A new way for creators to make a living from games
A summary of monetization channels for application and mod development for games
“Yeah, I’ve worked on that for a while, it was the best time! I love the concept, but independent development doesn’t pay the bills and I had to get a job…”
Sounds familiar? We’re not surprised. Many developers with outstanding skills struggle to secure the income they need and are often forced to drop otherwise fantastic projects.
It isn’t just minor projects that can’t raise funds, some mods and game apps are used by hundreds of thousands of users, more than enough to sustain solid monetization channels, but independent developers often do not leverage them effectively.
Take Adam Williams AKA MysticalOS for example: Adam created one of the most popular mods for World of Warcraft called Deadly Boss Mods, and there’s hardly a raider anywhere who doesn’t use it or at least know of it.
Despite hundreds of millions of downloads, in this post Adam shares the difficulties and financial instability he suffers by investing in his mod. While the community rallied to help Adam, We’d like to believe our platform can prevent this from happening to other creators, and make sure great apps and mods generate actual income for developers.
Let’s take a closer look at monetization options in the game app space, and especially the channels we found to be effective for a large number of devs.
Unlocking Developer Monetization
Our approach to monetization is in tune with our creator policies — developers should be working on their product and making it as good as they are able, the rest is noise, and noise should be reduced by us.
We already provide independent developers with assistance including QA, Technical Support, development resources and marketing boosts to keep them focused solely on creating.
With monetization, our approach is the same — aiming for transparent, automated processes. A creator in Overwolf will never have to study performance analytics (unless they feel like it) or crunch through SSP reports to understand how their app performed or how their revenues are calculated.
Our ecosystem is fully capable of supporting app developers from Day 0, even before the first prototype is ready. Last August, we established a new investment fund together with Intel, with the goal of spotting and funding independent development of valuable tools and apps for PC gamers who use Overwolf.
This channel applies for those who have a fleshed out idea, a clear vision of how it’s going to work and the will to make it happen in reality. Our fund has an incredibly short processing time, with as little as a couple of weeks separating indie devs from paid professionals working on their personal vision.
If you have an idea and you’d like to talk to us for feedback or for funding — check out the Fund’s page and reach out!
Zero-Interruption Advertising & Forgivable Ads
So you’ve launched your awesome app, users are having fun and sending feedback, and your name is growing within your community. How does THAT turn into revenues? Where will you get resources after the initial investment is used up?
Ads! But also, not the Ads you know. A large part of what we’ve been doing in the past couple of years was figuring out the best methods to advertise to gamers in ways that don’t piss them off or hurt their game experience.
This includes making sure our apps never reduce frame rates, never eat up bandwidth and can easily be opened or closed with a single click — gamer experience comes first. While we’re always learning, our current advertising options have been working well with very little negative response.
How does it work? Simple — we advertise when the user is not actively playing, but is present and attentive. This could be when waiting for the next game, loading a map or a waiting for a long respawn timer, perfect opportunities to show curated ads without impacting the gaming experience.
As a developer the process is easy — we analyze your app and the game it is made for, we understand which of our partners are relevant for your users, and we run the ads when possible and based on user preferences. Revenues from advertising are shared with the majority going to you, the creator.
Community Marketing and Donations
Once your community starts to build up, and especially if you also communicate often with your users in video or text form, you can also start collecting direct donations.
Usually, donations require sending users to a landing page and getting their information there, which has a huge drop rate. In Overwolf we can enable direct donations with platform currency as well as ‘Ad donations’, where users opt-in to view more ads to directly support a specific creator.
We’re also working on opening in-platform subscriptions (hopefully by Q2 2019), which will enable your dedicated players to support you constantly creating a stable income baseline.
Later on, new avenues can open up as your community grows — in the past, we created marketing campaigns involving influencers, global game challenges, co-marketing with leading brands, sponsorships with gaming brands and many other potential collaborations.
You could be living your passion
All of this is not theoretical, and we already have a roster of talented developers working on apps. Take Amit Tsur for example — 32 years of age, an ex-WoW guild leader and avid DOTA2 player. Amit had an idea of how DOTA can be made better for gamers and especially data-oriented players and started working on his app at nights, after coming back from his cybersecurity day job.
With our help and Amit’s dedication, DotaPlus became a success, and just three months ago he finally decided to turn his full attention to his passion project. Amit’s deep understanding of HIS favorite game enabled him to provide tons of value for fellow players, and his app is doing well as a result, netting thousands of dollars per month and fuelling ongoing development.
From Amit’s recent blog post:
While Amit’s story is special, it isn’t unique for an Overwolf dev. If you have a concept you know is worth building, and limited resources are holding you back, don’t hesitate to talk to us or apply directly to our joint fund with Intel — a fund dedicated to making your dreams into reality.