Game Development Reference
In-Depth Information
Whatever rate at which you do price your virtual goods, it's generally a good idea to avoid capped spending .
As Paul Preece of KIXEYE explains, it's nice to get a $5-15 monthly revenue hit from a subscribing customer,
but if you give your game a subscription option, it tends to cap how much players can pay on any given month.
Some of your most devoted fans may want to pay more than you might imagine.
To be sure, some web games have earned impressive money through a freemium subscription model—the
most notable case being RuneScape, an MMO that attracted more than a million subscribers at its peak.
However, if you are building an MMO, taking on subscribers means taking on more costs in terms of billing
and customer/technical support, which are probably not worth taking on until you've already attracted a large,
regular player base.
In any case, some of your most devoted fans may want to pay much more per month than what a subscription
will cost them, while many (or most) players would rather pay less than a subscription minimum. It's important
to monetize both types of players—those who want to pay hardly anything and those who want to pay a lot.
Here are the key points we covered this chapter:
Wrap the gameplay of one game genre in the trappings of another genre—if done well, you can attract
fans of both genres.
Create a recognizable brand that unifies your games, which helps build a fan base.
Distribute on multiple websites and personally solicit sites that might host your game.
Consider licensing your first games, since it's very difficult to make much revenue from advertising in
the beginning.
Put as much thought into your web page design and advertising deployment as you do into your game's
design—and track changes, to see which of them earn you more money and users.
Deeply integrate monetization options into a game's design. Make them easy for players to notice, and
convey clearly how paying for them will make the game more fun.
Keep in mind the three varieties of monetization that are common in web games: monetizing convenien-
ce, collections, and exclusivity.
Price your virtual goods high, adjust rates as needed, and don't cap spending—some of your most de-
voted fans may want to pay more than your capped price.
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