The world of online gaming is a lucrative one. Chances are you’ve played a game on your phone, tablet or computer and wondered “what is this game’s monetization strategy?” You’ve probably also heard the numerous success stories of indie game developers who turned side gigs into full-time incomes. What is keeping these developers afloat and what can mere mortals do to make the same money? Let’s take a look.
Monetizing Traditional Games
Traditionally speaking, gaming studios and individual game developers turn to various methods of making money off their games. The most popular of these are:
- Advertising – through traditional advertising (e.g., billboards, radio ads, etc.) as well as more recent forms of advertising such as Google Adsense.
- In-Game Purchases – using cryptocurrency or traditional assets to give players the chance to enhance their experience by purchasing items in the game.
- Microtransactions – enabling players to spend real-world money on items that can enhance gameplay.
- Live-Streaming – allowing players to follow the events of a game as they happen, either via direct competition or one-on-one matchups.
The Evolving Means of Monetization
The methods of monetization for traditional games haven’t changed. However, as society evolves, so do the possibilities. Today, indies take a more modern approach and utilize these new technologies to their advantage.
New Revenue Sources From Traditional Games
Whether through live-streaming, Google Adsense, or even an e-mail list, these new revenue sources allow gaming studios to continue to exist. Even more interesting is that some of these new means of monetization can be used to enhance the gameplay experience, rather than simply generating income.
For instance, if you’ve played the newly updated Pokémon Go, you may have noticed that the game generates revenue when you link your Google account to enable in-app purchases. While this feature does improve the gameplay experience and make Pokémon Go more convenient, it’s also a nice little earner for the company.
The Rise of Blockchain Gaming
Blockchain technology continues to disrupt virtually every industry, and gaming is certainly no exception. The technology makes it much easier to transfer value from one party to another without the need for a trusted intermediary.
This increased frictionlessness gives rise to completely new ways of generating income. Here are just a few of the many examples of how blockchain technology is changing the way we game: