After several design discussions over the abstract concept of actually earning a living from GLTCH, we’ve shifted our monetization strategy from a freemium model (splitting the game into free and paid content, releasing both simultaneously on the Play Store) to an opt-in incentivized advertising model, similar to that of Crossy Road fame. With almost a week’s worth of research to reinforce our decision, we’re confident that the changes that are needed to facilitate the new model will help to get GLTCH in the hands of as many players as possible, and keep as many of those coming back for more.
To our great surprise, we actually found that the numbers suggested similar earnings from both monetization strategies, but with the potential for much more explosive growth using an ad-supported model. We knew that we wanted to avoid microtransactions at all costs, because it is not something that you can ‘add on’ to a game this late in development and if we were to try, it would drag out GLTCH’s release for an indeterminably long time.
The major change being made to support incentivized ads that is sure to widen pupils in fear and loathing and entice one’s juice to spray in a fine mist upon the monitor involves a life system. Each player death expends a life, and when you hit 0 you can either wait about 15 minutes for them to automatically regenerate, or choose to watch an ad and regenerate them on the spot. Lives can also be earned from completing tasks from the bug list and by advancing through sectors, so there should be plenty to go around. Choosing to watch an ad at the end of a round will grant additional benefits such as increasing the amount of experience earned from that round, which lets players who are looking to unlock content as quickly as possible have the option to do so.
In reviewing some of the more popular mobile advertising platforms, we found out what we considered more valuable for implementing in GLTCH outside of potential eCPMs. It looks like we’ll be signing up for AdColony due to their instant-play technology that is key for a fast-paced incentivized mobile game like GLTCH, and their sizable market share means you can customize what types of ads are delivered to your players. Although Unity now offers a native ad solution, the service is still in its infancy which means it doesn’t provide enough content to continually serve to customers (a complete dealbreaker), and performance is secondary to AdColony and AdMob.
With all of these decisions locked into place, the end of GLTCH is much more clearly in sight. We had floated for the last fortnight in a limbo of uncertainty, but we’re now armed with a strategy that we’re all happy with and more-than-mediocrely confident in. It means that all of GLTCH’s content can be accessed by all players, with nothing locked behind a paywall that free players can only see and not touch.