When it comes to monetizing your strategy game, it’s crucial to consider what will work best for your specific game and how your players will perceive rewarded offers. Making a misstep in the type of currency you offer or the timing of when it’s presented can result in a drop in user retention. In this article, game design consultant Anna Popereko shares her expert advice on how to effectively monetize your strategy game. She discusses common mistakes developers make with rewarded videos and provides recommendations for better reward placements.
Keep It Simple: Strategize Your Ad Monetization
Each game genre is unique, presenting various opportunities and challenges. Strategy games, in particular, are complex and intricate, which often translates into a similarly elaborate ad monetization strategy. However, complicating things can actually harm your potential revenue. It’s more advantageous to keep placements as simple as possible so that they seamlessly fit into the gameplay and feel natural to players.
Let’s take a closer look at some common mistakes that developers make when monetizing strategy games and explore Anna’s recommendations for successful rewarded video placements within this genre.
Offering a Rare Currency to All Players
Segmenting your users and tailoring the rewards they receive can have a significant impact on your key performance indicators (KPIs). While it’s essential to offer rewarded video placements to all players, the rewards themselves should differ based on user segments. If your game includes a rare currency that is mainly used in specific situations and not part of the core gameplay loop, it is best reserved for advanced users who have reached higher levels. Beginners, on the other hand, should receive the basic currency that is relevant to their current level, increasing their likelihood of engaging with the rewarded video. This approach will help you engage a wider audience and maximize your ad monetization efforts.
Avoiding Additional Rewarded Video Currency
While strategy players simply want to acquire the resources they need, some developers have been tempted to create an extra currency exclusively for rewarded videos. Unfortunately, this approach only distances players from their primary goal of obtaining the reward. The additional currency becomes an unnecessary hurdle for players, often leading to forgetfulness in spending this new currency and further delaying the receipt of their reward.
Strategic Placement of Rewarded Videos
It’s common for developers to scatter rewarded video ads throughout multiple locations in the game. However, a more effective approach is to start small. Analyze your game’s core loop and identify where adding a rewarded video feels most natural. For example, if the core loop involves time-based actions like building or resource production, incorporating a rewarded video will provide an instant benefit to the player and, consequently, increase engagement. Once you have fulfilled your players’ basic needs, engagement will flow naturally, resulting in increased revenue.
Once you have carefully considered the integration of rewarded videos into your game’s experience and economy, you can showcase them numerous times throughout the game. While it’s essential to monetize users from the start, it’s particularly crucial to focus your efforts on players with longer retention, such as those who have been playing for seven or thirty days. As players progress in the game, the rewards they receive become more valuable and useful in helping them succeed, ultimately increasing their retention.
The home screen is a critical component of a strategy game’s rewarded video plan since strategy players spend a lot of time toggling between different actions on this screen. Given its high visibility, players have numerous opportunities to engage with rewarded videos here. Consider the resources that players constantly need to progress in the game, such as basic resources, soft currency, or gacha items, and offer them as rewards. To maximize engagement, add a timer to create a sense of urgency and generate a fear of missing out, prompting players to act swiftly.
Many strategy players visit the in-game store but do not make purchases. This presents an excellent opportunity to offer rewarded videos in the store. Ensure that these ads provide rewards that do not compete with the store’s items but still offer value, such as treasure chests or gacha opportunities. In-store placements can help monetize non-paying players and even drive traffic to the store. Be strategic in the timing of these rewarded videos, spacing them between four to six hours, and conduct A/B testing to determine the ideal pace for placements.
Strategic games often involve wait times that increase as players progress. Offering a time boost placement allows players to speed up the wait time, greatly enhancing their gaming experience. Ensure that the time boost offered is relevant to the actual wait time. Cutting the time by ten minutes would be highly impactful if the original wait time was twenty minutes, but less significant if the wait time was three hours. As always, conduct A/B testing to find the optimal balance between the time boost and the wait time.
Daily Reward Multiplier:
If your game includes a daily reward, consider implementing a rewarded video placement that multiplies the reward. This serves as a great incentive to boost engagement, especially during the early stages of a player’s interaction with the game. The multiplier encourages players to accumulate coins or currency that will aid their progress in the game, ultimately increasing retention. However, it is crucial not to rely solely on this placement since strategy players can only use it once per day, limiting the monetization potential.
Optimizing the value of your existing players has never been more important. Mastering the art of monetization in strategy games is key, as well as recognizing that in-app ads, when executed correctly, can support and enhance in-app purchases, ultimately driving revenue and player retention. By implementing Anna Popereko’s advice and understanding the unique dynamics of your strategy game, you can effectively monetize your players and create a successful gaming experience.