How to Earn Money by Developing Mobile Games

Behind the releasing any games by developers, the purpose is only to earn money from the games. Gaming is a fun and mind relaxing activity that everyone does. It is something that everyone is interested in, no matter what their age is. Youngsters are hooked with PUBG and Fortnite, Women are busy with Candy Crush and men are busy with Teen Patti and Poker.

We are spending extraordinary time on our smartphones by playing games and it just keeps on increasing. Awesome games are coming now and then and they are taking the world by storm. Such games are inviting more and more smartphone users to play mobile games and this trend seems to be growing insanely and is showing no signs of stopping. I mean when have you stopped playing games since you were 5 years old? Everyone loves to play games and will continue playing games. This simple thing has made the mobile gaming industry bigger than ever.

In 2019, the highest revenue in the entertainment industry was generated by games. It was ahead of the movie and music industry too.

Sensor Tower estimates show that worldwide spending in games grew 12.8% across the App Store and Google Play, from $54.7 billion in 2018 to $61.7 billion in 2019.

Mobile games made up 60% of revenue for the global video game market in 2019, generating $49 billion in revenue and a profit of $16.9 billion, a study by found. The mobile gaming market is forecast to grow 2.9% annually to hit $56.6 billion by 2024, per the research.

These facts show that mobile games are performing really well and if you wish to develop a mobile app to generate revenue, the mobile gaming app is the ideal app which you should develop. But one question that many have in mind’s how do mobile gaming apps earn money? We see all these facts about the revenue that the mobile games have generated but from where does this revenue come?

I mean you must be playing some game, right? Have you spent any amount on playing mobile games? Did you pay any amount to install a game? Then how do mobile games earn revenue?

In this article, we will look at how mobile games generate revenue, or if you want to develop a mobile gaming app, how you can earn money from that.


Earn Money by Developing Mobile Games

The basic Google Play Store or Apple’s App store is divided into 3 categories.

  1. Free Mobile Games
  2. Paid Mobile games
  3. Real Money Games

1. Free Mobile Games

Free to play games are free to download, but these games require payments for various upgrades or use other sources to generate revenue.

1. Freemium Games Strategy

Earn Money from Freemium Mobile Games

These games can be downloaded for free and the user can play them without paying anything. The source of income for such games is microtransactions i.e. offering in-app purchases. It allows the users to purchases virtual goods like extra lives, extra levels, cosmetic skins, loot boxes, exclusive gears, or in-game currency.

Freemium Games Example
  1. Candy Crush – You can but lives or different power-ups using money.
  2. 8 ball pool – You can buy skins using money.

There are very few freemium games that have levels to buy otherwise the in-app purchases mainly include skins and power-ups. The main thing for such apps is that it is optional for the users if they want to buy anything or not.

The games are played the most by children but when it comes to the in-app purchases, the main customer here is the adults. They are the ones that buy the most in-app things. Therefore you should try to target your in-app purchase strategy for users who are 18+.

You should sell unique products like skins or you should sell very useful or hard to get things eg. A portion that would be really useful in the game but is extremely hard to get without purchasing one.

The purchases that are made are usable within the game only and therefore microtransactions are attracted only the great fans of the game. Microtransactions can also be used to provide special powers to the players which can be helpful in filling the gap between the user’s gameplay and the skills required to finish all the levels. Special powers can be used in hard levels to advance but the developers should be very careful that they should not unbalance the competition between the players. The powerup should be an advanced weapon and not a hacking tool.

This will make people think that it is necessary to spend money in the game to play it properly and win, this will be really bad for you.

2. Advertisement Strategy Games

How do you think TV channels earn?

You watch various channels and some are even free, so how do they earn?

The simple answer is the advertisement. It is the most advance tool uses for earning in various sectors. Therefore the Advertising model games use ads as the source of revenue.

Display Ads

These ads are the most standard ads using in the games. These include static ads, dynamic display ads, banner ads, video ads, and pop-up ads. These ads do not occupy the full screen. Usually, small banners are using to display ads. These can be display at the lower screen while playing or at the result screen. Eg: Angry Birds.

Interstitial Ads

These ads should be named interval ads as these ads are showing in the interval period. Suppose you have finished a level and you have to go to the next level, these types of ads will come exactly at that time. Any type of natural break in the game can uses as an Interstitial ad.

For example, Rayman Adventure requires the players to watch a 30-second video between each level.

Incentivized Ads

These types of ads will provide you an incentive if you will watch the ad. You can get a boost or in-game currency or diamonds, etc. These type of ads simply gives the users the reason to watch as many ads as they possibly can. But, the reward should be special and not something that the user can easily get, or else no one will watch the ad.

For Example Hayday, this farming game lets the users watch 5-6 videos and will reward them at the end of each video. The users regularly wait for the ads to come to earn some exciting rewards.

Contextual Ads

These ads are a part of the gameplay. They are integrated into the game. You can see brand logos and posters in Pokemon Go Pokestops, in the streets of grand theft auto or at the stadium/ground in football games.

Shareware Games Strategy

Shareware model games are like demo games. You can play the demo version of the game, but you have to buy the game to unlock the full game license. The idea is to give the users only the taste of the game to help them decide if they want to buy the game or not. The free version is to show the users what they can get if they buy the real game.

2. Paid Games

Paid Mobile Games

Upfront Payment Strategy

The users have to purchase the game if they want to download and play them. The market is small for paid games as millions of free games are available and there are very few people who are interested in buying games. You have to make sure that your game is worth the money or else your game won’t survive the competition.

Upfront Payment Strategy Games Examples
  • Need for Speed – Most Wanted
  • NBA 2K18
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Subscription Games Plan

Unlike the normal subscriptions, these games charge a monthly or annual subscription to continue playing them. It is uncommon for games, it mainly uses for massively multiplayer online games (MMOs) and other video games that require continuous server hosting and administrative view in order to operate.

Subscription Games Example
  • Newly launched Apple Arcade

3. Real Money Games

Real Money Games

The new entry to game monetization is real money games. These games are like Pocket Casino. You have to buy chips to play games and if you win, you will win chips, which you can later withdraw to earn real money.

Not only casino games, but many games present as real money games. In these games, the developer will earn money from mobile games whenever the users will buy chips. It considers as an opening a casino instead of launching a gaming app.

List of Top 8 Real Money Games

Here is the list of top 8 real money mobile games.

To Sum Up about Earn Money from Mobile Games

These all are the various monetization strategies that gaming apps use to generate revenue. If you are not sure which strategy you should use for your game or if you want to develop a game using one of the above-mentioned strategies, you should contact a skilled mobile app development company that can easily guide you in the decision.

Mr. Vivek Shah
Author: Mr. Vivek Shah
He is the pioneer, motivational speaker, solution provider, MD and CEO of Capermint Technologies Pvt Ltd: A leading Mobile Games & App development company. He believes in crafting creativity with calibre which construct a valuable outcome for the world out there looking for innovation. As a CEO, he likes to help other companies to transform their app ideas into reality.

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