Make Money From Mobile App Games


Creating a killer mobile gaming app and making money from it are two different ball games altogether. Many strategies would allow you to monetize your mobile gaming app. In this article, we attempt to discuss each of them briefly.

1: In-app Ads

This has been the most popular strategy for some time now. Users can play the games for free and the developer makes money from those ads that show up while playing the game. For advertisers, it is all about acquiring new users. 

Interstitial ads fill out the entire mobile screen and appear soon after the main menu screen and sometimes after specific game levels. Ad sizes are different and priced accordingly. Rewarded video ads are the most effective ad format and especially suited for mobile games. In this format, the gamer chooses to watch the video for an in-app reward. For the advertisers, this format provides the highest eCPM. 

Playable ads allow the user to play a demo of the game before downloading it on their mobiles. This type of ad shows encouraging conversion figures, retention, and revenue. Both Facebook and Google encourage playable ads. Offerwall ads allow the users to select a preferred ad experience in return for in-app currency. This allows for a more customizable ad experience.

2: In-App Purchases

If you are a seasoned mobile game app creator, then you can think of making your fans pay for perks and additional features in the game. In most games that facilitate in-app purchases, gamers have the option to pay for extra lives, coins, gems, and other content. You have to be careful and strategic about pricing for this to work. 

Some of these in-app purchases are consumable (health, currency, etc.) whereas others are not (guide maps, accessories, etc.). 

3: Paid Games

This is yet another monetization strategy that works well for the established game creators, well known in the market. Minecraft, though you have to pay to download, is a top revenue-grossing game. 

These types of paid games are best suited for those gamers who do not like intrusive ads and are willing to pay upfront for the coins or gems. And there would be no ads either.

4: Subscription model

Gamers now have to pay subscriptions to enjoy some of the games they enjoy playing. Regular payments (monthly/yearly) help these gamers gain access to additional game content, items, or features and they are also assured of an ad-free experience. 

Apple has introduced ‘Arcade’ which is a subscription-only platform allowing users to play all the games (180 as of June 2021) by paying a monthly subscription fee. 

5: Freemium Model

The freemium model is a blend of free and premium, in that it combines the characteristics of both. The free plan is available to anybody who downloads the app. However, only the basic features are made available when using this option. To use ‘premium’ features, you will have to make a one-time payment or go in for a subscription. In short, extra value is offered for an extra fee.

6: Mixed Monetization

This strategy is a hybrid model that helps the game developers earn via multiple revenue streams. Many developers have been observed to combine subscriptions, in-app purchases, and in-app ad models. This hybrid model takes care of users who want to get rewarded watching ads, or others that prefer paying subscriptions, and yet others that want to make in-app purchases. 

Closing thoughts

To choose the best monetization strategy for your mobile game app, you ought to have clear monetization goals. You can choose any one strategy depending on whether you want a high ROI immediately or a wide fan base for now. At Zartek, when we build games, we brainstorm with the team on what is the right monetization strategy for your product. If you are looking to monetize your game or to build a new game, please reach out to us here