Making games is fun. But so is making money. My first game, Droppy Goes Home, is nearly finished, and it’s time to prepare the next steps: publishing the game and becoming annoyingly rich in the process.
I’ve never published a game before, but in the end, business is always the same. In order to make money, every business has to do two important things:
- Marketing – if people don’t know your product, you will never make any money.
- Monetization – no one gives you money for the fun of it; there needs to be plan.
So let’s apply this to the Flash game business!
Inventing the wheel might be exciting, but I prefer to use available knowledge. An hour of Googling resulted in the following noteworthy articles.
- Marketing Flash Games: The Other Half of the Battle – a concise overview of the marketing options available to Flash games; the associated case study makes it very interesting.
- Ten Ways to Monetize Your Flash Game – the most complete overview I could find of all the monetization methods for online Flash games.
- In Depth: Behind Flash Game Steambirds’ Revenue Deals – an interesting case study to guide my plans.
- Experiment: monetizing a Flash game – another case study to guide my plans; unfortunately, this experiment is from October 2007, so it’s not exactly up-to-date.
Regarding Droppy Goes Home, all these articles are pointing in the same direction: Game portals and Sponsorship.
Game portals are sites dedicated to Flash Games. They have a huge audience, and combined with “Editor’s Picks” and “Top Games” lists they can provide enormous amounts of players; this basically shifts your marketing effort from advertising to making a very good game.
The Mochi Flash Resource Center contains a list of 100+ Flash Game portals.
“A sponsorship can be any sort of licensing deal in which a Flash game developer is paid money to leverage the game for the benefit of the sponsor. The sponsor may be a game publisher with a portal website, or a distributor of Flash games, or both.”
Most research points to FlashGameLicense as the best place to find a sponsor.
The research above points to other methods as well, but they seem unsuitable for Droppy Goes Home. In-game advertising does not seem to be a goldmine, especially compared to game portals like Kongregate where you share in their ad revenue based on the number of plays.
Other options like micro-transactions (where players pay for additional content and levels) would require too many changes to the current version of the game. But who knows, one of the sequels might actually use such a method.
Doing the research has been very interesting, and has given me a clear path to follow for Droppy Goes Home.
The first step will be to finish the game, and put it up on FlashGameLicense. After that, and depending on the exact sponsor deal (if any), the game should be submitted to as many portals as possible (and allowed by the deal).
Looks like I’ve still got some work to do…