Game Development Reference
But as Reeve points out, you don't just want players participating in the forum. “The best way to foster a
positive community attitude is to have a strong developer presence on the forums or in the game,” he says, “let-
ting players know what updates are coming up, and listening to players when they bring up glitches or balance
suggestions. It can be hard to do this with a large community and a small team, but it's extremely important to
let players know they have a voice.”
Earning Revenue from Your Game
Most revenue from your web game will probably come from advertising, so the money you make from your
players will be indirect. However, there are still opportunities to earn direct revenue from a fraction of your
player base, via micro-transactions and virtual goods sales.
Build Monetization into the Game's Basic Design
The trick is to reward players who buy premium content, without annoying free players.
This is a recurring point of advice for all three platforms in this topic—in ecosystems where nearly all games
are extremely cheap or free to play, monetization options have to be deeply integrated into the game's design,
so that they're easy for players to notice and players will realize how paying will make the game more fun. “If
nobody knows a feature exists,” Reeve explains, “nobody will ever use it, so you have to make sure the mon-
etization features are relatively obvious. If a feature isn't particularly fun or important to the game, no players
will care about using it.”
At the same time, it's also important to make it possible to play for free—that's especially important if your
game is multiplayer or depends on leader boards or social network sharing to drive growth, which would only
be slowed by a payment wall.
Take Advantage of Common Monetization Schemes:
Monetizing Convenience, Collections, and Exclusivity
Three varieties of monetization are common in web games: monetizing convenience, collections, and exclusiv-
KIXEYE, which is covered in the Facebook chapters, explicitly emphasizes the convenience factor by selling in-game “Speed-Ups.”
“One strategy is to sell convenience,” says Reeve. “Allow premium currency to speed up progress or to earn
items more quickly, while ensuring that these are all still available to free players as long as they're active.”
This includes most varieties of power-ups, boosters, and other enhancements to gameplay, because they tend to
allow the player to accomplish in-game goals more quickly.
“However, exclusive premium content is often a bigger motivator to convert players,” says Reeve. This is
true in many games, including Reeve's Tyrant. “We tend to offer exclusive items that are balanced at roughly