Building A Gaming Subscription Business Model: Full Guide

Subscription models are getting more popular and have become especially popular among mobile games and other types of video games.

Building A Gaming Subscription Business Model: Full Guide

Many mobile games are getting more and more subscribers, so it’s unsurprising that so many businesses are beginning to see the appeal. 

However, how can you successfully build a gaming subscription model?

In this article, we’ll offer you a full guide to understanding how you can implement subscriptions into your game.

Consider Your Game

The first thing you need to focus on is the type of game you have. This means you need to identify its genre and the gameplay itself.

Some games aren’t suitable for subscription models, especially narrative-driven games.

Many console games don’t have subscriptions unless they are MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) games. 

Mobile games have more opportunities to become successful as subscription-based models.

However, it depends on how they’re integrated.

You need to think about what you can offer your players and what they would expect to make the price of your game worth it. 

Integrating Subscriptions Into Your Game

If you want to add a subscription model to your game, consider what your players will receive.

Will they receive additional content to their free game, or will they have premium access?

Some players may have begun your game as free-to-play but might be tempted to subscribe if you make the subscription worth it.

Free games can have the disadvantage of having more ads, so one of the basic subscription features could be to remove the ads from your game.

Many players also appreciate additional content regardless of whether it’s cosmetic or offers additional gameplay. 

Benefits For Subscribers

When you build a gaming subscription model, you need to create subscription benefits that will encourage your subscribers to invest.

The most popular mechanics are access, reward multipliers, and vanity features. 

Access is the most popular and straightforward benefit. You can allow your players to unlock specific levels or access multiplayer gameplay.

However, this may also isolate free-to-play users, who may not wish to return if they feel it’s a pay-to-win style game.

Rewards multipliers are the second most popular, allowing subscribers extra currency or increased EXP.

In a way, this is better for players who would prefer to invest to get better items.

However, this doesn’t work for all subscriptions, and you still need to be careful of pay-to-win accusations of some games.

Vanity creatures such as cosmetic skins and cool-looking items are only useful for subscriptions if your player base will engage with each other.

It’s about showing off, and you want to ensure that your audience can show other players what they obtained for paying the subscription. 

Engage With Your Game

Many players can attest that subscriptions aren’t only about what you pay.

Most players don’t enjoy receiving unearned bonuses and prefer to engage with the game and receive their rewards.

A competitive factor to subscriptions can cause players to lose the possible rewards.

Therefore, we recommend engaging your subscribers with your game to achieve rewards.

Instead of considering your rewards as an item for your subscribers to buy, it’s better to treat them as competition.

Many subscribers are more likely to engage with their subscriptions when they are actively competing to get them.

If they really want an item, your subscriber may pay more to engage more with their game, especially if you have one that uses stamina.

Allow The Benefits To Evolve

Building A Gaming Subscription Business Model: Full Guide

Subscriptions are designed as a program, but not all your users will have the same experience levels.

Suppose you offer the same benefits for a seasoned gamer as a beginner. In that case, you may notice that your users will be less than impressed.

You want your benefits to evolve with your users, so beginner benefits should differ from a user with 100 levels.

Try to scale the benefits so they are more beneficial to your users.

Offer milestone rewards for subscribers and free trials to encourage players to keep using your app.

If they’re an active subscriber, offer them a reward to allow them to keep playing the game.

It’s essential that your users feel that you’re using this to expand on their gameplay experience.

Remember Your Users

Don’t only think about the money, but what your users want. Which players have been playing the longest?

You should treat these users as a priority, as they are the ones who are committed to your game and want to keep playing it.

These are essentially your VIPs. You should offer them rewards based on how long and how much they’ve played the game.

Possible rewards for these subscribers are competitions, extra currency, and early access to new content.

It shows them that they’re valued, and if they recommend your game, you may get access to more subscribers who would like the same level of treatment. 

Be Strategic

When you’re organizing a gaming subscription service, it’s essential that you consider the needs and wants of all your players.

It’s important to find out what they think is most important for the game that you have made.

However, you don’t want to offer them too much. Your subscribers may not feel that the subscription is exclusive enough.

We recommend that you offer different types of subscriptions to meet all of your subscribers’ wants and needs.

Different subscription models allow your player base to choose what to invest in based on their experience level. 

To find out what your players are interested in, we recommend conducting surveys to understand what they are looking for.

You can adjust your subscription offers based on what is of more value to your subscribers and understand what might tempt free players to subscribe.

It’s essential to research to understand what your players will enjoy, so don’t follow what other games are doing.

While understanding how other games are successful helps, finding one that will work for your specific game is better. 

Final Thoughts

Gaming subscription models are an excellent method to get free players more invested after playing a game for some time.

It also encourages players to return and continue playing instead of free games that may be limited after a certain period. 

Offering subscriptions allows many mobile games to become successful, as console games often aren’t as successful in the subscription model.

We hope this guide has helped you identify what you need to make your gaming subscription business a success.

If you’d like to learn more about how to make your business successful, please, check out our other articles. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Are Selected Game Companies Pursuing Subscription Models?

Subscription-based models gel well with online gaming trends and game deliveries.

Using subscriptions, companies can deliver titles to players how they like and faster.

They can offer some titles via subscription services to cut the cost of producing and shipping physical games.

Why Is The Subscription Model So Popular?

The main benefit of a subscription model is that it allows brands to build recurring relationships with their customers.

Why Are Subscription Models Profitable?

Companies and investors love subscription models as they generate recurring revenue, so you know that there is going to be a predictable cash flow. 

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