Most of you would say increased game downloads and game play, more revenue, or higher engagement on social media – as a game developer myself, all of these factors are important to me as well. There is plenty of documentation on how to make games ‘addicting’ and fun to play, and there is plenty of documentation on how a game can gain lots of users.
However, I’d like to share some of my secrets (some, not all) on how games can make money.
Let’s start with free-to-play games.
Obviously, you all know that ‘free to play’ games are free to download and to play every day with no limit. Often, the user has limited access to certain features or content. Under this model, the user then has to pay a certain amount for premium content, faster and better features, or more entertainment time. Paying for premium features is referred to as an in-app purchase. In order to convince users that additional features, content, and play time are all worth the cost of the game, we have to provide them with a well-developed, fun to play game.
We need to have good content and a good game economy.
What is a game economy, you ask?
Part of my work is to define the ‘game economy’ for Playtika’s products. When we try to learn what game economy is, we often find complex explanations, usually supported by lots of boring numbers and meaningless metrics. Basically, game economy is what defines everything in your game. The timeline and game progression, placement of the levels, subtle details in characters and environments, etc. – it is the heart of the game itself.