How Sustainable F2P Mechanics Works as a Monetization Tool for Game Insight
Insights & Best Practices
December 28, 2015
When creating a free-to-play game, some studios tend to gloss over a comprehensive monetization strategy in favor of spending time on a cool graphic or a new level. Time spent on a lasting monetization strategy is worth much more than an extra power-up, though. Just ask Anatoly Ropotov.[caption id="attachment_14086" align="alignright" width="286"]
Anatoly Ropotov. Image Credit: Game Insight[/caption]Ropotov, CEO of Lithuania-based Game Insight, has coined the term ?sustainable free-to-play"?a way to monetize games by building long-term relationships with players. This strategy, of course, takes time, but it?s time well spent in Ropotov?s world.
Continue to create and iterate
?We want to make sure our games are player-centric and have staying power," he says. ?That means offering a consistent approach across our entire portfolio and utilizing a free-to-play model that focuses on sustainability from day one."This philosophy makes games, well, sustainable, not only for players, but also for developers, who can keep working on the games they love while evolving the game play. The ability to do this comes, in large part, from collaboration with the players who have ostensibly invested both time and money into the game.One way to get players to buy-in, says Ropotov, is to offer new content and challenges often. Game Insight likes to integrate updates around holidays?adding new characters or even changing actual gameplay dynamics.Another sure-fire way to keep players engaged is to foster community within the game and create an affinity for the brand.?Let your players interact with each other," says Ropotov. ?Providing even a basic 'weekly top players' feature with the ability to view profiles and communicate with them right inside the game, is a very important point a lot of developers overlook."
Not just a quick fix
All of this is to say, Ropotov is playing the long monetization game?by investing time and creativity into players, he believes the kick-backs later down the line will be substantial.There are plenty of examples of games that have launched quickly to great success, but that didn?t sustain player relationships. These titles ended operations after a short time. But it's the sustainable games that have the staying power.?Two good examples are Mystery Manor and Paradise Island, both of which have been live for more than five years now," says Ropotov.[caption id="attachment_14087" align="alignright" width="480"]
Mystery Manor, Image via App Store[/caption]These games are continue to see 100 million downloads per year five years post-launch, making them Game Insight's highest-grossing games of all time.Ropotov believes that sustainable free-to-play games have the best return, both in terms of revenue and player satisfaction. Comparing game publishing to the lumber industry, he says that you might make money faster when you clear-cut the forest, but you won't have any more trees to sell in the future.Investing in long-term relationships with your fans is a much better way to create long-term success.