Creative ways to make your hybrid-casual game more profitable

– May 14, 2024

As games move more towards a hybrid-casual model, the potential for new avenues of revenue opens up. As your retention rises, so do the opportunities. Let’s look at six ways you can increase your profits.

1. Incorporate native advertising

Native advertising is where adverts are embedded in the very fabric of the game. They’re far less intrusive than traditional advertising, allowing you to place ads in your game that don’t disrupt how the gameplay flows. They feel natural in places where players would expect to see them in the real world.

For example, a native advert might be on an in-game billboard, the banners alongside race tracks, superimposed over the field of a tennis match, posters on the wall, or holograms in the street.

In game ads example

These adverts can either be static sponsored content or dynamic ad space that brands can purchase in real time. The key is that you don’t pause the game to show the ad.

2. Add audio adverts to your game

Did you know, 73% of mobile players have their volume at or above 10%? It might not be loud, but it’s enough to catch people’s attention. This makes them a useful addition to your monetization strategy.

They also have similar benefits to native advertising. Audio adverts are far less disruptive than traditional methods: they play in the background, allowing the gameplay to continue unhindered.

Due to the nature of audio, it’s a relatively simple approach to insert into your game. Pause the music, play the ad, and return to normal once it’s finished. They are also suitable for rewarded ads, allowing players to gain power-ups or in-game currency far quicker than needing to watch a video. Which makes them an effective method to increase your advertising revenue without hurting your retention.

3. Make IP deals with brands

Partner up with a brand to offer in-game cosmetics or extra content using their brand assets. These could be characters, items, or even entire levels. Not only does this give you additional content to keep your game active, but it can also bring in new fans.

Game of Thrones: Reigns

Another method is to wrap your game entirely in the brand’s IP. For example, you could approach a brand with your match-3 game and use the same mechanics and gameplay loop, while using their characters and universe.

4. Sell merchandise using your own brand

Once your hybrid-casual game has a following and community, it’s inevitable that certain characters or phrases will become popular. These are perfect for turning into merchandise. T-shirts, mugs, plushies—these can all feature your game’s art. Manufacturers like Alibaba make this even easier. You can buy products and have your own logo and designs printed on them.

You can even create unlockable content for your players, which they only gain access to by achieving certain milestones in your game. For example, every achievement in your game could have its own baseball cap. Players would need to unlock the achievement before they could purchase the cap in real life.

Angry birds merch

This gives your achievements more value and encourages players to seek out the hardest ones for the prestige of owning a real-world item.

5. Encourage fan-made content

Reach out to your community and run competitions to have their creations enter the game, such as levels, items, or cosmetics. This fan-created content can keep your game active and fresh while also giving you an opportunity to engage with your community.

Ideally, you would also offer an incentive to the creators, such as a cut of the purchase price. This makes it worth the player’s time and makes it far more likely you’ll get quality submissions. It also encourages the player to spread the word about their creations, which could bring even more players to your game.

6. Port your game to another platform

Expanding onto a PC or console can help you open your game up to a new market, extend your game’s life, increase your return on investment, and lead to longer session lengths.

It’s a useful way to make the most of your most successful games. You can read more about the process in our article on porting.

Data is key to any new approach

Whatever route you choose, make sure you keep track of which avenues are successful and bring in the most revenue. You want to make sure that you’re spending your time efficiently. The most effective way to do that is to bring data in from multiple sources and study the trends together. That’s where DataSuite comes in—it allows you to create your own player warehouse and track trends across platforms and different data sources.

Check out our blog about the engagement psychology behind hybrid casual games.