Developing flash games can be a lot of fun but when you’re finished, you’re probably wondering how you can make money off those flash games. Assuming you’ve made a half-decent flash game, you’re going to have a couple options. Here’s the best ways to make money from your flash games.
Much like television shows, sports games, and billboards, flash game companies will pay money to have their logo shown in front of viewers. They’ll pay you a good sum to have their logos and spash screen put into your game, and most will even help you distribute it across the net.
There are different types of sponsorships, each paying a different amount for contrasting types of advertising in your game. Sponsorships can range from exclusive, where sponsors will pay to have their logo and branding the sole type of advertising in the game, to primary, where sponsors will have branding in your game, but allow you to sell sitelocked versions of your game. Check out my types of flash game licenses more information on game sponsorships.
Benefits of a sponsorship are assured income, a lot of help with distribution, and they are a low risk monetization strategy.
Drawbacks are that it is a fixed income, thus if your game gets big you will not receive any more money from it. Most sponsors won’t pay for an already released game, so make sure your game hasn’t been submitted to any portals yet before going off looking for a sponsorship.
Hundreds of millions of games are played each month, and advertising agencies will be happy to help you make money off those viewers. Most in-game advertising agencies will provide ad inventory and API’s to implement the ads into your game, in exchange for a 40-50% cut of the profits your game makes from it’s ad sales.
In-Game advertising can come in a couple forms. There are preloader ads, which will play when your game is loading. Interstitial ads will play in between levels, although I wouldn’t recommend this as it tend to make gamers angry. Then, there are peel-away ads which will show in the top corner of a game when high scores are being viewed.
At the moment, there is really only one big player in the in-game flash advertising industry; MochiAds. MochiAds is very developer centered, and have built a good community around their service. They provide API’s to implement ads, stat counters, high scores, medals, micropayments, and more. They’ll even help you distribute your game. MochiAds is quite involved in the flash industry, and are a good choice for in-game ads.
Benefits of in-game advertising the possibility of high income if your game goes viral, a little help with distribution, and plenty of API’s to implement into your game at your choosing.
Drawbacks are that in-game advertising alone is a high risk scenario, where if your game doesn’t get big, can leave you with a few mere dollars in your account.
Microtransactions are small payments that are made for in-game items. Hence the name, they are mini payments of anywhere from a penny to $10-20 for extra game content. Developers can sell in-game items such as levels, power-ups, experience, or anything that comes to mind.
There are quite a few companies competing for the microtransactions space. The two most promising at the moment look to be GamerSafe and Mochi Coins. Although both have yet to release their systems on a large scale, they are the most feature rich microtransaction systems I’ve come across yet. Both will be playable across a wide variety of sites for easy implementation. I haven’t had the chance to see MochiCoins in action much yet, but GamerSafe incorporates achievements and in-game gold as well as the ability to use microtransactions.
Benefits are that microtransactions can add up to a good amount of cash if you have enough people playing your game. The more people that play, the more of a chance you have that one of them will pay up. Since they will always be in your game, there is the chance of recurring income.
Drawbacks are that micropayments could anger players if done improperly, and if you are solely using micropayments, there is no guarantee of income.
Interested in using micropayments in your game? Check out my section on microtransactions for more info.
Not all games can be made the way you envision them. Sometimes, it is more profitable to create a game for someone else. Typically, freelancing involves creating a game under supervision and guidance from a contractor. Freelance work can vary, but usually the contractor will decide the type of game and theme, leaving the actual game design, code and graphics up to you.
Types of freelancing could include being paid by a major corporation to create an advergame, being hired by a flash game portal that has a specific game in mind for their portal, or making education games for schools companies. The pay for freelance work can vary, depending on your skills and the portfolio your build around yourself. Build a good enough reputation, and companies will come looking to you for help with their newest advergame.
Benefits of freelance game development are that it can pay well at the top levels, it will usually be marketed by the company that hired you, and it is low risk.
Drawbacks of freelance game development are that your input in the creative process could be minimal, the company may have strict time limits and goals they want your game to fulfill, and it is a one time payment.
Thinking about taking the freelance route? Set up a site, and build a portfolio around yourself. Then, you can start visiting freelance forums and emailing companies to find work.
Self-publishing is when you release your game with your own logos and branding onto the internet. Basically, it is self sponsored. Self-publishing is best for those developers who own a site or game portal and are looking to increase their traffic to that game portal.
Self-publishing isn’t for the weak, and can take a great game and a lot of dedication. You have to manually distribute the game to lots of sites. This involves creating a distribution package, sending emails, and filling out forms. There is not upfront guarantee of making money.
But the rewards for self-publishing are the greatest. Advertising for websites pays much better than in game advertising does, so if you can get those gamers coming back to your site, playing games, and becoming users; you are looking at a long term money making strategy.
Benefits to self-publishing are brand recognition, chance of large and returning profit, and more traffic to your site.
Drawbacks are that it is very high risk, you have to do all the distribution yourself, and you aren’t guarenteed any money.
If you’re interested in the self-publishing route, check out my intereview with Andy Moore, the manager of Fantastic Contraption.
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