quarta-feira, 22 de maio de 2013

Money through mobile games

As you know, I’m a postgraduate research student and graduation level teacher in Brazil. At this moment, I’m teaching Digital Media and Gaming Concepts to my students. In a specific class about mobile gaming there’s question that comes up every semester: “How can we make money through mobile games?”

Ok, the world is going mobile and everybody wants to create the new Angry Birds to become a millionaire, but it’s essential to analyse some important business models inside this complex (and gigantic) market. In this post I just want to highlight some of these models. It is not my intention to write a complete document about this subject.



1. Freemium (a neologism mixing “free” and “premium”): is a business model by which a game is provided free of charge, but money is charged for advanced features, functionalities, or virtual goods. “Cut the rope” is an example of freemium game because you can download the content and play ten stages of the game, but if you want the complete experience its mandatory to pay. “Zombie Tsunami” is an example of how a company can make money with in-game equipment (players are invited to visit a virtual shop to buy scenarios, powers, clothes, etc. with real credits).

2. Ads and banners: there are a lot of free games with advertising inside its interface. It’s very common to find a free game with ads/banners in the screen. Sometimes it sucks but someone needs to pay the price and advertising could be an answer.

3. In-Game Advertising: refers to the use of digital games as a medium for the delivery of advertisements. This is a better way to put products and services in the interface. We have a lot of examples of brands that created games for its products, like “CP3K” running game from Nike.

4. Free for long-term profit: a good strategy for small companies in the beginning of its existence is to give the whole game for free or put the game for free for a while and put a minimum price on it after a few weeks. In the beginning it’s necessary to build a name in the mobile gaming field. If your first game was good, certainly people will pay for expansions or new ones.

5. Put a price on it: there’s no rule about a price for a mobile game. In this case it’s important to have an overview about similar games to create a coherent value to your game.

There’s a lot of another strategies to create “talkability” and make your game to go viral. It’s possible to distribute promotional numbers for free downloads to influent people, use social media, etc. but this is a subject for another post.

Now on to your opinion.

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