In Game Currency

Brian Here…

Every time I write that I misspell it as brain here and that’s probably appropriate as this post is all about using your brain to make money from your game. That’s at least part of the whole point right?

You can read the experts blogging about this all over the internet and it boils down to a few basic facts – and when I says facts it’s only true because everyone says it and repeats it:

  1. The free to play games with multiple virtual and real “currencies” in the game economy do best.
  2. Rewarded ads monetise players who do not spend. Apparently that’s most of them.
  3. You need to get players hooked on the game first and then introduce rewards slowly.
  4. You need to build networks with partners who can help promote and support your game and economy.

It’s all about volume and scale. You’re not making a huge amount of cash from every player. It’s small change dollars and cents. So to make any money you have to have heaps and heaps of people who not only download your game but play it regularly. So the game better be good and popular.

The rewards are going to start slowly. So there is no big bang money injection when you release your game. It’s a real slow burn and you need to pick your engagement points so that the game stays enjoyable through all that time.

But how the hell do you do that? You have to test the game with heaps and heaps of people and different target audiences. This is not functional testing. I mean actual player response. You need to know when those frustration points are that mean a player may watch an ad or buy some power-ups to get through some level or reach some achievement. To do that you also need an in-app monitoring system that tracks players progress and provides up to date statistics on what’s happening out there in user land.

You need to be able to squeeze those moments and know which one’s are working and be able to replicate them in other situations in the game. You need to entice players not only with a great game but with achievements and rewards, and special power-ups, and gems and hearts and badges and leader boards and competitions and in game sales campaigns. It’s a huge task.

So these are the metrics and these are the logistics. It’s like organising an empire or a battlefield (hey that would make a good game!). It needs lots of planning and help from as many sides as you can muster.

Every time the player gets rewarded it only seems fair that we get rewarded as well for a job well done.

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