Which are the different Types of Video Games Monetization Models?

By: Polymator InteractiveJuly 5, 2023

After rolling out Games on the app & play Store, Game Development Companies aim to generate significant revenues. And they bank on Game ‍Monetization to earn massive profits by providing users with in-app purchases to engage them more with the game & help them gain substantial advantages & edge over other players by staying ahead in the gameplay by having a higher number of objects, assets & characters.

Game Monetization is considered a primary revenue source for Game Development Companies, and users are paying money to buy games monetized properties only if they find it worth spending on them.

Hence, it is crucial to select the best monetization model to allure users to make game purchases. In this blog, we will walk you through the different Types of Video Games Monetization Models to guide you in choosing the ideal one for your game.

‍Types of Game Monetization Models

There are several Game Monetization Models. However, the effective ones are the following:


It is a widely used Game Monetization Model with small in-game purchases to unlock compact features & content that can be purchased multiple times. It cash in massive revenues as they allure players to spend more. You can use them in free-to-play mobile & pc games and premium titles paid beforehand.

Microtransactions are primarily cosmetic that play a pivotal role in gameplay through skins or emotes. In non-cosmetic, there are specialized objects & boosts to enhance game characters & environments. Microtransactions give an edge to players purchasing them to stay ahead in gameplay over others.

It persuades other players to buy in-game features to achieve particular levels & shorten stages completion time. Such games are called “Pay to Win” as they influence non-paying players to make in-game purchases to achieve desired results.

In-Game coins & assets purchase in Candy Crush, Angry Birds, Lunch Frenzy, and Farm Frenzy are notable examples of the Microtransactions Game Monetization Model.

Loot Boxes Controversy

They are a form of Microtransactions that have become controversial, as the players aren’t aware of the requirement & outcomes of Microtransactions purchases. And players end up getting a random virtual item, leading to the game being called Slot Machines.

Persuading users to purchase in-game features & content with real money by creating a scarcity of the most essential & desirable game items is one of the most highly used ways to monetize loot boxes.

They intend to drive gamers to spend more & more by alluring them to stay engaged with gameplay. Though it is an effective Game Monetization Model, the Governments of various countries consider it a Gambling form by inducing users to unlock all the content & features for non-stop playing.

Hence, it is recommended that Game Developers & Game Development Companies stay updated with different countries’ regulations for using Loot Boxes Game Monetization Method in the games.

Premium Monetization Model

It is the most traditional way of selling in-game purchases for earning revenues. It is an upfront sale, alluring gamers to buy the entire game to play it. This concept has always prevailed at physical stores. And now it has moved to digital, allowing players to purchase their favorite full-version games on App & Play Store.

The upfront sales help Game Development Companies earn enormous revenue by creating a barrier to entry to gameplay. Through this Game Monetization Model, the transaction between a player & the publisher is over after the game is sold.

You can opt for DLCs (Additional Downloadable Content), which users can buy after acquiring the base game. DLCs have received positive reception as they capitalize on players’ willingness to get more of their preferred content. Developers can make the best of it by releasing limited DLC at regular periods to keep users engaged with their game.

Battle & Season Pass Monetization Model

A Battle or Season Pass is another extensively used Game Monetization Model, giving additional rewards to paying users for achieving specific goals in the game. Non-Playing players can get those rewards too, but it is challenging for them, which can be made straightforwardly by purchasing a Battle or Season Pass.

Unlike a subscription model, players can play the game without opting for the Pass. Users highly prefer it over Loot Boxes as they know beforehand what rewards they will be getting through the Pass and its importance, making it an ideal option free from unwanted linking with gambling.

Subscription Model

Users are required to purchase it to access & play specific game stages. The unlocked content is available weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annually in the Subscription Model. Players can purchase subscriptions according to their preferences, depending on how long they want access to unlocked game content.

It is one of the perfect Game Monetization Methods for developers looking to earn a stable income stream every month rather than earning upfront. The Subscription model keeps the users hooked on the game and allures them to come back to play more by purchasing a Subscription.

Early Access Model

In this Game Monetization Model, players can buy the full Game version by paying upfront, just as Premium Model. The difference is that users can purchase while the game is developing.

It is a fantastic model for developers to earn upfront income during development, along with feedback to enhance gameplay and make amendments based on players’ suggestions & demands. Game Development Companies opting for this method should initially keep lower pricing as the game is in development and gradually increase it once it is completely ready.

In-Game Ads Monetization Model

It is one of the most prominent Game Monetization Model, where users must watch in-game ads in free-to-play mobile games. The In-Game Ads can be loading screen ads, ad pop-ups, product placement, or banner ads to monetize the game & keep the players hooked, as they don’t have to purchase game content or feature. They can simply unlock it by watching a paid ad.

This model increases the chances of in-game content sales and generates additional revenue apart from selling game features by displaying paid ads often. If you want an effective & lucrative Game Monetization Method, In-Game Ads are perfect as they allure more users to play the game as there is no need to purchase Microtransactions or Subscriptions. They can watch paid ads to earn rewards to unlock different game content of their preference.

Crowdfunding Model

It is a gradually adopting Monetization Model, which involves sharing game ideas to connect with potential players to captivate their attention & persuading them to pay upfront for game development funding.

Once the game is released, players can access it and earn additional rewards, depending on the payment they made beforehand. The rewards vary from character features to objects, weapons, or access to environmental buildings in the gameplay.

Game Development Companies must put enormous efforts into raising targeted Crowdfunding to make this Game Monetization Model effective. Also, developers need to be cautious, as a game launch can become controversial if the game has several obstacles & restrictions on gameplay for the users even after paying upfront.

Fantasy Strike, Mission in Snowdriftland, Sun Haven, Roots of Pacha, and Phoenix Point are some notable examples of Crowdfunding video games.

Play-to-Earn Monetization Model

It is a trending Game Monetization Model employing Blockchain Technology & NFTs for building game assets that players can sell for “real” money. And the game developers earn profits by selling each transaction through a set percentage. Game assets have stats that users can enhance by playing games.

The players can ascertain to make them accessible to others via selling assets for higher prices to gain monetary benefit. Bitcoin & Cryptocurrencies are prominent examples of this model, where users sell the asset at a high cost to earn massive profits.

Game Developers using this Play-to-Earn Game Monetization Model need to keep their apps’ blockchain network encrypted and secured from potential cyber-attacks and trojans.

Hybrid Monetization Model

This Model has been widely adopted by several successful modern days. It combines two or more methods described in the blog to enjoy the benefits of each Model for earning revenues from different sources.

The hybrid model helps cater to players’ spending habits by offering more to those willing to pay and less to those who wish to stick to In-Game ads or lower-priced subscription models.

Multitudinous mobile games use a combination of two or more models, such as In-Game Ads, Microtransactions, Subscriptions, and Battle or Season Passes, to keep users with different preferences engaged with the gameplay.

You can provide access to new content through different available Game Monetization Methods to ensure a regular income stream & build a new user base.

‍How to Select a Game Monetization Model?

Selection of the most effective Game Monetization Model for every game depends on players’ expectations, feedback, suggestions, and timely update to keep them hooked on the game. E.g., if your Game Monetization Method is Premium Model, in which a player has paid upfront to access the full version, then you must keep in-app purchases pricing minimal to ensure users don’t feel scammed.

Also, avoid In-Game Ads in the premium version, as users pay significant premium model fees to play Ads-free games and access their favorite game features & content without additional cost.

We recommend keeping an Aggressive approach of subscription, paid ads, microtransactions, and battle/seasonal passes in Free-to-Play games where players haven’t spent on gameplay. Also, try to make your game free from excessive monetization, where users are required to make purchases at every stage, and non-playing users can’t play the game at all.

The purpose of your Monetization Model should arise at specific stages of gameplay where the users will be willing to pay for it to proceed to the next scene. Keep the In-Game purchases at regular breaks to enthrall the users and not frustrate them.

We recommend using a mix of all models and meticulously planning them at different game levels to keep players engaged with your game and make your game portrayed as authentic & genuine rather than spam.


After reading the blog, you will have a firm comprehension of different Types of Video Games Monetization Models: Microtransactions, Loot Boxes Controversy, Premium Monetization Model, Battle & Season Pass Monetization Model, Subscription Model, Early Access Model, In-Game Ads Monetization Model, Crowdfunding Model, Play-to-Earn Monetization Model, and Hybrid Monetization Model.

However, if you have questions regarding any method or need assistance selecting your game monetization model, feel free to contact us.

At Polymator, we are specialized in creating various game genres of different budgets according to our client’s requirements & needs. We help our clients design a mixture of multiple models so they can earn maximum revenue from each model to increase their game ROI.

Our highly experienced & professional Game Development Team is proficient in 3D Game Art Services, including 3D Art For Games, 3D Environments Modeling, 3D Characters Modeling, and 3D Animation.

Partner with us to build your dream game with lucrative Game Monetization Models. Contact us for a consultation and quotation for your game. And alternatively, please email us your game requirements at contact@polymator.com.


About Author: Polymator Interactive
KP is a veteran of the gaming industry with over 22+ years of experience in Mobile Games, 3D graphics and AR-VR Apps. As the founder and CEO, he is a driving force behind some of the industry's most innovative and cutting-edge projects.
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