Forced to monetise too early
No gambling mechanics
Poor store layout
Limited inventory range
Insufficient high end items for whales
Poor VIP management
Friction in purchase process
No bundle offers
Good monetization in F2P Games is not about forcing your players through payment mechanics.
We all hate it when we’re playing games, but a surprising number of games do fall foul to this.
We studied over 100 F2P games to find the top 10 common monetization mistakes and reasons why players do not spend in-game.
We also take a look at what can be done to fix this without damaging the playing experience so you can build a long-term relationship with your players.
1. Trying to monetize too early, or forcing it
Your players are savvy and will be put off if you bombard them with purchase offers as soon as they start playing. Putting players in a situation where their only option is to pay money will simply make them uninstall the game. Ensure that players are able to get right to the end of your game without spending a penny, and wait until they’re highly engaged with your game before signposting the in-game store.
2. No gambling or ‘magic box’ mechanics
A ‘magic box’ is where a player gets a random chance to win a super-rare item. They are a great way for players to potentially get a very expensive item for free or for a much smaller amount of in-game currency. Players who don’t want to spend will be happy with the free chance. Those that do will be encouraged to return or purchase additional magic boxes in order to win the rare items.
3. Lack of signposting
This may seem obvious but if your players can’t easily find your in-game store, they won’t be buying from it. Feature a link to your shop prominently in your game and have your cash shop as a main category within that. That way, the cash purchases are easy to find without having players feel like they’re being forced to purchase.
4. Poor store layout
Just as on the high street or in the mall, if your store isn’t laid out well, players will get frustrated when trying to find a particular item or by the browsing experience and will stop using it. Structure your store so that features clear, use simple categories and include a separate category for real-money purchases.
5. Poor inventory range
Having just a handful items available may result in a few players making purchases, but the novelty will soon wear off. By having a wide variety of items available to purchase, players will be more encouraged to keep returning. As well as premium currency, you could also offer new characters or cosmetic items for existing characters.
6. Lack of expensive items
If your players are enjoying your game and are engaged, they’ll want to spend money on it, especially if it sets them apart from other players. A lack of high end items available for your most engaged players is a missed opportunity. Premium items need to be really special that is worth the investment; something that will make the player that owns it stand out from the crowd, such as a character skin or special mount.
7. Poor VIP management
Your most engaged players are going to be your biggest fans and therefore spenders. If they start to feel like they’re not special, they’ll leave your game and take their money elsewhere. Make your big spenders feel special, perhaps by offering an extra gift with larger purchases or creating a VIP Club that players can subscribe to in order to access to exclusive VIP-only items.
8. Lengthy purchase process
Waiting in line or an awful online checkout system may make you decide to put your item back and not actually buy it. The same can happen in-game if the purchase process is too complicated. Your purchase process should involve as few steps as possible to avoid friction and abandoned purchases.
9. No bundle offers
Offering players bundle deals presents real-money value to your players. For example, promotions such as a free character when buying a pack of resources or offering a weapon and vehicle together for a discounted price.
10. No or lack of customization options
Players love the chance to look unique and gain the status and admiration from other players. Paid-for cosmetic items are hugely popular to drive both engagement and monetization. Give players many different ways to customise their gameplay; from special decorative items to spruce up their farm, new paint jobs for their vehicles, or a new mount for their avatar to ride on.