What are the best ways to quickly and easily monetize your game?

Let's face it, game dev is hard. And I mean, seriously hard. Even if you go the no-code route with Buildbox or Playmaker, there is a lot to get right to ensure your game will not only do well but be enjoyed by countless players. This is the same issue faced by mobile game developers, console game developers and PC game developers. No matter the platform, we all face the same issues. How to monetize your game is another of those issues that can cause headaches. 

So you back away when thinking about it. Leave me alone. I don't want to think about how to monetize my game. Let me code. Let me design a level or work on sound or do anything else but think about that. 

Or you end up procrastinating instead. I don't want to think about how to monetize my game so I'm going to get a coffee. Or a Red Bull. You look at your watch and it's time for lunch. Someone suggests that new noodle place across the road. Or it's late at night and there's a large slice of yesterday's pizza waiting to be reheated just for you.

I don't want to think about how to monetize my game. 

Eat the pizza. Go on. Eat it. 

So you ate and drank and flicked through Netflix until your eyes started to weigh heavier than the Earth. Good job. You didn't think about how to monetize your game all night. 

Now it's a new day. Time to get up and deal with this particular issue. We could sit down like in a classroom but that would be no fun.

Let's try the method below, shall we?

The best ways to monetize your game

Mobile Games

  • Adverts
  • In-app purchases
  • Adverts and in-app purchases
  • Getting funded by a subscription service like Apple Arcade
  • Selling user data (not recommended)
  • Selling your game
  • Selling your game as a template
  • In-game subscription services

With ads, don't bombard users...

Things you can't do to monetize your mobile game

  • Ask for in-game donations or do anything to circumvent in-app billing (Google is strict about this)
  • Misleading content
  • Break TOS for Apple App Store, Google Play and anywhere else you've distributed your game

PC Games

  • Sell your game on Steam, GoG, itch.io, IndieGala, Windows Store, Humble Bundle et al
  • Funded by IndieGogo, Kickstarter etc
  • Funded by your supporters on Patreon
  • Ads (possible but not seen as much on PC - I've seen this a lot on Windows Store games)
  • Selling DLC
  • Directly to gamers on your website or store (Gumroad is a good option for this route)
  • Always remember to comply with third party TOS when looking to monetize your game

Console Games

  • Getting your game funded and sold through a publisher
  • Kickstarter route
  • Sell your game on the platform's store (Nintendo eShop, Playstation Store, Xbox Indie Game Program et al)
  • Ads 
  • In-app purchases
  • DLC

As I've said before, thinking about how to monetize your game can be incredibly off-putting. It's all too easy to avoid the subject but sometimes it's best to have a little think about it, especially if you are coming close to finishing your project. 

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