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Outfit7 founder's three golden rules for game monetization

Samo Login's tricks of the trade

Outfit7 founder's three golden rules for game monetization

Samo Login is founder of Outfit7 Holding, which includes Outfit7 (Outfit7 Limited and its subsidiaries) and Bee7 (Bee7000 Limited and its subsidiaries).

As the CEO of the multinational entertainment company Outfit7 Limited, Samo is the architect of the Talking Tom and Friends franchise and leads the creative and overall strategy for both the company and its products. Samo is also the inventor of the Bee7 technology (patent pending).

Forecasts towards the end of 2014 stated that mobile game sales will overtake console game sales during 2015.

But despite the huge revenue potential that lies within mobile games, it can be a bit of a 'golden goose laying eggs' scenario.

Making your game profitable can be the hardest part of building a mobile game. Competing with established developers who have massive user acquisition and analytics budgets can be challenging.

Sure, a great game and maybe a bit of occasional luck have helped some of us succeed. But from my own experience, the key is actually a sound strategy and careful planning for both success and to buffer against unavoidable failures.

We’ve learned a lot along the way on our journey from a small start-up to a successful global entertainment company with 250 million MAUs and 2.5 billion downloads.

To get there, we created our own monetization and cross-promotion strategy that at the time was quite unique.

You don’t necessarily have to come up with your own groundbreaking method to make your game profitable, but you do have to plan and plan early.

Here are my three golden rules for monetization for new mobile games, which I learned over the years at Outfit7.

Click here to view the list »
  • 1 Gameplay first, monetization a close second

    As important as planning for monetization is, it should never take priority over gameplay.

    After all, if your game is no fun to play, your users won’t open your game a second time - let alone make in-app purchases or view ads.

    Work on your gameplay concepts and mechanics first.

    As soon as you have an idea that works, the very next thing you need to think about is monetization and how it can be incorporated in your concept. This should include the types of items people will be able to buy with in-app purchases, what advertisements formats you need to use and displaying them in a way that doesn’t disrupt the user experience.

    The further you get into the development process without defining how your game makes money, the more expensive it will be to incorporate.

    If you wait until your game is released before thinking about monetization, it will be way too late and you will alienate your users.

  • 2 Plan for user acquisition

    User acquisition campaigns are too often an afterthought for developers, when in reality it is a vital overhead for any games business.

    If you’re forecasting how much revenue your game will earn, you must also consider how much you will need to invest to earn it.

    You can’t count on publicity or being featured in the App Store to change your fortunes. They might work for you in the short term, but in the long term, it will not guarantee ongoing revenue.

    On average, a user’s session time and frequency will decrease considerably after just one month, so you need a long-term strategy to continually grow your user base and monetize it.

  • 3 Don’t rely on in-app purchases alone

    Only a handful of big companies generate enough revenues with in-app purchases to cover costs or generate profit.

    These companies have huge acquisition and analytics budgets to maximise sales, so it’s hard to compete with them. That is not to say in-app purchases are not worthwhile, they certainly are, but never rely on them solely to significantly grow your revenue.

    Instead, you should explore other options, such as advertising to work alongside your in-app purchase strategy - but always keep the user experience in mind! regularly posts content from a variety of guest writers across the games industry. These encompass a wide range of topics and people from different backgrounds and diversities, sharing their opinion on the hottest trending topics, undiscovered gems and what the future of the business holds.


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