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vinnyvicious

Financial Current market state for web games

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I used to earn a lot of money with Flash games 5 years ago. Either by selling whitelabel games to portals or just publishing them on MochiMedia, i was earning about $500/month. Since MochiMedia died and the popular FGL website all died, and everyone went to mobile, i stopped working with that. I was thinking about returning, but i'm curious about the current market state.

  • Is anyone earning money selling games to portals? Are portals buying that? If so, where's the current hub for people to do business on?
  • Is anyone earning money by putting ads into their games and publishing to portals?
  • Is anyone dedicated to desktop web games?

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If you did decide to go back into this I would look at picking up an html5 framework as flash is almost dead.

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Hi,

It is a very interesting topic indeed and one that I've had the chance of discussing at length recently. 

I don't think there's much of a 'public market' for web-minigames. Sure, there's Kongregate, which is still awarding games of the week / month and allows for rev-share on ads, but I don't think you'll profit a lot from that.

What you could end up finding however is a larger business that intends on maintaining a strong web presence but generally won't work with vendors because of their fee. By undercutting on price (which virtually has little to no effect for a man going solo with or without freelancers for art) you can become a valid solution for a business like Warner and the likes. If you've made a lot of flash games before, show them, might work out.

 

As for HTML5, I'm really not sure about that. There are a lot of frameworks, and it feels like making anything requires to learn something new. Would suggest using Unity's webGL exporter which has come a long way, and is progressively getting more traction with browsers.

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I'm not really worried about learning curves, or learning a new system. That's not really relevant and usually is fun. What really matters here is that if there's is good money to be grabbed.

Does anyone know any public revenue reports from developers on Kongregate or other portals? Are we talking about few cents a day or more Flash-like numbers like 1 or 2 dollars a day, from ads?

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Well, there's True Valhalla and another guy who posts regularly on /r/gamedev (I'm afraid I can't remember the name and therefore can't currently search for a link) (devMidgard) who both make decent money making HTML5 games and publish monthly income reports. Both of them seem to make the majority of their income either licensing games or doing work-for-hire.

Edited by jbadams
Fixed broken link, added additional link.

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I'm not really worried about learning curves, or learning a new system. That's not really relevant and usually is fun. What really matters here is that if there's is good money to be grabbed.

Does anyone know any public revenue reports from developers on Kongregate or other portals? Are we talking about few cents a day or more Flash-like numbers like 1 or 2 dollars a day, from ads?

I have figures, though I don't believe the devs would like me to share them.

I have it on good authority you could make a few Ks on ads alone if you have something good enough.

The big difference between then and now is using incentivized ads instead of just relying on the usual ads.

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Marketing is incredibly important.

Consider that in games with an already established brand, about the same is spent in marketing as is spent in development. In brands that are not established the spending is often even higher, 1.5x or 2x the cost of development.

So if you're considering your own pay for development, if your professional wages would have been $10K or $20K or $50K, then the marketing spend might be $15K or $30K or $120K until the brand is established.

Also, one game is not a business plan. The first several games help you build your skills and talents. It often isn't until the developer has put out multiple products that success comes. Then people will play one game, find it fun, and look at the others and purchase them too. The more you put out and the more advertising and awareness that exists, the more they'll come pick up other products and build a community of repeat players.

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Marketing is incredibly important.

Consider that in games with an already established brand, about the same is spent in marketing as is spent in development. In brands that are not established the spending is often even higher, 1.5x or 2x the cost of development.

So if you're considering your own pay for development, if your professional wages would have been $10K or $20K or $50K, then the marketing spend might be $15K or $30K or $120K until the brand is established.

Also, one game is not a business plan. The first several games help you build your skills and talents. It often isn't until the developer has put out multiple products that success comes. Then people will play one game, find it fun, and look at the others and purchase them too. The more you put out and the more advertising and awareness that exists, the more they'll come pick up other products and build a community of repeat players.

Are you sure about this marketing ratio for solo html5 devs?

I'm the small sample I'm well acquainted with, I was happily surprised to see a grassroots approach had a lot of ROI and therefore allowed to focus on development of multiple smaller titles (as opposed to 50k games for example).

My advice would be to focus on 1-2 games per month and hit all the portals you possibly can. Ads revenues won't be impressive at first, but they will stack.

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Probably not for solo html5 devs, however, most make approximately $0 from their few hundred spent in marketing efforts.

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