In today's mobile gaming industry, generating revenue through effective monetization strategies is crucial for game developers and publishers. With millions of mobile games available in app stores, competition is fierce, making it essential to implement smart and engaging monetization strategies. This article explores what mobile monetization is and how to make it effective.
What is mobile games monetization?
Mobile app monetization refers to the process of generating revenue from mobile games through various strategies and techniques. Creating a mobile game with strategic design and development can drive its success and profitability to new heights. According to a report by Newzoo, the global mobile gaming market generated over $86 billion in revenue in 2020, accounting for nearly 60% of the total gaming market.
As mobile gaming has become increasingly popular, developers and publishers need to find effective ways to monetize their games in order to sustain their business and maximize profits. Here are some of them.
Branded games have emerged as a highly effective strategy for monetizing mobile games in 2023. They offer game creators such benefits as:
enhancing user engagement,
diverse monetization opportunities,
increasing reach and acquisition,
boosting brand awareness.
Branded games leverage the familiarity and affinity players have for well-known brands, resulting in higher user engagement. According to a study by AdColony, branded games outperformed non-branded games in terms of average session length and retention rates, indicating the captivating nature of the brand association.
Additionally, integrating sponsored content and brand promotions within the game environment provides additional monetization channels. According to Newzoo, branded mobile games exhibited higher in-app purchase conversion rates compared to non-branded games. Thus, creating a successful branded game can lead to heightened exposure, resulting in increased downloads, positive user reviews, and word-of-mouth recommendations.
In-app purchases (IAPs)
One of the most common and effective strategies for mobile game monetization is offering in-app purchases. According to Statista, in recent years, in-app purchases accounted for approximately 72% of mobile gaming revenue worldwide. Developers can offer various virtual goods, power-ups, or customization options that enhance gameplay and provide players with a sense of exclusivity. Implementing IAPs strategically can create a revenue stream while allowing players to progress at their desired pace.
Integrating advertisements in mobile games is a popular monetization technique. Developers can include banner ads, interstitial ads, or rewarded video ads at appropriate moments during gameplay. By partnering with ad networks or platforms, developers can generate revenue based on impressions, clicks, or video views while ensuring the ads do not disrupt the player's experience. A study by App Annie revealed that in 2020, mobile game advertising revenue reached $120 billion globally, representing a year-on-year growth rate of 10%.
Introducing subscription models can provide consistent revenue streams and foster player loyalty. By offering premium content, exclusive perks, or ad-free experiences through subscription tiers, developers can entice players to opt for recurring payments. Regular updates and value-added benefits can further enhance the appeal of subscription-based monetization. Not so long ago, Apple's App Store introduced the "Apple Arcade" subscription service, which provides access to a curated collection of premium games without ads or in-app purchases.
Limited-time events and special offers
Creating limited-time events, seasonal promotions, or special offers can stimulate player engagement and monetization. By introducing exclusive rewards, time-limited challenges, or discounts on in-app purchases during such events, developers can leverage the fear of missing out (FOMO) and encourage players to spend money or engage with the game more frequently.
Sponsorship and brand partnerships
Collaborating with brands or sponsors can provide developers with additional revenue streams. By incorporating branded content, product placements, or sponsored events within the game, developers can monetize while enhancing the overall experience. Careful integration is crucial to maintain a balance between commercial interests and player satisfaction.
Leveraging the user base of existing games can be a powerful monetization strategy. Developers can cross-promote their new releases or updates within their existing games, offering players a seamless transition to new experiences. This strategy not only helps drive traffic but also increases the visibility and user acquisition potential for new titles.
Loot boxes and gacha mechanics
Loot boxes and gacha mechanics introduce an element of chance and anticipation for players. By offering randomized virtual items, characters, or upgrades, developers can capitalize on players' desire to collect rare or valuable items. However, it is important to maintain ethical practices and avoid exploiting players' gambling tendencies.
Gacha mechanics have been found to be a significant revenue driver for mobile games. The Sensor Tower’s research says that games utilizing gacha mechanics accounted for a substantial portion of the top-grossing mobile games in 2022, indicating their effectiveness in generating revenue.
Implementing native advertisements can enhance the user experience by seamlessly blending promotional content within the game environment. Native ads are designed to match the look and feel of the game, minimizing disruptions and maintaining immersion. This approach can result in higher engagement and increased revenue.
Introducing collectibles within mobile games can foster long-term engagement and monetization. By creating a variety of rare or unique items, characters, or achievements, developers can encourage players to invest time and money to complete their collections. Providing additional gameplay benefits or rewards for completing collections can further incentivize spending.
Data monetization involves anonymized collection and analysis of player data to generate insights for targeted advertising or user behavior analysis. By partnering with third-party data analytics providers or ad networks, developers can leverage player data to deliver personalized experiences and maximize ad revenue.
Overall, mobile games monetization continues to evolve as developers and publishers explore new strategies to engage players, provide value, and generate sustainable revenue streams in the highly competitive mobile gaming market.
Contact us if you want to try out some of the strategies above in practice or develop your own branded game.