Monetizing Strategies For Game Developers

When developing browser games, one of the first things you need to think about is how you plan on monetizing. Chances are you’ve already invested a substantial amount of your time and money into the game before you even release it. Beta testing and the cost to host the game can drain your bank account. So in order to recoup those costs and make some profit, you need to figure out how to monetize your game prior to its release.

One key thing to remember when monetizing is to create multiple streams of revenue and not rely on any single method. So we’ll go over a variety of options you should consider when monetizing your game.


One of the easiest ways to monetize when you sell your software products online is through ads. Whether you choose to go with an advertising publisher such as AdSense or look for private advertisers, ads are very easy to implement into browser based games. Not only can you place ads in the actual game, but you can also run ads on the game’s blog and forums as well. As you’ll see in the next method, you can also use ads in conjunction with another monetization strategy.

Offer free and a premium version

A very popular method of monetizing browser games is to offer both a free and premium version of the game. The free version will have ads, and the premium version would be ad free. There are several advantages to this method. Through running ads, you will potentially profit off of the free version anyways. With the premium version, you will have a monthly subscription fee that users who want to play ad free can take advantage of.  Giving users an option will ensure that people don’t opt out of playing your game because it has ads or because they have to pay to play. To give further incentive for the premium version, you can offer an exclusive online forum, quicker customer support and free access to other games based on their interests.

Upgrades and micro-transactions

When users play an online game (especially strategy games or RPG’s), a large part of the fun is getting upgrades. The mistake that some developers make is pricing their upgrades too high from the get-go.

Instead, and same way many Saas companies do it to sell their software online, the ideal strategy is to start out with lower priced updates and gradually increase as users progress, in this case, through your game. For example, if you’re developing a role playing game, the lower leveled weapons would be priced relatively low. Since users getting these items are just starting out, they probably won’t want to invest large sums of money into the game right away. However, as they start to level up and get deeper into your game, they grow more committed and don’t mind spending more on better armor or weapons. The more hours they invest into playing your game, the more money they will likely spend.

Strategy Guides

This strategy banks on the competitive nature of online gamers. As previously mentioned, some users will do whatever it takes to get a competitive advantage over others. Selling a strategy guide for your game with some helpful tips and tactics that will help players become better is an excellent two-fold method of monetization.

  1. They purchase the guide: Obviously you will profit from the sale of the actual e-book. You can sell it directly from your game’s official site and offer an affiliate program for users to sell it for you.
  2. You build an email list: You should be capturing the emails of every person that buys your strategy guide. This will allow you to market to them continuously. You can email them with deals on some of the paid upgrades we discussed earlier or other games you are releasing later on. You may even choose to partner up with another developer and get paid to market their products to your email list.

Consider using any of these monetization strategies discussed for your browser game to help cover the costs of running the game and fatten your wallet in the process.

Preciouse Gross is the Community Manager at BlueSnap, an international payment solution. Preciouse has been working in the e-commerce payment industry for 6 years helping to develop strategies to increase consumer engagement and interaction.

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