"Online-game" monetization models besides ads & appStore?


Can you please include links to some of the various "online-game" monetization examples besides placing ads & publishing on an appStore. (if possible please include short comment as to why it's great)

Thus far, we found Lumosity's subscription model to be very interesting; however, I can't find any significant competitors in that space. Makes me wonder if there are other examples...

I would really appreciate your input.

Business Model Monetization

asked Jun 20 '11 at 22:34
66 points
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2 Answers


Currently the money makers are:

In-game purchases Also know as free-to-play or Asian model (as it was first introduced in Korea). Concept is very simple, full version game has to be free to play, but some items are available only through in-game purchase. EA, being currently the biggest game developer, embraced the concept and called it Play4Free . It's estimated market of in-game objects is of a few billion dollars. This model is popular with multi-player games, which are not MMOs.

Freemium Unlike above, where full version is free, in freemium one only get's basic version for free, without full capabilities. You either buy full version or pay subscription fee, to have full version. It's still quite popular with MMOs or simple Flash/HTML5 games.

Selling players profile to advertisers Unfortunately even though it's doubtful from moral and legal point of view, still this is how many social games make their money.

answered Jun 21 '11 at 08:20
335 points


Some models are:

  • Buying in-game assets
  • Freemium

Just for completeness, I would like to add gambling as a model. This could for example be in the form of a modern slot machine. In most cases I completely loose motivation about their venture, when talking to people, who want to utilize this method to monetize games, but it is nevertheless a model.
answered Jun 21 '11 at 05:40
1,567 points
  • can you please send a link to any of the gambling model sites - I'm not at all familiar w/ them. – Timo 13 years ago
  • @Timo I don't have such a link, but you can search for any online poker sites to find examples. – David 13 years ago

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