Two Interesting Approaches to Game Monetization

An approach often used to monetize flash games is ‘game sponsorship’. This is where individual companies or flash game distribution websites fund (or buy) a game from its creator and then insert their own branding within the game. You have probably played many games where the logo of a free games website appears within the game-world or a particular company has splashed their branding all over it.

Andy Moore recently gave an insight into the process he went through with his plane fighting action/strategy game, SteamBirds branded by Armor Games, to Gamasutra. To receive offers he posted the game on Flash Game License where those who create games can receive offers from those who wish to brand them. His post demonstrates that quite often the highest value offer received is not the best one for the developer to accept. Andy accepted $25,000 from Armor Games – significantly higher than the average price of a game sold on the site which is about $1,400.

British developers Monumental recently reported an increase in the number of people downloading their MMO Football Superstars after they posted it on filesharing websites. They said that people were reluctant to download the large file from their website but far more willing to do as a torrent. Although free to play the game is one of a growing number of ‘freemium’ games where players are encouraged to pay for an upgraded account with more features. Perhaps this is a model that more of the big developers will follow in the future.

It would be interesting to know if any Game Maker game creators have attempted to earn an income from their games in this way.

What do you think?

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  1. Andy Moore talks a bit about his experience with the sponsership process on a recent TIGRadio show. Pretty interesting. Although the Gamasutra article seems to cover it all there might be some extra tidbits to found on the show.

    For some eye-opening figures regarding the “freemium” revenue path and beyond, you must watch Jesse Schell’s DICE 2010 “Design Outside the Box” presentation. Well worth watching for any designer.

  2. I’m not sure how successful the 1st method would be for GM users. Flash games, I assume, fetch such prices due to their high play counts. Even poor Flash games can get 200k plays if posted on the right site with a little luck.

    Regarding, as you say, “freemium” game models, most big developers DO use this already (online games). Runescape, no matter what you think of it, makes a hell of a lot of money via this method. I myself am modelling my new MMORPG in this style, after consideration of game shops (another popular commercial attraction in some MMO games) and advert driven income (which I decided against).

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