With many F2P (Free to Play) games generating billions of revenue, it is no surprise that many game developers are finding new approaches to innovate when it comes to monetizing F2P games. Most games nowadays use multiple currency models for their game economy to buy rs gold and other stuff.
The in-game currency used in mobile game economies has two types – namely, soft currency and hard currency. Players earn soft currency by playing and earning ‘coins’ the in-game currency is called. On the other hand, hard currency (e.g. diamonds) is purchased through IAP’s (In-App Purchase) either with real money or top-up cards.
Currently, mobile game economies are much more complex, but the core principle remains the same. As players progress within the game, they earn more soft currency, and if they want to speed up the process through upgrades and whatnot, players have to pay real money in exchange for hard currency. This is the model used by game developers in recent popular F2P games like Candy Crush, Fruit Ninja, Temple Run, etc. With that said, let’s check out the different types of mobile game economies:
This game economy is more popular with F2P games on PC than in mobile because it is more suited to a one time purchase per transaction system. For example, when a player wants to buy new weapons and upgrades, he only has to buy that item with real cash without converting it to in-game currency, hence its name.
Sales and promotion are easier when dealing with real money. This model is best suited for games where the only way to get items is through random drops and IAP. It is also easier for developers to make changes on the prices as each item is priced differently in virtual shops.
When there is only one currency like gold and there are no other alternatives, this model is best suited for that game. It encourages the player to wait for the daily reward and go to the store to purchase items, and then there’s an option to buy more in-game currency (e.g. gold coins) with real money if the player runs out of the in-game currency.
Earlier, F2P games used this model because it catered to both non-paying and paying players. A player can earn in-game currency by completing tasks or missions or through IAP’s and advertising offers. Puzzle games like Bejeweled Blitz use this model.
We now go to the king of mobile game economies. Top grossing apps use this model and that’s why other game developers follow this path. These days, games have, by default, two currency types – the default one (e.g. coins) and the one acquired from IAP. If you also factor in gifts from other players and currencies earned through leveling up/XP points, that already makes it 4 types of in-game currencies.
Multiplayer base-building games are usually the ones that are best for this model as it’s easier to balance the game economy. It is also easier to control inflation and devaluation of currency because you’re pulling out of multiple resources.
To sum it all up, the success of monetizing mobile games depends on the in-game economy that will work and will be integrated into the gameplay without a hitch.