4 Monetization Strategies for Independent Game Developers

4 Monetization Strategies for Independent Game Developers
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Indie game devs are often in a precarious position when it comes to launching new titles or building an audience for their existing offerings.

They need to get the money rolling in to justify their efforts, and to fuel their next projects, so with that in mind here are some ways to monetize games that will make a big difference and ensure up and coming dev teams can remain financially viable.

Leveraging Ads to Unlock Extra Revenue Streams

Utilizing ads can be a great way for indie developers to generate extra revenue without needing too much effort from their end. Harness them correctly, and they’ll be maximally profitable and minimally invasive.

Ads can come in many forms, from simple banners to interstitial videos or even native content within the UI/UX flow of your game. With each view (or click) they earn, advertisers will pay a certain amount, depending on how well they target users, and which ad network they use.

You also have more control over what type of ads show up, so it’s important that you choose ones which connect directly with the gameplay and your target audience, rather than detracting from the experience, or being irrelevant.

It’s worth remembering that when users click on these ads, they may be taken away from your game, thus potentially increasing exposure for both yourself and any sponsors involved. As such, it’s a fine balance to strike, and one which requires experimentation to get right, but will be worthwhile in the long run.

Implementing In-Game Purchases to Transform the Player Experience

This is another well-known and widely used type of monetization strategy, recommended by growth marketing experts on Upptic and many other industry insiders. It allows players to purchase additional content or upgrades, which in turn give them even more value from your game whenever they fire it up.

In addition, implementing in-app purchases into your games can help increase overall retention rates, as it gives users a reason to keep coming back and make further investments into your project.

Not only that, but these types of microtransactions also serve as a great incentive for new users who may be interested in trying out your game, so why not let them customize their own unique gaming journey?

Crafting a Subscription Model That Keeps Players Engaged

One-off in-game purchases are all well and good, but it also makes sense to consider offering a subscription-based approach to funding your games for those who would rather keep ongoing costs of play consistent over time. It works in other industries, and so has a reliable track record.

This model allows users to subscribe for extra content or in-game benefits, such as special skins or weapons, with the potential to earn recurring income over time from those who sign up. It can also be a fundamental means of covering the costs you face to keep the game up and running, especially if it has a multiplayer component with all the associated expenses that brings with it.

Subscriptions which are forged around the season pass model have been successfully deployed in all sorts of games, from online-focused titles like Fortnite and Hearthstone, to single player stalwarts like the Assassin’s Creed franchise. This might not sound like a good fit for indie developers, but it really is, because of course you can scale the scope and the pricing of your subscription packages to suit your projects.

Cross-Promote Your New Game to Boost Sales

Just because you’ve created an awesome game doesn’t mean it will be a guaranteed success, so don’t forget to promote and market your product.

Cross-promoting is one of the best tactics for indie developers looking to increase their sales figures, as well as build awareness around their project. Whether this comes in the form of social media campaigns or influencer partnerships, there are plenty of ways that can help spread the word about your game and get more people playing it.

You could even consider offering exclusive content, such as beta access or discounts on launch day, if you want to give users additional incentive to purchase early on. Just make sure these rewards are tailored towards generating interest from those most likely to engage with your new title when it goes live.

It’s also worth noting that cross-promotion works especially well when combined with other monetization strategies outlined above, like adverts and in-app purchases, giving players extra value and a reason to keep coming back. Hedge your bets and you’ll find that they’re more likely to pay off!

Wrapping Up

You don’t just need to rely on game sales to drive your revenues as an indie game developer. These tactics for monetizing your releases are well worth considering, and using in unison with one another to get the best results.

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  4. SUBSCRIPTION MANAGEMENT: Best Practices & Software Solutions
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