-sales than a year earlier.

    Obviously sometimes the game get more discount to cloak this approach, but the profit comes from people who missed the discount but feel urged to buy it because their friends or relatives play the game already.

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