Heading towards 2023 with a wide-opened door of opportunities and a great news that the world will reach 3.7 billion mobile players this year according to Newzoo. So in welcoming a large population, keep reading to see what mobile game monetization strategies, game categories should developers wheel towards in 2023.
Artificial intelligence – AI can do more and more work for people nowadays, from creating images, writing stories, to becoming a character in video games. AI-powered characters are usually more popular in interactive games, the most well-known one must be Artie’s Adventure by Google.
AI can be an online friend to players as they are always available and can simulate a real person. AI in games can also analyze player behavior to give hints like in The Walking Dead game by Telltale Games. They can even go further by generating more game content from their analysis. It makes the game more exciting since it self-adjusts with AI reacting to the players’ skills, rather than having players choose difficulty levels themselves.
AI can go beyond the above tasks for developers like coming up with game ideas, designs, and even simple coding. Developers will need different AIs for different steps. A programmer can ask an AI to write a story to initiate game ideas, another AI will create character designs based on basic descriptions, and lastly, AIs to receive suggestions to finish coding lines. After those basic steps, Voila! A game is born.
Well, sounds simple but not really. It sure needs more than just the basics behind the scenes. But undoubtedly, creating a game will be less labor intensive with AI assistance, as long as developers find the right one to work with. 2023 with the innovation of technology, we can all expect more AI-powered games to come.
The report has said: “82% of mobile gamers say they are more into free mobile games that include ads than paid games with no ads.”- eMarketer while according to TechCrunch, “In-app purchases account for 95% of all user spend”, so why don’t we get the best of both worlds? Combining the two app monetization models seems to be a smart choice.
The reason why we should mix two different mobile game monetization models is basically to have a backup plan. When the world is pretty much entering another recession, people would decline to spend money on Entertainment-classified activities. So other than iAP or Subscriptions, in-App advertising would be the best monetization strategy to encourage users “pay but not actually pay” for their experience. It also stabilize developers’ stream of revenue, especially for free-to-play games.
When implementing ads, make sure to not overdo it, go for the non-intrusive ad formats to ensure player experience. Rewarded Videos are the King of in-App advertising as 74% of mobile gamers in the United States would watch a video advertisement if they got in-app content in return. (eMarketer), then the second is Native Ads since they are naturally blended and drive less churn and higher retention. Make sure to consider the two ad formats alongside with the common Banner ads and Playable ads.
Casual Games and Hyper-casual continue to rule with their popular monetization model.
Casual games have been soaring over the last few years, as well as one of its subgenres – Hyper Casual. These game categories are hard to be dethroned in 2023 for their straightforward gameplay and short sessions.
For its popular mobile game monetization mode, there are two main reasons why in-App advertising suits best for this game genre:
First, Casual game gamers are the least likely to make in-App purchases. This is because of the entertaining and relaxed characteristics of this genre.
Second, VentureBeat reports that hyper-casual game gamers watch two times more ads than players of other mobile game genres. This fact is encouraging developers to design more of it to utilize the trend to the max.
However, developers should focus on slightly longer ads instead of too many short ads in a short amount of time to avoid being too aggressive to users. It would be even better if they receive rewards as in-game assets after viewing an ad.
Cloud Gaming and the 5G network
Cloud Gaming is a cloud service that allows users to play games on whichever device they have on hand: mobile, PC, or game console,.. Players don’t need to download the game, as long as the game is supported by a cloud gaming platform. Basically, it lets users play games with their on-hand devices by live-streaming the smoothly-run games from a connected Virtual machine.
2022 made people excited about cloud gaming platforms’ potential. Then again, it did not really make the boom since the slow-speed internet connection. Cloud Gaming requires at least 50 mbps to play AAA games, which is the average speed of 5G. As the high-speed 5G network rolls out with higher innovative device releases in 2023, Cloud Gaming will approach more active users, which enable Cloud Gaming for the masses.
Developers need to sign with Cloud Gaming platforms to get their games to cloud gaming since publishing on their own is costly. Despite getting a high turnover, game creators will be tied to those platforms because of the aggregated demand and supply.
- AIs are welcomed by more and more developers since it is such a powerful assisting tool. This year, we expect more AI-powered games to come.
- Advertising is the best-suited monetization strategy for many categories of mobile games and apps. It creates a stable revenue stream while users decline to spend money on subscriptions and purchases in times of inflation. However, by combining 2-3 monetization models, game makers can have a much more guaranteed income than just one.
- Market experts expect Casual and its subgenre – Hyper-casual games to remain on the throne and they are the best choice for IAA.
- There’s also the rise of cloud gaming platforms that enables AAA games to reach more active users thanks to 5G.