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How to monetize my online game

 6:52 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Hi people,

A brief description:

A friend runs an online web based space game. He is seeing 5-10million impressions per day. The hosting cost is now become very expensive ( im the one paying!) - so im looking for ways to generate income to pay for the hosting.

I have looked at adsense - but our site doesnt contain alot of content - so its not workable for us.

Do you have any suggestions? We both work fulltime so dont have alot of time or energy to put into this - we are looking for a "quick-fix" - eg - finding a company that will give us some ad code so we can get up and running asap. We only need to gain $400/month to cover the hosting - in fact even if it falls short its better than nothing!



 7:21 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)


Seriously. Make the prices small and recurring and you'll wonder how you ever survived before. If you provide a good simulation, people will pay for it. I went from almost the exact situation you are in with about 10% that traffic to running my websites full time based almost entirely on subscriptions.

Due to the large amount of impressions vs unique visitors that online games create you will, and should, have problems getting CPM campaigns. Also, your site is a destination site, your users arenít coming to you to find out information on something to buy elsewhere. You need to monetize what they are looking for.

If you need more info on this, sticky me.


 7:24 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Put up an ad for an online dating service. Geeks need women.


 7:26 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Put up an ad for an online dating service. Geeks need women.

You greedy person, I am happy with 1



 7:27 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

We have seen many games fail when charging money.

Alot of people simply dont have the means to pay online - even if its just 10p. ( eg they are too young for a debit/credit card )

We are not looking for HUGE profit - just enough to cover hosting.

We want to first start adding ads - in a few months time we will offer a "premium" service - which costs a bit of money - and removes the ads! For now we just need to start serving ads!


 7:31 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)


They list a couple of high-profile gaming sites in their Ad Marketplace - you could check them out...


 7:35 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Tribalfusion are not interested :(


 7:41 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

We have seen many games fail when charging money.

...and I'm sitting at home in my sox typing this because it can be very profitable if done properly.

My first online sim would have failed if I didn't start charging money. Sure, it would have had more users and beed more popular, but I would have also been broke after paying the hosting fees. It's not worth putting the time, effort, knowledge, customer service, and money into an online game if you can't at least buy lunch once a month off of it.

After reading the Adsense forum I think I have an idea for you. Make a portion of your game have something to do with Mesothelioma and then put up a bunch of Adsense ads ;)


 7:45 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Could you add enough game related content to the site so that Adsense can figure out what to target, and then add Adsense (or some other contextual ad serving solution)?


 7:47 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

We want to have a standard and premium subscription.

Standard = free and served by ads
Premium = costs money but has no ads + some additional extras

We are looking for someon who will serve ads on our site and pays out - no point searching on google - there are so many scamms out there its not funny!

Someon must know a company that will


 8:39 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

Put a few pages of content and encourage people to click to go there.

That content could include cheats, top scorer charts, tips and suggestions, links to other games.....

Some traffic will trickle through to the content pages where you will serve Adsense.

Small Website Guy

 9:34 pm on Nov 24, 2003 (gmt 0)

You use the high PageRank from the game site to boost up spammy affiliate/AdSense sites that make the real money.

I also like the idea of ads for dating services!


 6:23 pm on Dec 2, 2003 (gmt 0)

Total newb answer: Why not your own affiliates (dating sites, commerce sites like amazon, etc.)?


 2:06 am on Dec 3, 2003 (gmt 0)

Have you tried asking for donations? Granted the usual 'Please Donate..' does not always work, so give players a reason to donate.

What about if players who donated are given special privileges? Without altering the gameplay, i'm sure you can think of something to offer users who have donated.

I recently came across the following site and thought their donation scheme was very smart:
Users can do fun/cruel things to other users such as (temporarily) ban them and change their custom title.
The one that I really found funny is the '[H]-[M]ode' option.

It seems to be working for them, and it goes to show you that donation-based revenue can work with a little bit of creativity.


 7:21 am on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Whats the PageRank of the site? A few advertising anchors could offset your costs if you have decent PR.


 3:05 pm on Dec 4, 2003 (gmt 0)

Heh, that's awesome. That's the best Donation-based scheme I've ever seen. I bet you it works for them too. That's just creativity right there. Don't make your paying users more special, just give them more powers/control :D

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