A monetization strategy used by developers to achieve revenue. A one-time payment is one option for developers, but they can also monetize through in-app purchases or ad revenue. Monetization tactics like in-app advertising and purchases are critical in free-to-play business models (free-to-play). These payments relate to premium-priced apps, which means that your game is purchased upfront. Mobile games have gone a long way since the days of playing Nokia’s Snake on a little screen.
In 1994, a mobile phone called Hagenuk MT-2000 had a primitive version of Tetris preloaded onto it. As a result, the market was inundated with games, many of which were highly addicting. Others remain hugely popular, even though some of their earlier hits have faded from view. Mobile gaming apps have never been more advanced, and innovations like real-time multiplayer, live streaming and cross-device synchronization are helping to fuel industry growth. Another big driver is the increase of social media interest in gaming on Twitch and YouTube.
Various methods have been used to monetize mobile game apps. Free-to-Play (also known as F2P or FTP) games are those that you can download for free but then have to pay to advance in the game. Microtransactions are minor in-game purchases available in freemium games, which are free to download and play but require small in-game purchases to continue. The most popular mobile games in 2018 were all freemium models, such as Clash Royale, Fortnight Battle Royale, and Candy Crush Saga. These in-game transactions allow users to purchase additional virtual products like in-game currency or cosmetic skins (such as armor and shields), loot boxes, or more gameplay levels (such as gold). Purchases made in-game can have various effects; some increase the player’s power or speed up their advancement, while others are purely decorative.
An example of a micro transaction in a role-playing game is a player purchasing a limited-edition potion that grants exceptional character abilities that are otherwise difficult or time-consuming to achieve through normal gameplay. Games with an advertising model are usually free to play, but they include advertisements to make money. To acquire the full game license, you must pay for shareware games. Shareware offers free users a trimmed-down version of the game to get them to pay for the full version once they’ve tried it out. This business strategy is a little stale now that most mobile game creators are using the freemium model.