We use our smartphones day in and day out, and while just about everyone uses their devices for texting and social media, gaming is where many app developers have generated the most income.
3 ways your gaming app can make real, reliable money in 2018
The mobile games market exceeded $40 billion in 2017, proving that there is a rapidly-growing market that is willing to pay for fun content.
But what’s the best way to earn money through your gaming app? Is it in-app advertisements? Charging an initial fee when users first download the game? Or making your game free to download, but enabling in-app purchases?
Though in-app purchases generate the most revenue, each of these methods can prove effective when done right.
But deciding on a monetization strategy isn’t the only thing you need to do to consistently make money through your gaming app.
Here’s a closer look at some of the tools and tricks you can use to turn your game into a real money-maker.
1. Payment processing tools
When addressing the mobile gaming market, it’s essential to remember that a significant number of your users probably won’t be using credit cards or Paypal to make their transactions.
In Southeast Asia — one of the world’s fastest-growing gaming markets — credit card penetration is less than 3%. Add in the rising acceptance and popularity of Bitcoin, and it’s clear that more customers are relying to alternative payment methods.
Quite simply, if you only accept credit card payments in your gaming app, you have a high likelihood of missing out on a big chunk of your potential audience.
Thankfully, there are several tools available that allow you to securely and efficiently integrate other payments within your app.
For example, CloudMoolah connects with other payment partners to enable in-app gaming purchases without a credit card or Paypal account.
Companies like Arxan are actively working to increase digital security for these mobile transactions, ensuring that users don’t have to worry about their financial data being stolen.
By integrating the right payment processing and security tools, you can spread access to in-app purchases to a wider customer base, significantly increasing your earning potential.
2. Localization and segmentation
The global nature of mobile gaming means you can’t focus on the English-speaking market alone.
Southeast Asia, Brazil, and other areas that are sometimes ignored in other marketing situations are among the fastest-growing countries in the world for mobile gaming.
Even something as simple as translating your game’s menu options for a foreign-language market could go a long way in increasing its sales potential.
The same principle applies for games that use in-app advertising.
While some games have successfully used tactics like rewarded video ads (which provide access to premium content after watching an ad) to increase user engagement, there’s no denying that audience segmentation is key to delivering relevant ads that will actually increase your revenue.
Because of this, developers need to take the time to fully understand the different groups that make up their gaming community.
Understanding the subtle differences in content preferences will ensure that you adapt both your ad targeting and the game itself to increase engagement on a global scale.
3. Let gamers make the sale
Regardless of the monetization strategy you use, increasing the size of your user base is ultimately the best way to ensure a reliable source of income from your mobile game.
More users means more ad revenue, or alternatively, a higher number of people who are paying for premium content.
But what’s the best way to draw new gamers to your app? While some have gone as far as to advertise their games during the Super Bowl in recent years, most indie game developers don’t have this kind of budget.
Instead, you should try to take advantage of the oldest marketing tactic around:
word of mouth.
This doesn’t mean that you passively wait for gamers to spread the word.
Instead, build a referral program that incentivizes your current users to invite friends to download the game.
By targeting your most engaged users and providing worthwhile incentives (like free in-game upgrades), you greatly increase the likelihood that they’ll spread the word.
Your current users will generally invite others who share similar backgrounds and interests — people who are also likely to become an engaged part of your community.
By combining referrals with a strong social media presence, you can grow your revenue without needing to spend millions of dollars on marketing.
Play to pay
An addictive, engaging game can turn into a real money-maker — but only if you implement the right monetization strategy.
Yes, you need to have incredible work ethic to hone your programming skills and develop a great game in the first place.
But without ensuring that your revenue-generating tactics appeal to your mobile gaming audience, you could find yourself missing out on key growth opportunities.
As you use these strategies to attract more users to your game and entice them to make repeat purchases, you’ll ensure that all the time you spent brainstorming and coding will deliver lasting financial success in 2018 and the years to come.
How do you promote your mobile game? Have you tried any of these suggestions before?
I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!