Psychology of F2P Monetization

Anna Khrupa by Anna Khrupa on July 13, 2015

Psychology of F2P Monetization
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Free-to-play games are a glorious and rapidly developing industry, however it hides many dangers. Quite hard to earn money on something that is completely free, right? In-app purchases and numerous marketing tricks that encourage them can be marvelous, yet game itself should encourage people to go on and keep investing into personal entertainment. Best way to achieve such results is by ensuring flawless, thought-through gameplay that should include several tricks.

  • Encourage vengeance! People often want revenge, even if the cause is puny. It’s a powerful emotional response and motivates people into certain actions even in games. Imagine your loved character was killed by someone you can kill afterwards? This is especially valuable in terms of upgrade purchases and other premium bonuses your game may offer. However there is a strict line here that should be met. If any player loses valuable items or experience points because of death he could thirst for vengeance or he might completely uninstall the game. Don’t make losses too heavy and ensure gamers know they might and will get stronger eventually if they would keep playing. Maintain balance unless you’re developing Dark Souls.
  • Make people love their lead character, otherwise there will be no point playing (impersonating) some distant digital being. The best way to do so is to allow customization. New gear, awesome-looking helmets or shields, facial tattoos, whatever. Make people fall in love in what they already possess or might have in theory. Do you know how much rare weapon skins in CS:Go cost? This phenomena requires certain levels of socialization. People usually want great but useless thing simply to boast or show off. Ensure there’s quite a crowd of layers and go to counting dollars earned from F2P games.
  • You can even combine both factors that were mentioned above if your game allows to do so. Scars, special marks, graffiti on buildings that remain after a defeat or a hard battle will constantly encourage and motivate players towards new great achievements as tiny reminders of passed battles.
  • Speaking of socializing. Implement some brand new terminology so players could learn to speak their own language. It should not be like Tolkien’s elvish difficult, yet many vital items should have their own in-game slang words. And one more addition you would like to ensure is the ability for users to share belongings with each other. The ability to help a friend in need raises levels of player importance and motivates quite as strong as envy, greed, pride and revenge but is generally a nicer feeling.

These seemingly simple tips perform actual magic in terms of F2P monetization. Try some out for yourself and make sure.