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Best strategy for pricing and ads - mobile

  • Im wondering what the best strategy is when it comes to game pricing and utilizing ads with mobile games. Im considering the following alternatives:

    Option.1

    Full game is Free, game has ads, in-app purchase (e.g. 0.99c) to remove ads.

    Option.2

    Lite version of the game is Free, only has 25% of game's levels, free version has ads.

    Full version of game is e.g. 0.99c, has all levels, full version has no ads.

    Option.3

    Lite version of the game is Free, only has 25% of game's levels, free version has ads.

    Full version of game is e.g. 0.99c, has all levels, full version does have ads, in-app purchase (e.g. 0.99c) to remove ads.

  • it's a hard question. if it's your first game, go with option 1.

    when you get loads of players and they know you will do another game - go with option 2.

    ignore fully option 3.

  • I think a good option is to have the full and free game with ads and the option to pay to remove ads.

  • Same here, option 1 seems nice.

  • if you are new on the market and you want to collect players for your games - option 1. maybe even start with no ads games / no money games to get some people to play your things. also marketing yourself around helps. once you have at least 100 000 players on each game.

    add ads. then add ingame items. then maybe make a pay once game (with ingame shop, no ads)

  • Option 1 for sure, but depends the lifetime of the game.

    Are you sure about the ads model for the game? How long does the game last? How many levels? From what i heard, short games that you finish very quickly generally does better if you just sell it at a fee. Games that last long or has MANY levels usually does better with ads/IAP. If you plan on constantly updating with new levels etc, ads can also be good.

    Ads usually pays off best for games that players play often but little with longer lifetime, ie. Candycrush, Angrybirds. If someone finishes your game in a few days or a week then deletes it Ads/IAP usually is not a very good monetization.

  • if you are new on the market and you want to collect players for your games - option 1. maybe even start with no ads games / no money games to get some people to play your things. also marketing yourself around helps. once you have at least 100 000 players on each game.

    add ads. then add ingame items. then maybe make a pay once game (with ingame shop, no ads)

    ...ignore fully option 3....

    Yes its my first game so I have no following whatsoever!

    I dont think I could give it away for completely free at first. I want to generate *some* income from the game initially, even if its only a small amount.

    And yeah.. Option 3 might have the potential to annoy players and generate bad user reviews. Like, I think Id be annoyed to buy a game and then find I had to pay again to get rid of ads.

    Option 1 for sure, but depends the lifetime of the game.

    Are you sure about the ads model for the game? How long does the game last? How many levels? From what i heard, short games that you finish very quickly generally does better if you just sell it at a fee. Games that last long or has MANY levels usually does better with ads/IAP. If you plan on constantly updating with new levels etc, ads can also be good.

    Ads usually pays off best for games that players play often but little with longer lifetime, ie. Candycrush, Angrybirds. If someone finishes your game in a few days or a week then deletes it Ads/IAP usually is not a very good monetization.

    No Im not sure about the ads model at all. Ive only just started thinking about monetization.

    Its a very simple platform game and I'm aiming for something like 60 - 80 short levels. Each level might take between 30secs to say 1 - 2 minutes roughly. With levels getting longer and harder as the game progresses.

    So ads should be an ok way to generate income I hope.

    It sounds like Option 1 has more support for a first game. Seems like in the beginning its more important for a developer to just get as many players as possible.

    I think the trick with Option 1, would be to set it up so that the ads aren't too intrusive so the player doesn't delete the game on first play or something, but by the time they get half way through the game, the ads eventually become annoying enough that, the player opts to pay to remove them. But by that point you hope that the player likes the game enough to pay, and keep playing...

  • No Im not sure about the ads model at all. Ive only just started thinking about monetization.

    Its a very simple platform game and I'm aiming for something like 60 - 80 short levels. Each level might take between 30secs to say 1 - 2 minutes roughly. With levels getting longer and harder as the game progresses.

    So ads should be an ok way to generate income I hope.

    It sounds like Option 1 has more support for a first game. Seems like in the beginning its more important for a developer to just get as many players as possible.

    I think the trick with Option 1, would be to set it up so that the ads aren't too intrusive so the player doesn't delete the game on first play or something, but by the time they get half way through the game, the ads eventually become annoying enough that, the player opts to pay to remove them. But by that point you hope that the player likes the game enough to pay, and keep playing...

    If you just get a few cents per 1000 impressions, and the player completed the game in a few days seeing the ad X times during the game u can calculate how much each player is contributing with the ads. Let's say each player generates 0.10$ during their lifetime in ad revenue, then you can pretty calculate how many weekly players you would need to have for your game to be "profitable" or at least earn some money.

    For that type of short game i would probably just sell it cheaply let's say 1-2$, nobody is gonna feel ripped off from a couple of hours of entertainment and no annoying ads. Most marketplaces have option to try the game first or refund within some time if you don't like it.

    Or .... you just release 2 versions which I've seen some do. One free with ads, and one for a small fee without the Ads. Release one without ads first, if nobody buys it, release a free version with ads.

    Anyway, I'm not sure what would best fit your game, but my guess is that you would earn a bit more by just charging for it.

  • This thread has some good info i guess.

  • I do option 1 in all my games, but don't show too many ads, 1 every 5 min or so, or only on certain events

  • Yep. I'm going for option 1 as well

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  • For that type of short game i would probably just sell it cheaply let's say 1-2$, nobody is gonna feel ripped off from a couple of hours of entertainment and no annoying ads. Most marketplaces have option to try the game first or refund within some time if you don't like it.

    Or .... you just release 2 versions which I've seen some do. One free with ads, and one for a small fee without the Ads. Release one without ads first, if nobody buys it, release a free version with ads.

    Anyway, I'm not sure what would best fit your game, but my guess is that you would earn a bit more by just charging for it.

    Ok so it sounds like the style of game I am making isn't really long enough to benefit too much from ads. So I should focus more on trying to get a one-off payment... either by Option 1: to remove ads from an otherwise free game OR to make it a paid game and charge a small fee right from the start. In both cases I would charge either 0.99c or 1.99c.

    I do option 1 in all my games, but don't show too many ads, 1 every 5 min or so, or only on certain events

    Hi Wishy. So you've had success with Option 1? Would you mind if I ask you some questions about your experience? I totally understand if you dont want to give away specific numbers, but just answer in general terms?

    -How much do you make from ads versus IAP to remove ads? Do you make more from ads or more from the fee to remove ads?

    -Roughly what % of your players bother to pay to remove ads? Like do most players finish your game in the free version, without bothering to pay to remove ads? Or do you find most of your players actually go ahead and pay the fee to remove ads?

    Thanks, only answer if you feel like sharing

  • Hey tunepunk, on a completely unrelated topic for a second, did you notice our user names are similar? All we need is to find a guy called 'codepunk' and we could team up together and make a game studio called 'GamePunk' Ill do art, you do tunes, codepunk does the code.

    Maybe we'd need 'marketingpunk' too.

  • Hi Wishy. So you've had success with Option 1? Would you mind if I ask you some questions about your experience? I totally understand if you dont want to give away specific numbers, but just answer in general terms?

    -How much do you make from ads versus IAP to remove ads? Do you make more from ads or more from the fee to remove ads?

    -Roughly what % of your players bother to pay to remove ads? Like do most players finish your game in the free version, without bothering to pay to remove ads? Or do you find most of your players actually go ahead and pay the fee to remove ads?

    Thanks, only answer if you feel like sharing

    I haven't had any decent games with 50.000+ downloads yet, so my numbers are not really a good model.

    Every 20-30$ I earn from ads, I earn about 1-2$ from an IAP to remove those ads. Nearly all those games had endless levels so the players don't really 'finish' the game. I'm sure a quality game will earn way more with IAP, in the form of currency or in-game-items.

    But like I said, I don't have any popular games with a lot of dowloads so I can imagine that a good game will earn more from IAP.

    I only recently started experimenting with Rewarded Interstitial Video's too, looking good so far, but I can't give any numbers yet.

  • People are going to be angry if they buy a game and it has ads.

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