Monetization…it’s a scary word isn’t it? It sounds all fancy and important. It’s a very “businessy” term, and as such I’m sure most of us try to ignore it, or avoid it out of fear of its inherit complexity. But well, it’s not hard, it’s rather simple. In the wise words of Paul Graham (taken from his fantastic essay, How to Start a Startup):
You just try to get people to pay you for stuff.
Really, that’s it. You’re just trying to find the best way to make money on whatever it is you’re doing. The problem is there are a LOT of ways to go about this…what’s best for you? Well first, you have two starting points: Is your game going to be free or paid. Think about this a lot at the design phase of your game. As we’ve (very depressingly, and completely obvious in hindsight) discovered, you can’t just take a paid game, release a free version with ads, and expect to make money.
So that being said, let’s look at what options are out there for monetizing your game, and let’s look at some of the dumb things we’ve done regarding those options, so you won’t do the same!