Top New Monetization Models in the Video Games Industry

The global video games industry has been in the ascendancy for several years at this point – in fact, it has been almost 20 years since it experienced any real market competition from the likes of the film or music industries.

Much of this is to do with the rise of the smartphone, which perfectly suited a growing video games industry and gave it access to millions of new prospective players. Yet a large marketplace isn’t the main thing behind its enduring success today, instead, that is down to how it managed to leverage its unique quality – replay value – to generate near-limitless revenues.

Over the past 15 years, we’ve witnessed the introduction and subsequent success of some significant new monetization models on the part of the video games industry, and these have reconfigured the way people play and access gaming in hugely significant ways.

They have paved the way for this sector’s rise, and have ensured that in the 21st century, gaming is to be considered the last word in modern entertainment.


Ultimately, it was the freemium model that kickstarted the modern gaming revolution. This model, most commonly employed on mobile apps, places content behind a paywall. Players are then given the option to play a limited or restricted version of the game or purchase the full title to continue to progress.

When implemented well, freemium games create a fair trade-off for gamers, letting them sample gameplay while encouraging them to redeem the full title.

Ad-Supported Browser Gaming

Like many of these categories, the lines around the edges are somewhat blurred – a game can be a browser game, and a freemium title, for example. But browser games do have elements unique to their design.

The most obvious component is that they’re typically accessed and played on web browsers – both the desktop and mobile varieties. This is distinct from other lightweight games that are played and accessed through apps or clients.

Browser games have a long history, with many pointing to the early 00s as their heyday. This was a time when internet speeds were increasing across the board, and the Macromedia Flash codec made the process of developing animations and games relatively accessible to individual creators.

Yet while platforms like Newgrounds were synonymous with this initial period, the rise of HTML5 – a lightweight and more flexible successor to Flash – has led to a mini-renaissance of browser games.

Among the most popular are Miniclip’s 8 Ball Pool, or Words with Friends. One of the most common ways such games are played are through social media networks like Facebook, and this relates to how they’re able to monetize themselves.

In truth, this method is nothing new, but it has become exceedingly refined in today’s browser games. This is achieved through the sale of online ads, popups, and trackers, which result in a game’s host earning revenue for players accessing games on their platforms.

Some well-established browser mainstays integrate this method with other protocols. For example, Vegasslotsonline CA is one of the largest online slot platforms on the internet today, boasting over 16,000 unique titles.

Naturally, this site’s default form of monetization comes through real money gaming and wagers, but it creates an on-road for free gamers by providing thousands of compelling slot titles for free.

Such hybrid methods are commonplace in the modern games industry, pointing to its ability to leverage replay value to generate income in diverse ways.

Free to Play

While they may appear similar to freemium games, Free to Play (F2P) games operate on quite a different philosophy. Whereas freemium games often place vital resources, tools, or game features behind their paywalls, F2P games only charge for aesthetic microtransactions. That means that the core gameplay loop of a given title remains intact for all players, free of charge.

F2P games rely instead on the fact that players who have become fans of their game will, in all likelihood, want to purchase microtransactions to customize their character or experience.

While this may sound like shaky logic, it has been proven to work spectacularly. Fortnite, for example, a popular early F2P title, earned $9 billion in its first 2 years as a result of microtransaction sales. Other games, like Call of Duty Warzone 2, have likewise proven extremely lucrative thanks to this model.

Lisa has been covering Netflix since 2014, and has spent up to 10 years covering the comings and goings of the Streaming library. Currently resides in the United Kingdom. Outer Banks, Ozark, Black, and On My Block, and Stranger Things are among my favourite Netflix series.