I’ve often wanted to try my hand at creating a 2d game so in my research (read counting the eggs before they hatch schizophrenic jumping around between hobbies) I’ve come across quite a few ways to monetize indie games. One day I hope to put these methods to the test but until then I’ll settle for sharing them.
So, here we go!
Kongregate (and other gaming portals)
Kongregate is one of the largest flash gaming sites. You may have wondered how it got so big and amassed such an immense number of games.
There’s two ways that I know of through which Kongregate acquires games.
The first is by just allowing indie developers to publish games on the site and offering them up to 50% of the ad earning on the page of the game (usually 25%). That usually ends up being a very meager sum of money unless your game really hits it off and you, dear indie developer, wouldn’t make a living off of it (actually let’s face it you wouldn’t make a living off of most of these methods but well this one wouldn’t even get you dinner.)
The other way that Kongregate gets games is that they license games; they pay the developer an adequate sum of money and buy the game in a sense, getting exclusivity for it. This deal is usually offered to household developers who have created a very nice game/have a following. These developers would sometimes have a popular blog which can then help the game ramp up on players rather quickly or are famous because of previous hits they developed.
One such “household name” example would be Emanuele Ferronato who has a nice blog about flash game development tutorials. Emanuele has so much clout that any game he puts out there is almost guaranteed visibility through his blog so sites like Kongregate are comfortable licensing the game upfront exclusively as they know they will recoup their initial investment and make a good ROI.
Kongregate is far from the only site in that category. Unless you’re in an exclusive deal you’d do well to submit to as many sites as possible.
Here’s a list courtesy of Emanuele’s blog.
Submission after review
www.flash-game.net (only by email)
www.addictinggames.com (by email too)
www.killsometime.com (no registration required)
www.channel4.com (no registration required)
www.2dplay.com (only by email)
www.hispajuegos.net (spanish – only by email)
www.juegosdiarios.com(spanish – only by email)
www.juegos-flash.org (spanish – only by email)
www.jarkey.net (form without upload option)
www.gamesloth.com (only by email)
en.t45ol.com (only by email)
www.ultimatearcade.com (form without upload option)
www.freearcade.com (only by email)
www.1001webgames.com (form without upload option)
Mochimedia (Now defunct)
Mochimedia is a games marketplace. Un marriage de l’offre et de la demande as my international finance teacher told me before he flunk me. Basically there’s flash developers that want ads in their games and there’s advertisers that want to insert ads into games; mochimedia makes it happen.
So you go on that site, download the API for whatever flash version your making your game on (I believe it’s strictly flash) and you’re in business.
Mochi also offers analytics, scores and achievements APIs and, if you allow them, they distribute your game on portals.
Mochi pays best in the US though, like most online things.
Another marriage of offer and demand, this site is a marketplace for game sponsorship. You put your game on there, you get an offer, you get paid.
Many major and not so major gaming portals make their acquisitions there. You can sell your flash, iOS, Android, HTML5 games to publishers that want them.
The catch is you will probably have to sitelock your game to the site of whoever you sell it to (at least for a period of time)
If you’re hot-shot developer who’s got a dozen games under his belt and is raking in his money what exactly are you doing reading this post?
If you aren’t and you can land a sponsorship, you’d be wise to take it and start on developing another game.
Google. Masters of ads and surveillance. You can use their adsense ads on your mobile games and flash games. Just open an account and sell out.
So that’s my 50 cents. Hope it helps!