Tutorial: How to Make a Gaming App

August 11, 2015 | Raj Srivastav

Tutorial: How to Make a Gaming App
Tutorial: How to Make a Gaming App

Think on this: over $250 million dollars is spent at an app store. In one month. Thats nearly 3 billion alone spent on just purchasing an app! The majority of apps don’t even generate much of a revenue from for-pay downloads; most income comes from advertising and package upgrades.

The app field of “igaming” has taken its own path to monetization. Like most app developers, igaming app makers rarely charge to actually download their app – and they don’t need to. Not only are gaming apps some of the most popular apps out there, but they are also some of the easiest to monetize. Most importantly, they make cash hand over fist.

A Fistfull of Apps

iGaming is a continuation of the freemium app trend – apps that are free to download, but have in-app purchase options. These options can run from paying to advance to the next level or can be buying new items to help “level.”

The goal here is engagement – you want users to get to the point where they are so engaged with your app that they are willing to pay real cash in order to reach the next achievement.

igaming utilizes a practice known as “gamification.” App makers realized years ago that console video games had engagement down perfectly. People would spend hours trying to get to the next level or earn the next piece of equipment. Over time, these tactics were converted to app gaming (and apps in general).

Freemium apps offer a low to no risk opportunity for users. If an app is not liked, well all you wanted was a minute or two downloading the product. However, if the app is even marginally liked, it’s a simple matter to keep ramping up the game until people are invested enough to contribute financially.

The Good, The Big, and The Flappy

Let’s take a look at some examples,

Candy Crush Saga – Released in late 2012, Candy Crush quickly surpassed Farmville as Facebook’s most popular game. A simple match-3 puzzle game, King monetized their app by offering new “lives” when a user runs out. King did an excellent job of balancing purchases with freemium deals – you don’t need to buy lives to keep playing, but it does make the game faster and more enjoyable. Less than 3% of its 46 million users pay to play – and it still makes $633,000 every day.

Big Fish Games – Big Fish is a huge player in igaming applications (a.k.a Casino Apps) and has been growing exponentially since its acquisition by Churchill Downs. Just from the 1st to 2nd quarters of 2015, Big Fish increased their revenue stream by 14% – an increase of $105 million in a single quarter. Notably, their current highest revenue generation is the free-to-play app Gummy Drop.

Flappy Bird – Developed in under a week, this game became instantly popular, grossing nearly $50 grand a day shortly after its release. The game was vaguely reminiscent of the early Mario Nintendo games and was free to download. The majority of its income from in-app ads. Flappy Bird has since been taken down from the app store by its creator (Dong Nguyen), so the market is wide open for an app similar in style. Get in touch to get started on your own idea now!

Clash of the Clans – This is the perfect example of how app developers have leveraged gaming tactics to make an app that is free to play, but enjoyable enough to make in-app purchases. It’s a much more traditional game than Flappy Bird, known as an MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online). Similar to the famous MMO World of Warcraft, Clans was listed as one of the App Store’s Top 5 Most Downloaded. Even more importantly, it was the 3rd highest revenue generating app offered by both Google Play and the App Store in 2013.

The Dollar Trilogy

Most Casino Apps make money from at least one of three ways:

1. In-App purchasing is the best way to make money off an app. People will often pay good money to buy new levels, lives, equipment, etc; even better, making a purchase also means buying more investment. People are going to want to make that dollar a life count for something! Do you have a casino gaming app idea or would like to introduce additional features to your existing app, email experts in Silicon Valley today and get started.

2. Ad Banner Modules are inexpensive and incredibly easy to put into an app. However, less than 1% of viewers will click on an ad banner and even then app developers make a fraction of a penny on each click. Ad modules are a good option to use in conjunction with in-app purchases, but as a stand-alone strategy it will not make a revenue.

3. Selling your app is the best long-term option for so-called “appreprenuers. For those people interested in making a quick investment with a huge ROI, this is your best bet. Get your downloads, bring your app up to phase 1 (generally a number of downloads set prior to launch), sell it, and let someone else spend time and money to bring it to phase 2.

The simple fact of the matter is that the best monetization strategy is a combination of all three. Ad modules can help generate a small amount of income right way, while in-app purchases make scalability easier and increase your revenue stream dramatically. Finally, selling the app after initial launch makes you a ton of cash and you don’t worry about it losing popularity, constant updates, or growth.

For a Few Apps More

The world of app development can seem as cutthroat as the Wild West, but the good news is that there is a guide, and we have a name: Software Developers India. SDI’s team is composed of developers, marketers and business managers with one united vision: to create high functioning apps that make money. If you get in touch now, we are offering a limited time free consultation and quote. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

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