Mobile game monetization and retention are important factors to consider while you are starting on your journey of Mobile game development. It takes a lot of time and effort to build and maintain a game, an organization needs to figure out how to make money out of the game they are developing, not only to cover its costs but to make a profit as well.
According to businessofapps.com, “Mobile apps 70% of the whole revenue within the mobile app market with about 22% to 25% of the whole downloads. Mobile games constitute about 21% of all Android app downloads and 25% of all iOS app downloads”. With a vast market and platform for your game to be published, there is a great scope of trying out different monetization and retention strategies to bring money into the business by providing good quality games that will help retain your customers for a long time.
In-app ads can be a very effective monetization model for developers. In-app ads mean the developers will earn money from ads players will view while players can enjoy a mobile game for free. But developers need to strike a balance between the number of ads and the quality of the ads as bombarding a plethora of ads might affect user experience.
As an indie developer, it’s always better to go with a free model rather than a paid model for your game. In-app purchases can help make money from it even though it’s free to download and play. This gives the flexibility to try out the game first for free and once they get into it, they have the option to pay for additional content, extra lives in the game, coins, gems, and other in-game elements.
If you’re an established mobile game publisher with a large fanbase, paid games can be the way to go. Some players don’t like in-app purchases. Some users are willing to pay money up front when they purchase the game and have access to ad-free content and access to in-game elements like coins and gems right from the start. Thus, as a developer, you need to weigh out the pros and cons of different scenarios.
Nowadays, a lot of developers are adopting subscription models to their games. Players make regular payments to gain access to additional game content, features, and items or to get an ad-free gaming experience. Some subscriptions are auto-renewable, while others are non-renewing. This model means players can enjoy the premium features at much lower monthly expenses on their favorite games.
Sponsorships are like an upgrade to regular advertisements. This model allows you to directly interact with your advertisers and have full control over the ads you want to display in your game. Putting up advertisements that are relevant to your consumers’ needs will help in providing a better user experience.
Creating games that satisfy users’ needs, making the gaming experience fun and just the right level of challenge is your first step to excellent user retention levels. Inclusion of in-game events such as the new characters/weapons available or log-in events can create an engaging experience and incentivizing user actions or game progress will encourage them to play on and improve your customer retention rate.
Push notifications can improve the time players spend on your game as it serves as a reminder to players about a game, or let them know something in the game needs their attention. This encourages players to continue their mission, complete the next level, or make an in-game purchase. Being fun and relevant, without annoying users with too much frequency or spamming behavior should be a priority as it will improve user experience.
Retargeting can help to attract once active but now dormant players to start playing a game again or prompt players who played a game just a few times to play more. This can help to regain a particular group of users who have completed specific parts of a game. This may lead to more in-app purchases as there will be more users playing the game.
As a developer, you can communicate with users that are unhappy with your product by addressing any concerns they have raised or letting them know you are working on it. This means customers will feel the developers care about their concerns. Proper use of social media to keep the players excited about a new update or character will also help in improving customer retention.
Tracking your user conversions even after the app download will help you in making strategies to achieve high customer lifetime value and allocate your advertising spend efficiently. Continually improving and optimizing your business KPIs through data and predictive analytics will serve to finetune your advertising campaign and obtain the most valuable users with the longest shelf lives.