Top game monetization strategies for revenue growth

by Game Marketing Genie, on 10-Nov-2023 23:50:54

Creating an amazing mobile game, from the initial development to the nerve-wracking promotion phase is a challenge. Now, you're at a crossroads – it's time to think about making some serious money out of your passion project through game monetization. 

Video gaming was once a niche interest. However, it has evolved into a billion-dollar industry with mobile gaming leading the revenue segment, notably generating over USD 91 billion in annual revenues from smartphone games, as reported by Statista.

So, how can you monetize your game because there are numerous game monetization strategies to explore, but not all of them are created equal. That's why we've put together a list of the latest game monetization trends. When used effectively, these strategies can supercharge your game's revenue. 

Why should you monetize your game?

Game success is no longer limited to cool gameplay or jaw-dropping graphics. It's also about filling up the cash registers while gamers keep on playing. If you're a game developer, you know the importance of turning your passion into a paycheck. There are multiple ways to do it. Think in-app purchases, in-game advertising, or simply selling your game. No matter your choice, monetizing your games will enable you to keep creating awesome games for years to come.

But why should a game developer choose to adopt any game monetization strategies? Because making games is getting pricier, and even the slickest studio eventually needs some cash flow. Second, indie game developers might not have the marketing muscle of the big shots, making it a challenge to get noticed. And even if you create a game that's the talk of the town, there's no guarantee it'll pay the bills in the long run. 

No matter which route you take to monetize, remember – the green stuff is what keeps the game going for even the most talented developers. Without it, you might find yourself closing up shop, and we wouldn't want that, now would we? So, here are some of the obvious reasons to monetize your game.

Revenue Generation:

The most obvious reason for adopting a monetization strategy is to generate revenue. Game development is a costly endeavor, requiring significant financial investments in design, development, marketing, and support. To recoup these costs and turn a profit, developers must explore various revenue streams. Monetization tactics provide the means to do just that.

Revenue Diversification:

Relying solely on initial game sales can be risky. By diversifying revenue sources through methods like in-game purchases, developers can create a more stable financial foundation.


Game development doesn't end with the release of a title; it's an ongoing process. Games require regular updates, bug fixes, and new content to keep players engaged and satisfied. An effective game monetization strategy will enable developers to sustain their games in the long term. Without a reliable revenue stream, supporting a game's ongoing development and growth becomes exceedingly challenging.

Support and Updates:

Successful monetization allows developers to provide ongoing support, maintain servers, and release updates. Players expect regular patches and new content to keep the game fresh and exciting.

Enhancing Player Experience:

Game monetization models, when executed thoughtfully, can enhance the player experience. They offer players opportunities to further engage with the game, personalize their experience, or gain access to additional content. This can lead to increased player satisfaction and a deeper emotional connection with the game.

Player Choice:

Different game monetization models often provide players with choices. They can either go for the free experience with ads and limited features, or they can invest in the game to unlock additional content, convenience, and personalization.

Economic Viability:

Game development is not merely an art; it's a business. Monetization tactics are integral to the economic viability of game development. Without sustainable revenue, it's challenging to support ongoing development and growth. Economic viability is the cornerstone of a successful game studio, allowing for the creation of new and innovative titles.

Investment in Quality:

Reliable revenue enables developers to invest in the quality of their games. This includes hiring top talent, conducting thorough testing, and creating polished and engaging experiences.


Different games and genres appeal to distinct audiences. Game monetization models offer developers the flexibility to tailor their revenue model to align with their target audience and the unique characteristics of their game.

Market Trends:

The gaming industry is ever-evolving, influenced by technological advancements, player preferences, and market trends. Staying current with the latest monetization trends is essential to meet player expectations and remain competitive. Developers who fail to adapt to these trends risk falling behind and missing out on revenue opportunities. 

Understanding the reasons for adopting monetization tactics is the first step toward crafting a monetization strategy that aligns with your game's vision and its intended player base. By acknowledging the economic realities of game development and recognizing the potential benefits, developers can make informed decisions that lead to successful games.

Most popular game monetization strategies 

The process of monetizing games is intricate and likely requires a combination of diverse strategies. Game developers can optimize their revenue and maintain an enjoyable gaming experience for users by studying their user base's preferences and applying the most appropriate monetization models.  Here's a list of these:

1. In-Game Ads:

In-game advertising is a tried-and-true method to monetize your game. By offering your game for free, you open the doors to a broader player base. Then, as players immerse themselves in the experience, they spend a few seconds watching ads, unlocking opportunities to enhance their gameplay through content, currency, or extended playtime. 

The key is to be strategic with ad placement, ensuring that ads don't disrupt crucial moments in the game. Too many ads too frequently can drive players away. To maximize your revenue through in-game ads, consider the types available:

  1. Dynamic In-Game Ads: These real-time, geo-targeted ads can appear anywhere in the game environment, from billboards to posters, seamlessly integrating with the game world.
  2. Static In-Game Ads: Planned and integrated during the game's design and development, these ads offer a more customized and harmonious integration into the gaming experience.
  3. Advergames: Custom-built games designed to promote a brand, offering a unique way to engage players.
  4. Rewarded Video Ads: These are a special type of in-game advertising that rewards players for their attention. They work particularly well with games featuring virtual currency or items, creating a scarcity that encourages player engagement. Of all the in-game ad formats, rewarded videos tend to yield the highest returns.  

In-game ads
Source: RapidFire

There's buffet of in-app ad formats to choose from, including playable ads— providing increased engagement, better conversion rates, and enhanced brand awareness— alongside interstitial, banner, and native ads. The right one for your game? Well, that depends on a mix of factors like your game type, the ad network, and your ad's goal.

2. Ad Mediation:

This is a monetization technique that simplifies working with multiple ad networks. It acts as an intermediary between game developers, publishers, and ad networks, streamlining the process and allowing you to integrate just one SDK, instead of multiple ones.

3. Data Monetization:

A lesser-known method involving the collection and transfer of non-personal game and player activity data to data aggregators. The more daily active users you have, the more you can earn from this technique. However, for it to be effective, you typically need more than 50,000 daily active users.

4. In-App Purchases (IAPs):

In-App Purchases have revolutionized the gaming landscape. They enable you to offer your game for free, maximizing your playerbase, while creating opportunities for players to buy and pay based on their desired level of engagement within the game. Careful design and pricing of items are essential, ensuring there's something for every player.

5. Paid Games:

The traditional approach of selling games directly to players still holds its ground. If you have a single-player narrative-driven game or a title with a set amount of content, offering it as a paid game can be a successful model. This method is particularly effective for well-known brands or eagerly awaited game releases, as players are willing to pay for a premium gameplay experience.

Video games on sale
Source: Getty Images

6. Freemium Model:

This approach offers a free game with in-app purchases for extra content or features. Players can enjoy the game without upfront costs, and you can monetize through optional purchases.

7. Collaborations and Partnerships:

Game developers can monetize their products by teaming up with brands or influencers. This collaboration can involve the integration of branded content or sponsorship deals, harnessing the influence of popular figures to boost the game's exposure and revenue potential.

Travis Scott's Fortnite Avatar
Source: Campaign

Beyond the above-mentioned strategies, the subscription model, exemplified by games like PUBG Mobile and Fortnite, offers ad-free experiences and extra content. Additionally, other models such as video pre-rolls, paywalls, direct deals, merchandising, and branded content further amplify revenue potential by providing varied avenues for monetization.

Wrapping up!

Monetizing your game isn't just about making money; it's about enhancing the entire gaming experience. When done right, it can provide a steady income stream that allows you to continually refine and enrich your game, making it more enjoyable for players. However, mismanaging monetization can have the opposite effect – it can turn players away and hinder recommendations to others.

Teaming up with Game Marketing Genie assures you not just expert resources, but a tailored, action-oriented approach to amplify your game's monetization strategies. Our team will study your target audience, uncovering their unique preferences, behaviors, and demographics to identify the most effective monetization methods. 

From crafting creative promotional campaigns to optimizing ad placements for maximum revenue, from dissecting precise metrics for data-driven decisions to adapting your monetization strategy in real-time with evolving industry trends, Game Marketing Genie is your strategic ally. So, if you want to unlock your game's full profit potential, get in touch with us today!

Topics:Video Game MarketingPlayable AdsMobile MarketingPaid Advertising

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