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1. Possibly crowdfund your game

2. Make game

3. Decide whether to give it out for free, for fixed payment or for membership of some kind

4. Decide whether to sell any additional things (pay2win items, cosmetics, DLC, special versions of the game, new versions of the game, optional memberships)

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pay2win items, cosmetics

This is a bit of a false dichotomy.

Items can affect gameplay in a more neutral way (making it different) without being pay to win, or merely cosmetic.


Let's say you buy a dog.  Many are either cosmetic or unfair advantages, but a dog could help you in combat and require food, which could re-balance it.


Otherwise, I think you pretty much covered it, but you missed one big one:



Advertisement can be in the form of driving website traffic ("hey come download a free game here!" though less common for downloads), simple in-game promotion, affiliates, or an integrated marketing plan where buying the item in real life also gives you something like it in-game (which may be cosmetic, pay to win, or legitimately balanced).

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