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.
There are no limits when it comes to implementing monetization methods in your game on Core. The monetization system in Core is quite capable, and can handle all the popular game monetization methods. That means that just about any monetization model you see when playing games on PC, mobile, or other platforms can also be implemented in Core! Don’t lose sight of this fact and limit your games to just basic monetization methods. Core monetization can be just as in depth and fully featured as in games on other platforms.
There are many monetization methods, and the most common models are summarized below. Some of these methods are on the rise, while others are declining in popularity. Methods which may work well for very popular games, may not be the best fit for smaller scale games. There are many other factors as well.
As a Core creator, you will have to decide what methods are best for your game. Often, multiple monetization methods are used within a single game. In future articles, we will discuss some of the most popular methods in more detail.
A microtransaction is a monetization method where players can purchase virtual items for real money. Typically, these tend to be relatively inexpensive, but numerous in the number of items available to purchase.
Microtransactions are probably the most widely used monetization model in Core because they are intuitive, simple to implement, and can be applied to just about anything within the game. Common items available in microtransactions include cosmetics, virtual currency, resources, consumables, and boosts.
Repeatable Perks, Permanent Perks, and Limited Time Perks are all commonly used to implement microtransactions, depending on each individual product. Repeatable Perks are great for buying things more than once such as virtual currency, resources, or consumables. Limited Time Perks can be used to offer anything in the game for a limited amount of time. Permanent Perks are for one-time purchases, such as passes or expansions.
A subscription model requires players to make a periodic payment in order to play the full game. Many games that use this model sell subscriptions in 30-day increments, and often offer discounts for longer subscriptions. Once a subscription has expired, the game either denies access to the player completely, or provides a limited version of the game to play, until the subscription is renewed.
In core, subscriptions can be implemented with Limited Time Perks or Repeatable Perks. For example, a Limited Time Perk with a duration of 30 days can be purchased for a one month subscription. Or this can also be done with Repeatable Perks, such as a perk that offers an additional 30 days of game time each time it is purchased.
A battle pass is a monetization method that offers special reward tiers that players can earn by playing the game and completing specific tasks. It has become very popular throughout the gaming industry, led by games such as Fortnite.
Games often offer battle passes with two reward tracks: one that is free, and another that is paid. The free track has limited rewards, while the paid track has more numerous and valuable rewards. The tracks are usually shown next to each other so that the free player can see what they are missing by not purchasing the paid track. Rewards are typically cosmetic in nature, but can be anything the developer wants to offer.
A specific battle past only runs for a limited time, called a season, which typically lasts between 1-3 months. Furthermore, some of the items rewarded may be exclusively available only in that battle pass season, giving players even more incentive to purchase the battle pass.
In Core, a battle pass can be implemented with Permanent Perks. Just create a Permanent Perk for the battle pass, which players can then purchase to gain access to the battle pass. The reward tracks and all the mechanics associated with the battle pass system are then implemented using the Core editor.
The loot box is a monetization method in which the rewards are random with more common items being easier to win than rarer items. Players either receive loot boxes and keys during game play, or these can be purchased directly. The “box” is usually designed as a chest, or some other container that needs to be opened. Some boxes can be opened directly, while others require a key to open. Both the boxes and keys are consumable and can only be used once. Loot boxes typically reward multiple items that are ranked by rarity. The probability of receiving an item decreases with the rarity of the item.
Loot boxes are declining in use and popularity due to concerns about gambling addiction, and other criticisms from players. They have become very controversial and divisive, and have even been regulated in several countries. In the Core rules, any Perks that grant random virtual items, like loot boxes, must show the odds of what players may receive.
Loot boxes can be implemented in Core using Repeatable Perks. Simply offer a Repeatable Perk to buy a loot box, and another Repeatable Perk to buy a key. Different types and quantities of loot boxes and keys can be offered in separate Perks.
Downloadable content is a monetization method that provides additional content to the game when purchased. This content, for example, may be a new expansion to the game, or access to new areas and zones, or additional story lines, or even new game modes. Note that in Core, players don’t need to download the content separately like PC games, since the new content is already contained within the game data.
Downloadable content can be implemented in Core using Permanent Perks. Create a Permanent Perk for each downloadable content that you want to sell. Players can then purchase those Perks to gain access to the content.
In a related monetization method, the season pass allows players to buy multiple pieces of downloadable content as a single purchase for a discounted price. The discounted price is better than if the items were purchased individually. This may include both current and future content, such as new DLC packs that have not yet been released. Games may offer new season passes over time.
In Core, season passes can be implemented using Permanent Perks. Players would buy the season pass by purchasing the Permanent Perk for that pass.
In this monetization method, the player must buy the game in order to play. Most single player games on the Epic Game Store fall into this category, for example. Such games tend to offer the full game without requiring any additional purchases. However, the player may be required to purchase new content offered in the future.
On a smaller scale, this method can also be used to charge a small “paid access” fee to play the game. Some games in Roblox, for example, charge a small one-time fee to gain access to the game.
In Core, the buy to play method can be implemented using Permanent Perks. In order to gain full access to the game, the player must purchase the Permanent Perk. Otherwise, you can limit the player so they can’t see or do anything in the game.
Please join the discussion and let us know about your ideas or experiences in Core related to this topic.