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1 decade ago by fugufish

apparently around the internets, there are huge rings of so-called flash game portals that are built ONLY to gain money through ad clicks

it goes like this:
- have a nice looking portal with big thumbnails of games that're enticing
- when user clicks on it, is directed to a page with a 20 words description of the game, plus plenty of ads

an example is

try clicking on a game, and see all the ads around it. Even the link to the game is disguised like the ad. Player won't even know where to start the game!

it's scary, plus they've got link-exchange going with over 170 websites , all of them with the similar design :

i'm happy that major players like Kongregate isn't deploying this tactic. Good thing they have a community to keep things straight!

any observations from your side? Share with us!

1 decade ago by Hareesun

var expensive = this.value > 10USD;

if ( == expensive){ = true;
} else { = false;

It's a much easier decision to cover a page in ads than it is to remove them. All the HTML5 crowd have going for them in this respect is that we've all seen the mistakes most of the online gaming sites have made. With fake play buttons while the game loads etc... Just think of the children. And your users.

1 decade ago by fugufish

we need a better (i.e 'sustainable') strategy than just serving ads

i can list other sources

- merchandising (t-shirts, hats, mugs)
- sponsorship deals
- donations
- straight up selling the game ( doesn't work for HTML5, gamers wanna play online). A great example is bundling multiple games like []
- virtual goods ( this one is a bit hard for HTML5, given that it's javascript isn't as 'secure' as Flash )

so far, virtual goods is doing really well for quality games. Virtually every gaming portal has coins/credits.

anyone have any experience/stories regarding other strategies?

PS: at the end of the day, trial and error is the best way to find out what works for your games. Just because Zynga does virtual goods doesn't mean we should, it might even be disasterous for us.

1 decade ago by Ken

@fugufish - YES! Thanks for posting this. I was having an offline conversation about this same topic and came up with a very similar list. I think if we can make games that are more of a "brand" experience and tie in multiple revenue streams then just an "app" with banner ads it will be a much better strategy.

I agree with virtual goods as well. For TapJS I will be adding a credits api as my next feature release in a couple weeks. Along with virtual goods, I was thinking it would be kind a cool to maybe sell "respawns" so say for MikeL's YOSS game, I came close to beating the #1 position but just could not stay alive long enough, now if i could pay a $0.10 - $0.25 for an extra life(s) I would, because I do enjoy the game and want to continue on to later boards but can't seem to make it. So just another type of "virtual good", taking back to the old arcade days of popping in quarters.

As for selling the game, you can always connect with the Chrome Store and sell your html5 game, and even using AppMobi to create a mobile version . Similar to the guys at Lost Decade Games with Onslaught Arena . I follow their feed and think they are setting a good example on monetizing online html5 games.

Granted some people are not going to want to pay so you can offer a free and paid version which has more levels, bosses, etc...

Thanks for starting this thread. I think it would be wonderful if the HTML5 crowd could say a little more "classy" then plastered with ad's and fake play buttons for a crappy bejewled clone. Ad's are not bad, it's just their over use of them on shady portals the detracts from the experience. As you also stated, Kongregate does a fine job with this and I think we can/will too.

@Hareesun - you are so right about the fake play buttons, I got suckered when I first experienced that.

1 decade ago by Ken

One thing I am curious about is what kind of revenue are folks who are using banner ads seeing? A couple cents a month, a couple dollars a month, tens/hundreds? I know Dom posted his figures but I think his might be on the higher end of what to expect, given the great work with Biolab and ZType and entering them into the Mozilla contest. But I really hope I'm wrong and that is the baseline :)

So if anyone wants to share their findings with banner ad revenue, please let us know.

1 decade ago by BFresh

Yeah I definitely agree about how to make money with little casual online games. So far I've managed to make two games that I don't feel are quite polished yet and wish I had more time with them since this is a hobby for me, but I've slapped them on sites with some Adsense around them. I do ok with other sites I've made with Adsense since they get decent traffic but for my HTML5 games, I just checked and they contribute a couple bucks a day to my Adsense account. Right now they only get a couple hundred visitors a day for perspective. My feeling is you aren't gonna make decent money with Ads around the game unless:

1) You hit a home run, the game is sweet enough for people to share on Facebook, etc. A you develop a lot of traffic from the game quality. I get decent spikes in traffic/revenue when the facebook likes/tweets start flowing.
2) You already have a developed site going like an online arcade or something and your games are added content to your existing highly trafficked site.
3) Your game/site is a Chrome or Mac App and gets decent traffic through their portal.

Another thing I can think of is that HTML5 is still a bit of a novelty and people like MS, Mozilla, Spilgames are doing contests to promote HTML5 development, you can get in on that, maybe win and get some cash. This won't last though as people make sweeter HTML5 stuff though and it becomes more common.

1 decade ago by potan

Regarding (1),
if you make a facebook game, can you put ads that surround the game ( similar to how adsense work) ?

as far as i know, in facebook, you can only make money from MTX (microtransaction) or an ads that embedded into your game (like mochiads / all those flash sponsored game).

1 decade ago by Ken

@BFresh - Thanks for sharing your experiences! Keep up the good work man.

@potan - Yeah you can place ad's around your game just like BFresh does on his two, but Facebook recently banned Google AdSense and posted a list of approved ad networks. I have heard of a couple of them like Peanut Labs but the majority I never heard of.

1 decade ago by BFresh

Thanks! Yeah I definitly want to get back into the facebook investigating. I kinda dropped it when I saw Adsense no longer is accepted, I had my game embedded in a FB canvas ready to go...

I applied to one or two on the list as advertisers and never heard back... Let me know if you guys get with one you like. I am sure it is a great gaming opportunity.

Speaking of that, I did get my browser bots game working with Facebook Connect and had highscores via Facebook accounts briefly which would be cool if you have a FB app going (then you dont even need connect since you are on their site). I dropped it to a simple name leaderboard for now until I get it polished one day.

1 decade ago by MikeL

I have to say, that I used to be unconcerned about this topic, because I was mostly making games for fun/hobbyist purposes. But now that I see that my little game has been played almost 16,000 times, I'm thinking "sure would be nice to capitalize on this somehow."

I now have google ads completely surrounding my canvas, but very little clicks (meaning 4 in the last 30 days. Ok I accidentally pushed it once). On the other hand, I wouldn't feel right outright charging for the game unless I had a lot more levels and made it overall a more worthwhile experience.

Anyone have any new thoughts or followup on the topic?

1 decade ago by fugufish

16000 times is a lot, but i'm not sure if it would monetize that well with ads.

For Adsense: I think game category CPCs range from 5 cents to 10 cents, and assuming a CTR of 0.5 % (which is already considered good if no optimization is done), you're talking a ceiling of 80 cents of revenue.

Take, for example Z-type's Adsense revenue. The game hit peak due to Reddit's keyboard hungry users, and I think Dom posted somewhere on his blog that he got 700 euros in revenue from that alone. ( which isn't enough to support a hungry game developer )

on the other hand, we have game devs on Kongregrate making tons of cash because their games reach 1-2 million plays (only the good games get this).

but who am I to say? I haven't made a single dime out of ads. Can't even get approved by adsense, lol.

1 decade ago by fugufish

EDIT: sorry, that wasn't 80 cents, it's 8 bucks. ( 10 cents x 80 views = 8 bucks )

1 decade ago by fugufish

i think a good strategy (though unproven for us in the HTML5 gaming community) would be

- to get onto Kongregate ( i heard they support iframes, which can be used for HTML5 games). Anyone pitched their game to Kongregate yet?

- go mobile. Specifically, with iOS. ( hopefully someone's iOS Impact app gets approved. I'm still waiting for good news from the folks here! )

- go facebook. I think the game Dr. Blast was the first that introduced in-app payments, but we don't have news of his success so far. (the link to the game is in the forums).

1 decade ago by fugufish

with facebook, it's always tricky because you've got users from all around the world, and not all have HTML5 capable browsers. (the world still runs quite a bit on Internet Explorer).

Link to monitor browser stats:

but when you think about it, is someone running IE6,7,8, or even 9 ever going to want to buy that virtual item on my game? I have a gut feeling that people who purchase virtual items tend to be more tech savvy, and hence use better browsers like Firefox, Safari and Chrome.

1 decade ago by potan

We need something like :

but for html5 games, maybe there will be soon :D
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