Touchscreen smartphone with cloud of colorful application icons isolated on white background

Once you get down to the wire to finish developing your brand new mobile game app, you will definitely want to monetize it. Every interesting and eye – pleasing mobile app has a tremendous amount of work behind it: in most cases, you should spend not just hours, but months of spider-work in order to turn a simple idea into the mobile application that can be both thrilling and user-friendly. So no wonder you want to get some revenue from all the efforts and sleepless nights you spent on your project.

Just like in the situation when you want to monetize website without AdSense, monetizing your mobile game app becomes a little bit tricky task since it does not have one simple solution that would fit any situation. After all, any way you try to make money on your game app can be eventually rewarding – according to Statista, last year mobile games revenue made astonishing 40.6bn USD worldwide. This amount of money sounds really motivating, isn’t it? So, let’s have a look a bit closer to the most popular, and therefore, most effective ways of making money on your app.

Freemium model

Let’s be honest, if there is a choice of two identical applications and one of them is paid and another is free, most people will choose a free one. Yet, there are still many people who do not mind paying for more advanced features. That’s why the freemium model works the best: you offer people «light» version of your mobile game, so you can attract a large audience, and then you show this audience the benefits of the paid version.

Whether you want to monetize website or mobile app, the freemium model will work perfectly only if you follow three main rules:

  1. The free «simple» version of your mobile game should be attractive and engaging even without paid features.
  2. The paid version should be significantly better and give users feeling that the pleasure they get from playing is worth their expenses.
  3. The information about the benefits of the paid version should be clear and always available for all the users of the free version app.

In-app purchases

Another great way to monetize your mobile game app is to use third-party advertisements and in-app purchases. Here, it is extremely important to follow two rules: the advertisement should be relevant to your mobile game app content, and the amount of the ad messages should be moderate. If you start bombarding your customers with a message every other minute, the chances they will become annoyed are high. Work your way to find the balance.

SMS marketing

This way is similar to in-app purchases though it allows you not only to promote updates, but also to remind users about the game if they did not use it for quite a while. Sending SMS can let you also share information about newest contests, discounts, special offers and all kinds of notes that can bring your old customers back as well as attract new ones. You can earn money on your app only if it is in a great demand, and that means you need to make it popular and attract as many customers as you can.

Working with affiliate developers

This way will not directly provide you with money income, but it can bring you new customers with zero expenses. The trick is to contact other mobile game developers and agree with them to cross-advertise your and their apps. They will promote your game app, and you, in return, will promote theirs.

Competition component

Some apps like, for instance, Tetris were meant to be kind of meditative: users may use it to kill time while waiting in a queue or while commuting. If you add competition to your game app, it will make users spend more time playing and even invite their friends to make the competition more intense. If you manage to hook user’s attention from the very start, it will only promote rising the popularity of your game app. Let your game start simple yet engaging, and let it become more engaging if not one but several people take part in it.

Small rewards

To make your app more viral and to make users be more engaged in your mobile game, offer players small rewards. For instance, you can offer them some additional options for customization if they invite one or two their friends to the game. You can give them unlimited access to a special weapon or provide them with a special game character if they promote your game on their social media. You can also make some contests with nice prizes. Anything that pops up on your mind and that will make people look forward to what new can your app bring to them, is a good idea. And of course, don’t forget to update your app regularly and offer your customers novelties to hold their attention and avoid making them bored.

Pay gaming option

This option may not be available in all the countries, but those territories where gaming is pay-to-play, it can be a great source of income. However, you should take into consideration that if you decide to use this option, your apps might have a different version for each country.

Creating your own code

If you create your mobile game app with your own code and they both prove to be successful, you may get offers to sell this code for letting other create their apps with your code. Once you license it, it will become your investment in great income in future.

This is, of course, not the easiest way of making money, yet it can eventually help you make a real fortune. At some point, you can even sell not only your code but also your game app as well. If you don’t feel like working on your new mobile game app any longer and, for instance, have a better idea that you want to implement, you can use some popular marketplace for mobile apps, such as Apptopia or any other.

Creating mobile game app is not actually, an easy work, yet it allows you expand your brand and get a great source of revenue. You need to be not only a developer, but also a bit of marketing manager and even SMM specialist. If you are not going to hire people for performing this work for you, it is better to invest your time to learn at least the basics of these specialties by yourself. This will be a great investment for your future income.


  1. The most common monetization method of mobile game apps seems to be ads, especially for mobile games where there are levels. For instance, you complete a level, and then an ad pops up after completion. And a lot of times, these sort of mobile games offer a way to turn off ads by getting the user to spend money (like spend $0.99 to remove ads). It’s quite an ingenious technique that allows developers to market their game as free, and still make a living profit.

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