How to Monetize a Mobile Game

Monetize a Mobile Game

With titles like Call of Duty Mobile raking in more than $1 billion in revenue, getting in on the mobile gaming market has proven to pay dividends. Without a plan for how to monetize your game carefully, however, you risk your game getting swallowed in the vast sea of mobile games, never to return.

What strategies can you use to stand out from the pack and get your game bringing in cash hand over fist?

Well, we’re here to help with our handy guide on the different ways to monetize a mobile game! 

But enough of this preamble, right? Let’s get right into things!

Table of Contents

With titles like Call of Duty Mobile raking in more than $1 billion in revenue, getting in on the mobile gaming market has proven to pay dividends. Without a plan for how to monetize your game carefully, however, you risk your game getting swallowed in the vast sea of mobile games, never to return.

What strategies can you use to stand out from the pack and get your game bringing in cash hand over fist?

Well, we’re here to help with our handy guide on the different ways to monetize a mobile game! 

But enough of this preamble, right? Let’s get right into things!

How to Monetize a Mobile Game with Ads

One of the main ways to drum up revenue for your mobile game is through sponsored ads that pop up throughout the game. Interstitial ads are the ones most people think of, promos that pop up when there is a lull in the gameplay. 

For those who think this model sounds kind of annoying, you can spice up these ads with bonus features. Some ads are interactive, allowing you to demo a level from a game its advertising or click buttons to trigger special events within the ads. 

You can also implement ads that reward players for watching them. For example, some games will reward bonus currency or lives in exchange for watching a string of ads. 

You can also offer lists of ad interactions players must do to earn a set reward. This lets players consume ads at their own pace while rewarding strong engagement.

Finally, if this all sounds too complicated, opt for the classic banner ads. These static ads sit on the top or bottom of the screen while you play. Digital monetization agencies can help figure out where to best put these ads without them obscuring gameplay. 

In-App Purchases and Microtransactions

Another clever way to monetize your mobile game is through app purchases made within the game. One of the most common ways to do this is through any in-game currency your app uses. 

For example, say your game has a gold system where you get gold for every level you complete. If your game only lets players do a certain number of levels every day, you could have players be able to use gold to buy themselves more attempts (a la games like Toon Blast). Most developers either stick to one currency (offering ways to get it in-game or through real-world money) or use multiple types of currency with specific uses for each.

You can also let players skip levels they are stuck on by paying money or have them unlock special costumes for their characters to show off to their friends in multiplayer. 

With that all said, using in-game payments to unlock features is a balancing act. Hiding large swaths of content behind a paywall can turn players off your game.

For example, Blizzard’s recent release Diablo Immortal chose to lock substantial amounts of endgame gear (the most powerful items) behind pay-to-enter dungeons, with a random chance as to what item you even get. Thousands of dollars later, many players are still left with inventories of junk. As a result, Diablo Immortal has received scathing reviews, and Blizzard’s reputation took a massive hit. 

Pay to Play

Video games are no stranger to “entry fees”: even the classic arcade games like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong were designed to suck quarters from the piggy banks of children everywhere. The most common way to do this is to sell your game for a flat price tag. 

The expectation with paid games is that you get all the content the game has to offer after you pay the upfront sum. Microtransactions in these titles should be limited to cosmetics or items that don’t influence gameplay. That is unless you want your title to get hit with the devastating “pay-to-win” tag by thousands of players.

If this feels a little risky (understandable for smaller publishers not relying on established IP), you can split the difference and have two versions of the game. One is a free-to-play version with ads and content locked behind a paywall, while the other is a complete version of the game sold for a set price.

This allows players to try your game for free before deciding if they want to pay money to access the paid version. Even if they stick with the free version, you still have ads to bring you revenue. 

Further Strategies

Finally, some titles opt for a subscription model, where players pay a set price every month to play the game. Popularized by online titles like World of Warcraft, this helps players not get so startled by the upfront price tag, therefore making them more likely to try your game for a month and get hooked.

Think about it. If you wanted to play a game you knew nothing about except that it looked cool, would you rather pay $15 to play unlimited or a game you pay $5 a month to play that you can cancel at any time? This careful management of risk and reward can pay dividends for savvy developers. 

Forming Partnerships

But what about monetizing your game outside of the game itself? That’s where partnerships with other companies come into play. Offer promo codes for unlockable in your game in cereal boxes or with a certain number of purchases from a store.

Not only does this spread word of your game to a wider audience, but it also helps bring more cash for both parties.

Rake in Revenue from Your Mobile Game

And that’s all there is to it! With these handy tips on how to monetize your mobile game, you’re ready to start raking in cash while delivering a quality game players will love.

But what if you’re looking for more tips on effective monetization or want an ad network to help deliver unobtrusive ads straight to you? Well, you can check out the articles on our blog for more information and contact us to get a solid network of ads across your mobile games today!

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