Game Development Reference
Deep Dive into Web Gaming: Who Plays,
In This Chapter
• Surveying the web gaming market
• Gaining some monetization advice for indie developers
• Pitching publishers: an in-depth discussion with Kongregate.com
• Getting your game on Jay Is Games
This chapter will introduce you to some of the most important big-picture points about web gaming—the
money they make, how to make more, and how to get your games in front of the biggest audience possible.
Starting Out: An Overview of the Web
In a 2011 survey by Mochi Media, the largest browser-based games network, a majority of web game developers reported making most of
their money from ads and sponsorships.
As discussed in Chapter 1, web games have a markedly different audience than Facebook, skewing toward teen/
young adult and male, with a player base that's disproportionately based in developing nations such as Brazil
and Turkey, as well as in Eastern Europe. As of 2012, according to DFC Intelligence, the total market for free-
to-play browser-based games is 200 million, with 5 percent of that market (10 million) directly paying to play.
However, keep in mind that web developers can still earn indirect revenue from all their players, such as through
web ads (see “Where the Money's Made” later in this chapter).
Although young guys make up the bulk of web game players, as M2 Research's Billy Pidgeon explains, the
web gamers likeliest to monetize are somewhat different:
This may partly explain why so many paying web gamers seem to be in their 30s and 40s—at least some of that likely reflects kids “borrow-
ing” their parents' credit cards!
“Paying web game customers are mostly in the 20- to 45-year-old demographic, and the gender split follows
population and web user demographics—slightly more female. Big spenders—aka 'whales'—with higher