The gaming industry has developed quickly in the last three decades. As computer hardware and software improved, so did video games. Simultaneously, the appearance of smartphones and their popularity has introduced yet another gaming platform – mobile games.
All of this has led to tremendous growth. But that’s not all. The gaming industry has an innovative business model that has become popular. Why? Because players love it. Simply put, players can enjoy playing video games for free.
But how are developers able to afford giving products for free? Here’s what you need to know.
How does it work?
At the very beginning, games were played by a small number of people. Since those times, games have been sold physically on CDs or floppy disks.
But over time, things changed. Companies have learned that making one-time sales isn’t the best business model.
This brought us to the modern business model called “free-to-play.” On the other hand, we are also seeing an extension of this model called GaaS – “Games as a Service.” In this model, the game is continuously developed, improved, upgraded, and updated.
All of this contributes to the general experience the players have in the game. Simply put, these models make the games more player-centric. The goal is to keep players playing games for a long time. This makes developers care more about their games’ experience rather than focusing on making a single sale.
What kinds of games are a good bet?
Today there are a variety of games like never before. Games come in different genres, platforms, graphics, styles, gameplays, and so much more. It’s not possible to say which type of games are uniquely the best performing ones.
It’s all about the demographics and how good of a game the development company makes. People will play all kinds of games; it’s only about making something creative to keep their attention. Some of the most known game genres are:
- Action games
- Adventure games
- Strategy games
- Puzzle games
- Sports game
- Board games
Both old and new concepts can be trendy. For example, a game like Board Kings is a traditional board game that’s been improved and transitioned into the digital world. Many people love playing these kinds of games online. On the other hand, Fortnite is a Battle Royale game that’s one of the most popular games of all time.
What’s social gaming?
Social gaming is a special category of its own. These games are all of those games that people play on social media, together with their friends. Social gaming became popular on Facebook with games like Farmville, Mafia Wars, Words With Friends, etc.
You’ve probably noticed people inviting you on social media to play games. These are social games, and they still enjoy a lot of players. Social games are casual games that you can start playing right away and end your gaming session quickly.
They also involve a lot of sharing items and quests with friends. They make players interact intimately and frequently. At the same time, they can often be multiplayer games that can involve friends and total strangers from Facebook. A typical example of this kind of game is Poker Heat.
How do you monetize this?
You might be wondering how these games make money if they are free. This is a good question. Some people give into the idea that these games aren’t there to make money and that the developers are “good people.” Sorry to burst your bubble, but this isn’t true.
There are three basic ways that free-to-play games make money:
One of the most popular ways of monetizing F2P games is an advertisement. Games will often display random ads, banners, or commercials in between gameplay. You probably played a game on your smartphone and saw a pop-up ad that you had to watch for 10 seconds.
2. In-Game Purchases
Fortnite is probably the most successful F2P game example that uses in-game purchases. Fortnite made over $2.5 billion just from in-game purchases. The concept is simple. Create a good game that many people will play. Then offer them a store where they can buy items, customizations, and other novelties.
3. Rewarded Monetization
This involves both in-game purchases and advertising. Instead of making people pay for in-app purchases, games offer free items if they do something in return. This can be a short survey, watching an ad, or something like that. This increases CTR and leads to higher revenue.
Free to play games are just as good as other games. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider trying free social games. This model works because it’s good for both sides. Players enjoy gaming while developers can profit from their work.