How to Make Money with Free Game Apps

July 25, 2016 | Raj Srivastav

Whaaaat! Back to back posts on gaming apps? That’s right folks, we’re returning to the subject mobile game apps. But today’s topic is a little different. Yesterday, we let our marketers take over, so they did what they do best: a great guide on how to make an app like Pokemon Go.

If you’re interested in reading about how to gain traction among your target group (i.e getting those downloads!), then we encourage you to read the post. But we on the revenue generation team feel that the marketers missed a big one.

Namely, how do you make money creating these game apps? I mean, everyone loves a great Freemium game app but what do people love more than free apps? Knowing how to make money from free game apps.

It is possible – I promise! But there are many strategies that lead to revenue generation for free game apps. Let’s take a look at some of the leading mobile game app entrepreneurs. We’ll start with the most recent person to grace the cover of Forbes Magazine; Ready for a surprise?

Kim Kardashian West and Celebrity Entrepreneurship

That’s right; the legendary Reality Star is shaking things up once again. Her app, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, made her – wait for it – $45 million – $60 million in all since its release! In one year. In fact it accounted for almost half her entire income for the year.

And Ms. West isn’t alone. Ellen DeGeneres’ Trivia game app has been downloaded 25 million times and made over $25 million in revenue! Jason Statham is another game app entrepreneur. Tom Hanks and William Shatner both have their own money-making apps as well.

The point here isn’t to point out the entrepreneurial ingenuity of famous people. It’s to point out that mobile apps with celebrity brands generate over $200 million a year. But wait, I hear you saying, I’m not a celebrity!

Well, first let’s lower the threshold on what we’re considering a celebrity here. You don’t need to be a TV star or a music mogul to be considered famous these days. Ever heard of PewDiePie? Yea, you read that right! PewDiePie is the YouTube handle of a videogame commentator!

PewDiePie has a massive following on YouTube and has a game app of his own. One that makes a million dollars a month. In other words this youtube star, with a relatively small following, has managed to turn himself into a multimillionaire with app call “Legend of BroFist.”

So if you need help raising up your brand awareness, our User Acquisition team can help raise your online brand. They can sit with you to discuss some strategies on how to create an online sensation and make a name for yourself!

But Where’s the Money…

At this point and time, you’re probably thinking that’s great, build a following, even a minor following, and you’ve got yourself a readymade target population. But these are still freemium apps, right? Does the money just appear magically?

No. Unfortunately (though come to think of it, if money did appear magically, my team would be out of job…). The first part of a revenue generation strategy is to get downloads. Having a following makes that part as easy as pie!

To get the money to start rolling in requires forethought, planning, and a ridiculous amount of research. That’s where our team comes in. Let’s discuss the resources and tools my team utilizes when creating money making strategies:

• Research

You’d think after all these years of working in the industry, we’d know it all. And, frankly, we know a whole heck of a lot. But we still spend hours of industry-specific research for each of our clients.

We’ve found that in order for an app to reach its full potential sales, you have to tailor the product to the target population. Afterall, they’re the ones who will be giving you money right?

Research also entails researching the competition. What are they doing? Is it working? What USP (Unique Selling Point) does our game app have over competitors? All of this helps to create a more unique and effective money-making strategy.

• Analytics and Testing

App testing data isn’t just for our developers. In fact, all of our post launch team uses this stuff as well. It helps us determine what people are focusing on in the app – what screens are preferred, where are people spending the most time, and so on.

This helps us in 2 big ways:

♦ It helps us discover additional USPs beyond what we determined in the preliminary research stage; and

♦ It let’s us know best placement of ads – our first money-making tool.

• App Ad Modules

Ad Modules in freshly launched apps will probably not make you a millionaire. But, they provide a not insubstantial money flow one that can help fund other money making pushes.

Even better, new tools like heat maps for apps let us know precisely where a user is tapping and looking. This allows us to have an ideal placement for all ad banners.

• The Real Money-Maker: In-App Purchases

This is where people really make money with game apps. But you can’t just throw in-app purchases at a user. The trick is to get them to want it, with at least some subtly.

Take our earlier example of Kim Kardashian: she uses another app that creates emoji’s to push her husband’s clothing line. Brilliant, right? All she needs is a little button that lets people purchase the clothing, and it’s in the bag!

Those are the two elements to a successful in-app purchases campaign: making people want it and making it ridiculously easy to buy. The good news is that the best mobile game apps are already set up for this!

Game players largely progress in one of two ways: Character advancement or new stages. This makes it easy to monetize a game app. Want to follow Ms. West to the Hollywood location? 5 bucks please!

It doesn’t even have to be that obvious. We’ve had tremendous success with allowing free leveling, but each level is progressively harder. This works well because A: gamers expect each level to get harder; and b) you then offer improved items or hints to get them past the level – for a small fee, of course.

At the end of the day, there are plenty of ways to make money off a great game app. But they require dedication and time that many aren’t willing to commit. We are though! Get in touch now!

Learn More on How to Make Money with a Game App.

Desperate for more information? No problem! Give us a call at 408.621.8481 or 408.805.0495 for a free consultation and quote. Prefer to be called? Just fill out this form and we will get back to you soon!

While you’re waiting, check out some of the awesome apps and websites we’ve built for our thousands of clients!

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