This post is part of a series of articles discussing game monetization concepts and strategies in Core. The goal of this series is to help creators improve the monetization in their games by sharing knowledge and information, as well as learning from the experiences of the Core community. If you would like to contribute your own article, please contact the author.
Monetization plays a key role in every phase of game development from start to finish. It is just as important as the other main areas of game development such as gameplay, modeling, coding, and content. It is essential to have this mindset in order to dedicate the necessary time and resources to monetization in your game development process.
The most common mistake game creators make is to not put enough time and effort into monetization. Some creators are so focused on developing the gameplay and adding great features and new content that monetization becomes less of a priority. This leads to monetization being implemented without enough thought or time.
So, the takeaway is that monetization is just as important as the other main areas of game development, and should be part of the development process right from the start.
Prior to starting the development of a game, you should decide upon your monetization strategy. This should be done at this early stage since the monetization methods you use may affect many other elements in the game such as the user interface, gameplay, and design.
This is a great time to read up on the current monetization methods and trends in the gaming industry. There are many online articles which discuss various monetization strategies and methods in detail. Your research should include games on all platforms including PC, mobile, and console. Play many different games to experience the monetization system first hand. Visit Twitch and YouTube to watch monetization in other games.
Finally, decide upon the monetization methods that you will use in your game. This will serve as a guide for implementing monetization for the rest of the development process.
Throughout the development phase, the various monetization methods should be implemented. This usually involves quite a bit of work since monetization may be integrated in many aspects of the game.
There are technical tasks such as implementing all the Perks, persistent storage, and reward logic. This also requires a lot of UI work such as store fronts, reward tracks, and prize animations. Not to mention adding ways to keep the monetized content dynamic with new discounts and promotions.
You will also want to obtain a solid understanding of your game’s economy, so that you can make decisions about the monetization. This includes figuring out how much time it requires players to do key tasks, as well as the time it takes to progress and earn things in your game. With this knowledge you can make decisions about the pricing, frequency, and timing of your monetized items.
As soon as the game launches to the public, start analyzing your monetization on a daily basis. Use the analytics provided by Core to help you evaluate your monetization. Then make adjustments as you learn more about what is working and not working.
Optimizing your monetization is very much a learning process that can take a lot of time to figure out. Pricing is especially difficult to optimize and get just right. So don’t hesitate to do a lot of trial and error to optimize your monetization to its full potential. The top studios do this all the time, and are continually testing and evaluating new ideas.
This will become easier the more you understand your players, and how they flow and progress through your game. Communication, feedback, analytics, and observing gameplay are all good ways to help with this.
The best games are continuously updating their monetization content to keep things new and interesting for players. Just look at some of the top games, which add new things all the time, sometimes on a daily basis.
There are many ways to update your monetization and offer new things for your players on a periodic basis.
Add new products to purchase.
Create new bundles with different combinations of items.
Discount certain items or categories periodically.
Run special events which offer extra rewards for a limited time.
Track player progress and offer special rewards when milestones are achieved.
Grant Reward Points for related activities.
Use social media to promote new monetized content.
Please join the discussion and let us know about your ideas or experiences in Core related to this topic.