Monetising a game

bright city lightsThe celebrity game I’m building and I’ve been describing is free to play but servers cost money, so how does it make money?

First you have to understand there are two types of game currency. (Glitz dollars and Glitz Stars). Dollars are used in-game. It’s what your character needs to earn to survive, make rent etc.

Stars are worth about 10p or equivalent and can be bought and are spent on things like Chance Bags and character auctions. (See below)

So here are a few ways I’ve thought of.

  1. The mobile apps are free but will carry Ad-mob type adverts.
  2. Chance Bags. You can buy a set of cards that can be played to have Lady Luck affect you or mainly other players such as friends. These will be cost something like 10 Stars an provide 3-5 cards. The idea is to prevent players playing to win.
  3. Character Auctions. If a player has got a high-celebrity character then they can get something back by auctioning it in the in-game auction and they get 90% of the auction price. Celebrities drop a rank when they are sold by auction (they are advertised at the lower rank) and lose all accumulated properties (but the buyer does get some benefits).
  4. Sponsorship. Anyone can sponsor and this provides in-game gifts related to the sponsor and carrying their messages, logo and a link to a website. Plugging a new album? Gift it (in game ) to musicians by sponsoring. Also sponsors can sponsors major events, festivals etc in-game, Gifts can be given at film pre-launch parties to attendees etc.
  5. Watch a video and earn in-game Glitz dollars.
  6. Pay for advertising in-game. Players can do this. A phase two development is to allow celebs to buy in-game businesses such as Bands, film production, Bars, Hotels etc. That needs carefully thought though.
  7. Buy in-game gifts for other players.
  8. GlitzVille. This is the in-game magazine. This is produced by an editor who receives a tapĀ  of news generated in-game and can pick and choose what to write about. It’s a modest cost per issue, only a few Glitz stars and the editor receives 75%.

As with all battle plans, this will change as the game grows and I may scrap some or come up with new ideas.