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How game developers design a game to earn a maximum profit?

When Pokémon GO was released in the USA it made around 14 million dollars in revenue within its first week.

But users did not have to pay a penny for the game

So How do the games earn that much amount?

All money was coming from optional purchases people were making as they played.

This is known as Freemium apps-a business model which is growing nowadays.

Now the game developers prefer to monetize the game-play itself rather than putting irritating advertisement inside games.

How Does This Monetization Happen?

The First thing the game developers do that they set up a virtual currency so that it does not feel like you are spending real currency, even though you are spending real currency from your card for getting virtual game currency.

Game Add Psychological Tricks

  • For example, in candy crush saga game you pay for lollipop boosters with gold bars and you pay for gold bars with your credit card, which is already distanced from actual payment.

Also, the game does not make exchange rate simple.It is not 10 gems for 10 cents rather they make always something weird like 1 dollar will give you 16 gems .

  • Another example from Pokemon go game- If incense cost 110 Pokecoins and a batch of 550 Pokecoins cost 4.99 dollars.

How much real money does incense cost?

By calculating approximately you will pay 1 dollar for 1 incense stick

But the game player does not calculate this or think before spending

So you are spending money that does not seem real and it only takes less than a minute to deduct amount because the app store already have your credit card linked

A key finding of behavioral research is that people tend to experience unexpected losses more intensely than comparable gains

  • Another example of the puzzle and dragon game

In this game the player progress through a dungeon before facing a boss and if they die they lose all the reward they earned in the game

That is why they presented with an option which prompt save coins by spending magic stones and magic stones you can buy in-game store with real money

some game developers embed inconvenience in gameplay so that you can purchase convenience

Like in clash of clan game everything you build has wait time(i.e you have to wait for real time)But the time is skippable by spending real money

so basically game developers built incentives to remove pain points into the game and then if they want that then they have incentives to insert pain points into the game

Interesting Facts?

Report finds that only 1.9 percent of mobile gamers make in-app purchases

That is only a tiny percentage of players becomes payers

But the game developers earn millions of dollars by just getting money from these few percentage of payers as these few people spend hundred and thousands of dollars in the app.

The survey by a marketing company shows that half of the revenue for mobile games is coming from only 20 percent of all players.

Namit Sood



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