How to make money by making games?

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Intention of this thread is to talk about and share ideas and proven ways to make money by making games. I will keep updating this post to get all the data and ideas in one place.

Please share your information about ways and potential earnings. Also feel free to correct me if I’m wrong somewhere.

Ways to make money by making games:
1. Being hired by someone who needs a game or its part
2. Acquiring a sponsorship for your finished game (Kongregate, Armor Games, fgl.com)
3. Winning a game of the week or game of the month contest (Kongregate)
4. Getting a share of the ad revenue site makes from people playing your game (Kongregate)
5. Selling virtual goods (pretty much any mmo, Baloons TD5)
6. Selling your game to players for a set amount of money (pay for access)

Anything to add?

 
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Nice thread title typo you got there. ;)

Hot to make money by making games?

I’ll fix that when I finish this post.


You’ve pretty much covered them all, though your wording limits them to specifics. More broad terminology would be something like:

1. Contract work
2. Sponsorship
3. Contests
4. Ad revenue
5. Microtransactions
6. Paid applications (no single word term that I can think of covers this)

In-directly, you might find

  • Traffic trading
  • Publisher shares of ad revenue, mtx, etc from in-game
  • Publisher, ad revenue from web page
  • Fan gear (real world items, sold in an online store relating to the game)

Relevant Game Design Thread I made

 
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Liscensing.

Your game is exclusive to your own site, and mebe your sponsors site…..other portals want it, they pay for the right to have it for a year…or whatever terms.

Biggest potential earners are 5/6, but…2 can be 5 figure US$ for sequel to big game. Mebe 6 figures, haven’t heard of it…but figures are headed that way.

EDIT:to be clear, games in general AREN’T exclusive….ya want them spread around….but that’s the basis of licensing…probably for developers who are trying to drive traffic to their own site, so may have expanded version exclusive to themselves and self sponsor.

 
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Originally posted by UnknownGuardian:

Nice thread title typo you got there. ;)

Hot to make money by making games?

I’ll fix that when I finish this post.


You’ve pretty much covered them all, though your wording limits them to specifics. More broad terminology would be something like:

1. Contract work
2. Sponsorship
3. Contests
4. Ad revenue
5. Microtransactions
6. Paid applications (no single word term that I can think of covers this)

In-directly, you might find

  • Traffic trading
  • Publisher shares of ad revenue, mtx, etc from in-game
  • Publisher, ad revenue from web page
  • Fan gear (real world items, sold in an online store relating to the game)

Relevant Game Design Thread I made

Didn’t see your thread before posting, but still I think we can make something useful out of this. How about we go from general (like what you just done), to a specific examples (the more different examples the better)?

 
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Originally posted by Amibtious:

Liscensing.

Your game is exclusive to your own site, and mebe your sponsors site…..other portals want it, they pay for the right to have it for a year…or whatever terms.

Biggest potential earners are 5/6, but…2 can be 5 figure US$ for sequel to big game. Mebe 6 figures, haven’t heard of it…but figures are headed that way.

EDIT:to be clear, games in general AREN’T exclusive….ya want them spread around….but that’s the basis of licensing…probably for developers who are trying to drive traffic to their own site, so may have expanded version exclusive to themselves and self sponsor.

Could you provide examples as well? That would be much more valuable than the description of method alone.

 
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Don’t recall any specific examples, haven’t heard of it mentioned in a couple of years…..could be dying out? Bet UG’d know better than me :)

In game ads (mochiads) also just sprang to mind. You’ll find a crapload of examples of that, but Kong has a deal to supress them on this site.

 
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Specific examples of what exactly?

There are plenty of people looking for contract work. (Collabs thread of FGL, freelancer, odesk, etc)
Plenty of portals do sponsorship (FGL is a great place to hook up with one, or email).
Not a whole lot of contests out there that are regular besides kongregate’s.
There are a few services that do in-game advertisements, such as MochiAds, CPMStar, Epic Game Ads
There are a few services that do microtransactions like GamerSafe, not mochi anymore.
You probably hook up with a sponsor or publisher to run a paid application.

 
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Originally posted by UnknownGuardian:

Specific examples of what exactly?

There are plenty of people looking for contract work. (Collabs thread of FGL, freelancer, odesk, etc)
Plenty of portals do sponsorship (FGL is a great place to hook up with one, or email).
Not a whole lot of contests out there that are regular besides kongregate’s.
There are a few services that do in-game advertisements, such as MochiAds, CPMStar, Epic Game Ads
There are a few services that do microtransactions like GamerSafe, not mochi anymore.
You probably hook up with a sponsor or publisher to run a paid application.

Examples of money providers and games that successfully used certain method. Figures they made could be very valuable as well.

 
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That is pretty hard to find data and pretty unreliable. Ad revenue varies per game based on success and the time of season. Sponsorship varies on how much a sponsor thinks your game is worth. Same with microtransactions. It all depends on how you market your game to your players and how well you take advantage of different opportunities.

 
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I think you may find a lot of interest here
http://developers.kongregate.com/news

This for example
http://www.scribd.com/doc/84728657/GDC-2012-Core-Games-Real-Numbers-Final

 
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Originally posted by UnknownGuardian:

That is pretty hard to find data and pretty unreliable. Ad revenue varies per game based on success and the time of season. Sponsorship varies on how much a sponsor thinks your game is worth. Same with microtransactions. It all depends on how you market your game to your players and how well you take advantage of different opportunities.

That is why I’m looking for examples not recipies (also context is very important here).

 
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Originally posted by Amibtious:

I think you may find a lot of interest here
http://developers.kongregate.com/news

This for example
http://www.scribd.com/doc/84728657/GDC-2012-Core-Games-Real-Numbers-Final

That is a huge help – I watched some Kongregate presentation already, but since they all look the same and they use same data often it’s hard to track them. This one however seems most valuable so far.

 
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I have a bookmark somewhere….hang on.

http://kaitol.com/income/

From someone who apparently didn’t ever use microtransactions, bet they’re kicking themselves.

 
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Originally posted by Amibtious:

I have a bookmark somewhere….hang on.

http://kaitol.com/income/

From someone who apparently didn’t ever use microtransactions, bet they’re kicking themselves.

Another fantastic source! Thank you!

 
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Originally posted by Bronsoner:
Originally posted by Amibtious:

I have a bookmark somewhere….hang on.

http://kaitol.com/income/

From someone who apparently didn’t ever use microtransactions, bet they’re kicking themselves.

Another fantastic source! Thank you!

Just keep in mind that this data is old. The market have changed in the past 2 years, and the overall quality of game have got up. A lot of these games would sell for less today.