There are multiple ways to monetise in the games industry, from ads to in-app purchases.
Multiscription founder Teis Anker Mikkelsen discussed Subscriptions, IAP and ads - the trinity of hybrid F2P monetisation in his talk as part of Pocket Gamer Connects Digital #2.
Entering a new age of monetisation - 2020 is the age of subscriptions.
"We don't see free-to-play going away," said Mikkelsen.
As such, Multiscription has got a subscription service called Unleashd, which includes unique benefits for the free-to-play games that are part of the service.
"Signing up in one game means getting benefits in all the games. People are getting used to a subscription being more than just one game or functionality," said Mikkelsen.
There is just one fee for one subscription to get access to all games. Furthermore, the service will be ad-free, premium games will be included for free, and family subscriptions are available for up to five people.
Currently, over 45 publishers have joined with more than 65 games and over 3.5 million monthly active users. "The reason why publishers are joining us because they get to become part of a large subscription network."
Ads and purchases
"I don't think there is a problem with ads as long as they are relevant and are something the consumer likes," said Mikkelsen
"They are not as ill-perceived as people might think."
The benefits of ads are that they have scalable revenue, easily accessible tools and a relatively high tolerance from the audience. Furthermore, "People really like rewarded video ads, it seems like a fair deal, you go in and watch something then get something back."
In-app, purchases can be consumable and non-consumable. However, "Non-consumables can be more difficult to manage."
There are a series of transactions involved with IAP. However, constant selling can lead to player fatigue and can cause customer agitation.
"This is something that is relatively new to the industry," said Mikkelsen
It is all about building a relationship with the player. Having a good relationship is difficult when you are constantly trying to push sales through IAP, and ads can also grate on a user, but if a subscription is done right then, a bond will be formed with consumers.
"As a game developer you trust the player to continue to be a subscriber," said Mikkelsen.
However, he also pointed out that "The longer you have been a subscriber, the better benefits you should have." If those benefits are not there, then the player could well cancel their subscription.
Furthermore, communication should be a dialogue; it should not feel like spam to the player through emails. On top of that, a subscription needs to be unique and personalised. For example, few companies wish a happy birthday to its subscribers, a habit that Mikkelsen does not agree with – "Make it unique, make it personalised, you have all the data so use it for that."
It is doubtful that someone will subscribe immediately, forming a relationship is more likely to engage a player enough to join the service.