The online gaming industry is growing so rapidly that experts believe it will be worth $325 billion by 2025. That’s even though many developers are shifting their revenue collection systems in favour of free and freemium gaming models.
Developers have complete trust behind these new revenue systems, with top game publishers earning hundreds of millions of dollars in profits. So, how are gaming creators making money in this era of free gaming rooms?
The Freemium Model
Freemium is the most favoured gaming model in 2020. It involves releasing new games at no cost but adding optional in-game subscriptions. Make no mistake, though; these subscriptions earn developers millions of dollars.
Fortnite, Apex Legends, League of Legends, PUBG and most other popular games out there are all free. However, each game has features and items that make it more entertaining or easier to complete.
The in-game features are challenging to come by, but developers will often tend to sell them at small or relatively expensive prices. A virtual gun, sword or bulletproof car could cost $5 or less. But in contrast, some items could cost $20 or more.
Fortnite is one of the most examples of a successful freemium game. It’s entirely free to play. Yet, developer Epic Games make up to $1.8 billion through in-game items.
The Bonus Model
The bonus model works best for online casinos. It involves providing players with bonuses they can use to play free slots or card games temporarily. If a player likes the experience, then they can go ahead and use real money to play the same games.
The bonus system is so successful because it features real money. You can grab the offer, play to win real money and cash it out to prove it’s legitimate. You can check casinos with these bonuses from one of the most trusted casino guides. Then you can decide whether to spend your own money on games or not.
With no deposit bonuses in the UK, all you need is to provide your email address and create login details. After that, you receive a handful of free spins or a gift of £10 to play a variety of slots. This money helps you prove a casino is legitimate and also test its website and games.
Many generous casinos have more than one bonus package. So, you could claim the welcome offer and stay around to benefit from loyalty rewards. If you’re a high roller, you get the royal treatment—an account manager, super-fast withdrawals, bigger bonuses and bespoke customer service.
Third-Party Gaming Rooms
Google Stadia, Twitch, Xbox Plus, Apple Arcade and PS4 Online offer gaming platforms to over 500 million players annually. Twitch, for example, attracts up to one million streams daily, whereas Apple Arcade and Google Stadia are growing sporadically.
Microsoft attempted to launch a free gaming platform last year, Mixer. But a few months later, it announced plans to shut it down July this year. That’s not a sign third party gaming rooms have a dim future.
Quite the opposite, they are the future of gaming. From Facebook and YouTube to Instagram and Twitter, nearly all major online social networks now have a way of promoting gaming on their platforms.
Facebook and YouTube have live gaming platforms some people believe are superior to Twitch. On the contrary, Twitter and Instagram provide apt marketing channels for pro-gamers and streamers.
In-Game Trading Sites
Earlier on, we said video games make millions of dollars selling in-game items. But get this. It’s not just the developers that make money from skins and virtual weapons. Some gamers earn over $1 million flipping video game cosmetics.
How do they do it? They have Steam, DMarket, Reddit, CSGO-skins.com and other skin trading sites to thank. Steam is well-known for helping players buy and play video games online. But it also has a market place through which people can exchange skins free of charge.
Because Steam doesn’t allow real money skin trading, gamers use third-party sites like DMarket, CSGO-skins.com and skinbaron.de to make these exchanges. For better or for worse, these sites have made some in-game items so valuable that a virtual weapon could cost $60,000 or more.
Perhaps the main reason free gaming rooms are mushrooming is that many games now support multiplayer gaming. They let friends and strangers compete online regardless of where an individual is located.
Indeed, the most active video gamers are people who participate in multilayer competitions. They are more motivated to spend money on games because they want to be the best players for that game.
Many games have rewards and ranking systems earned through winning regularly. Most people strive to earn these ranks for social reasons, thereby keeping them playing multiplayer games longer than offline solo missions.
Additionally, online games have improved in quality so much that players see no problem spending $100 at a game they love. To them, it’s similar to spending money on football or baseball tickets.
A significant portion of online gamers plays through mobile devices. And the number keeps rising. If you need more proof, take Apple Arcade as an example. The mobile gaming platform has 500 million subscribers. That’s a fifth of the world’s 2.5 billion gaming population.
Google’s Android platform has even more free gaming communities. Third-party companies own many of them. But they cast a vivid picture of the role mobile gaming has in promoting free gaming communities.
As we mentioned, developers nowadays prefer to provide their gaming platforms free of charge. But to make money, they include features that can only be accessed through paid subscriptions.
Free gaming platforms are on the rise worldwide, and they will likely continue to grow in the next decade. Here’s why. Nearly every online game in 2020 can be played free of charge, whether temporarily or permanently.
Accessing online gaming is also pretty easy, especially through mobile devices. With that in mind, developers also support free games, meaning the model is here to stay.
Interesting related article: “What are Games of Chance?“