How do Mobile Games Make Money?

We’re spending an extraordinary  amount of time playing mobile games every day. Our smartphones and tablets packed with many addictive apps, urge us to spend on average 3 hours a day playing games. But do you know the more time we play the game, the more money the game agency can earn. So today, let’s figure out how mobile games can make money together.

Children like mobile gaming, whereas grown-up players are interested in games, where the money’s really at. A new generation of gamers are paying a huge amount of money for their digital pastime. How much? Well, today’s most profitable mobile game, Game Of War – Fire Age, grosses around $1.6 million / day, for instance. And, the global app market (of which gaming makes up for nearly 80%) is worth a staggering $50 billion/ year, which is predicted to double to $100 billion by 2020 (App Annie).

How to Make Money by Games

  1. Free, With IN-APP-PURCHASES (IAPs):This is the most popular and profitable model. Distributing a free, entirely open-access game will attract players to download and play. Once hooked, IAPs such as”Gold”, “Power-Ups” or “Continue Playing” passes offer tantalising chances to skip ahead or enhance the playing experience.seo_on_page


  1. Freemium:  Actually, this model is quite similar to the first one. Freemium apps involve some kinds of ‘upgrade’ to unlock exclusive levels, to access to modern equipment. And non-game apps, especially media providers use Freemium in the form of “paywall” protecting premium content.seo_on_page
  1. Free, with ADVERTISING: Many brands have a really vision when they realize that game is a flourishing land to capture users’ eyeballs, and raise brand’s image as a result by sponsoring whole games.
  1. Paid / Premium 

That model forces players to pay money to get game. The old fashioned way. For example, Minecraft is a global children’s smash hit, it can be purchased once and played infinitely.

Game developers are continually focusing on these basic models to access to more and more potential customers. Various models can be combined together or modified to suit the game as well as its players and the market.



How Farmville Earned Huge Money?

Take Farmville as a concrete example for the potential money making of mobile games.

First launched in June 2009 within Facebook, Farmville was, for a time, the king of social gaming, which dominated all mobile phones. Players could plant and harvest crops, raise animals, decorate farms, and even interacte with fellow farmers.

Farmville offered many different items that must be purchased to speed up, or skip, parts of the game which wasted time.


Farmville quickly gained attention of more than 74 million daily users. And whilst we’re now used to the idea of exchanging real-money to get game-money, investors were awed by the revenue potential of selling what they perceived as ‘practically nothing’, and finance poured in.

Farmville’s Secrets

So what is the secret? Farmville’s principles of gaming have:

  • Establish The Illusion Of Free:

This is the key to attract players when they have the “feeling” of freeness. Of course, this game offers a free initial download, but it also needs to feel playable from the start, and payment-trap-free.

  • Allow Unlimited IAP Payments:

Half of In-App-Purchase (IAP) revenue is generated from 0.15% of players, but it accounts for a colossal 50% of IAP purchases! The industry refers to these super-players when some of whom pay up to $10,000’s into a single game.

  • Optimise Trigger Activities & Focus On Micro Data Details:

Trigger activities is something that makes players feel stuck on a level, or the game forces them to wait 30 minutes for some seeds – drive IAPs. Understanding the importance of how these trigger activities work, as well as analysing individual or macro-level data is essential for showing the right paid products to the right players at the right time.

  • Constantly Source New Players:

Growth is proved by new downloads and new players. Social gaming increasingly uses online and offline social networks to grow player bases. The request “share your results on Facebook”, or “invite your friends to join in exchange for game tokens” seems to be effective in. The ability to attract new players, consistently, is the mark of a truly successful game producer.

Big winners like King.comSupercellBig Fish and others (including many more of our clients!) have succeeded when they can predict and take advantages of these strategies above.

Indeed, mobile game is not only a place where we can relax and relieve stress, but more importantly a thriving land that flourishes money. And the key is whether we can apply the right strategy.




How do Mobile Games Make Money?