The world of mobile gaming has changed the video game industry in many ways. From the free-to-play (F2P) model with microtransactions to the old world of subscriptions, there are many ways to fund a fun game while giving opportunities to people who aren't ready to pay yet. Here are a few income sources to consider for your game, whether it's an in-progress project or preparing for a major update.
The original online gaming business model involved paying for a game (a box fee), then a subscription. Although online games have been a part of gaming culture since the mid-1990's, one of the more popular early subscription games was Everquest Online. Everquest was followed by Guild Wars, Final Fantasy XI, Ragnarok Online, City of Heroes, and the current champion of the old way of subscriptions World of Warcraft.
In this business model, players purchase the game itself, then pay a subscription fee each month. As the style became more popular, the initial game purchase was expected to include at least a month of gameplay before paying. No other payments such as in-game cash shops were available or necessary.
Soon, online games became popular to not only play, but make. Many companies entered the industry, but games such as Fly for Free (FlyFF) and Fiesta Online signaled the rise of college students with game design-focused degrees releasing market-ready games that were expected to be bought by larger companies.
When it comes to mobile games, charging a box fee of sorts is considered quite the bold move. Most games--especially online games--are free, and instead lure players into paying for different game services. You can charge a small fee of under $10 while still fitting in with many other games, but your game will need to be outperforming most other games on the market.
Microtransactions And Gaming Culture
Microtransactions are here to stay, but there are many different opinions on ethical and efficient microtransaction use. For game culture immersion, a cash shop will be used instead of microtransactions to fit in with how most gamers view the system.
A cash shop is an in-game store with items and services that can be purchased for real money; real money being any real-life currency such as USD, Yen, Euros, GBP, or any other national currency as opposed to in-game currencies such as digital gold or credits.
The items for sale will vary depending on the game, but there is a need for balance. You can't allow players to simply bypass most game play by paying enough money, as most players will wander off after getting bored. A smarter use of a player base would be to make the items tempting, but not necessarily game-breaking to the point of instantly defeating most game goals with a credit card.
An example of a game-breaking feature would be selling weapons and armor that trivializes the strongest enemies in the game. A smarter use of the weapons and armor system would be a set of equipment that gets stronger as the player levels up, but without instantly destroying all enemies in the area. A slight potency boost will be fine as long as rare or extremely hard to find objects remain more powerful.
Other games avoid power completely and sell digital cosmetic items such as dresses, coats, hats, and fashion accessories. Never underestimate a gamer's desire to customize and standout.
Contact an app development services professional to discuss game design, cash shop use, and subscriptions to boost your game's income. For more information, contact a company like App Makers LA .