Mobile Game Market: monetization during casual growth

The audience of mobile games is huge, but not every layer is ready to pay. How to monetize mobile games?

The game industry changes over the years immensely – this includes the games we play and the ways we do this. The area of mobile gaming had an impressive boost just after the appearance of this technology. Then, it got the reputation of casual and simple even with slight disregard from hardcore gamers. 

Now, we witness the further development of this chunk of the gaming culture. It strengthens positions in the casual area, and it grows in a new direction, attracting highly dedicated players. Let’s take a look at the current situation on the mobile game market from the point of the best monetization schemes and the most effective ways of attracting players.

The collectible token games Post Scriptum and Altar: the War of Gods will have their versions for mobile devices. We at Paracosm Project are open to cooperation with other developers of mobile games – to integrate these products into the ecosystem of the Paracosm platform and Caer Sidi service.

To pay or not to pay 

We started this discussion in the article “Free or Paid Games. Choice of developers and players.” This time, it would be interesting to narrow down the topic to the area of mobile games. Should developers/publishers deliver full experience and take money for the very process of playing their products? Is it better to concentrate on games as a service and make them free but with some paid aspects?

Successful paid mobile games

Most of the people aren’t used to pay for mobile games. Those who are ready to purchase a mobile game, become rather reluctant if the price is more than just a few backs.

Super Mario Run is a Nintendo game for mobile devices. It’s free to download and play through the first level. Then players should pay $9.99 to complete the adventure. Only an excellent quality by Nintendo and the popularity of Mario allows such a price to exist. 

Minecraft, GTA: San Andreas, XCOM: Enemy Within, Hitman: Sniper, Need for Speed: Most Wanted – these and other similar mobile games use the power of the whole franchise to become successful as a paid mobile product. Such games as the Kingdom Rush series use the popularity of initial free versions – fans are ready to support the developers and get quality content.

So, let’s create a kind of checklist for entering this market segment:

  • an affordable price;
  • the highest possible quality of visual, audio and gameplay;
  • (preferably) something well-known in the title/characters/virtual world;
  • completeness of the playing experience.
Examples of successful paid mobile games. They give a lesson for other developers on an effective monetization scheme.

Successful free mobile games

Surprisingly, these were free games that made the leap for the whole mobile market segment. PUBG was one of the first among mobile esports. Recently released Dota Underlords is an amazingly deep game, quite difficult for a mobile title. Fortnite is a phenomenon of modern culture, and its mobile version is super popular.

Subway Surfers (and many other running games), Candy Crush Saga (and countless “match three” games), Clash of Clans, and SimCity: BuildIt – these are well-known free titles, in which players willingly invest many hours of their time and quite a lot of their money.

Such games as Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp and Fire Emblem Heroes have proved even for Nintendo the advantage of this monetization model – a free game with paid items.

So, let’s create a checklist for successful free mobile games:

  • the highest possible quality of visuals, audio, and gameplay;
  • (preferably) something well-known in the title/characters/virtual world;
  • a thought-out monetization scheme with the balance of delivering nice playing experience and keeping the use for paid content.
There are lots of free mobile games, but only some of them are successful enough to give examples of good monetization schemes.

It would be useful to talk about the monetization in free games a bit more. There are three basic schemes:

  • subscription to premium content (rather underdeveloped but has already proven its effectiveness);
  • various paid items (the most common scheme, quite effective if developers don’t spoil the playing experience with their desire to sell more);
  • advertisements (good for small, really casual games);
  • combinations of different schemes.

Game monetization is a substantial challenge for developers of mobile games, and it’s not the only one. The other one is attracting players. It’s quite a difficult task nowadays, with so many games fighting for the chance to be installed to a mobile device. Here are a few pieces of advice – for developers, not for their marketing teams:

  • quality content and interesting innovative gameplay is the most basic thing to do;
  • keep the greed away – free games should be enjoyable without buying something, paid games shouldn’t be too expensive;
  • work on the product even after the release (bug fixing, new content);
  • check out the examples from this article. They proved their viability, so you definitely have something to learn from them.
Paracosm Project creates an ecosystem for the whole gaming industry, including products for various products. Distribute your game through the Paracosm platform and integrate it to the Caer Sidi service.

On one hand, the mobile game market is overcrowded with many decent products. On the other hand, a lack of useful functionality is obvious for now. The Paracosm platform and Caer Sidi service bring some solutions to the area of mobile gaming as well, such as:

  • the possibility of transferring progress to other games;
  • trade of assets between game worlds;
  • using phygital items as souvenirs and part of the gameplay;
  • creative connections with games on other platforms.

Our platform and service are in active development right now. Caer Sidi Alpha has been released in May 2019, and recently we added the assets transfer feature

Reach us through the email to get more details about publishing your games on the Paracosm platform and integrating them to the Caer Sidi service.

1 Comment

Monetize website
Great information shared on monetization for mobile games, got to learn new things from this post, thanks once again for sharing.

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