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Making a Business Strategy

Pick a Revenue Model

Pick one or more Revenue Streams and create a Revenue Model that is best suited for your game.

Typical Revenue Streams:


  • Revenue is generated when players click or view ads.


  • Development is supported by generous community supporters.

Merchandise Sales

  • Revenue is generated by selling clothes, figurines, art, and soundtracks.

Game Sales

  • Revenue is generated through direct game sales.


  • Revenue is generated through the sale of in-game currency and digital content.


  • Reoccurring payments grants players access to a game or more content within a game on a monthly, seasonally, or yearly basis.

Common Revenue Models

Indirect Sales

  • Game is released for free.
  • Main source of revenue is through ads, donations, or merchandise.

Free To Play

  • Game is released for free with the intention of getting players to spend money on microtransactions or subscriptions.
  • The game is purposefully designed to incentivize players to make purchases with pay-to-win mechanics, cosmetics or skins, gacha or lootboxes, boosters or time savers.
  • Typically utilizes limited time events and rewards.

Direct Sales

  • Game is sold at a given price point.
  • Additional content may be released for free or for a price.
  • May include microtransactions.
  • May release paid dlc in the future.

Subscription Model

  • Game is free to download.
  • All or a majority of the game is locked behind a subscription.
  • May include microtransactions.

Choose a Post-Launch Plan

No Support Post-Launch

  • After the game is released, no further work will be done.
  • This was very common before the rise of digital distribution.

Hotfix Support

  • Updates are made to patch major bugs and glitches in the game.
  • May include minor balance changes.

Expansions and Content Updates

  • Large updates that introduce new features and content.
  • Typically includes bug fixes and balance patches.

Live Service

  • Studio is solely dedicated to the development of one game.
  • Updates are released regularly in order to retain players and draw in new players.

Evaluate the Cost of Development

Temporal Costs:

  • What skills are needed to develop the game?
  • if you need to learn new skills, how long will it take to learn them?
  • Will you make the game by yourself, or with a team?
  • How long will it take to make your game? What is the production schedule? What is your planned release date?
  • What platforms and devices are you targeting?

Monetary Costs:

  • Do you need to rent an office, or purchase new equipment?
  • How will you compensate yourself and your teammates?
  • What software and web applications will you use? How much are the licenses to use them?
  • Will you use premade assets, or have them custom made?
  • Is your game multiplayer? How much will it cost for hosting multiplayer services?
  • How will you market your game?

Evaluate the Return on Investment (ROI)

What are the rewards for investing your time and money on the project?

Personal Experience

  • Improve one's professional skillset.
  • The experience can be documented on your resume and social media, which could lead to career opportunities.

Business Recognition

  • Build up the company's brand and ip recognition.
  • Completing a successful project can lead to greater success on future projects.

Strengthen Partnership

  • Successful projects can boost relationships with partner companies and lead to more business opportunities.
  • Could lead to better licensing deals, exclusive contracts, and long-term partnerships.

Monetary Gain

  • The intention is to make a large amounts of profit by providing a superb gaming experience.
  • Money is distributed among teammates and partners.

Avoid Business Pitfalls

Don't Only Offer Revenue Share

Projects that only offer its volunteers rev-share rarely succeed. Unless volunteers are truely passionate about the project, most volunteers will quit because there is no guarentee the project will succeed and that they will make money from their contributions.

Don't Think That Publishers Will Save Development.

Investors are business partners, not business savers. Investors invest in something that is already proven to make money or grow an audience. Then, the investor will help you take it to the next level.

The revenue from initial sales should cover initial costs. You will need investors if you want to make future investments or leap into a bigger market. Demonstrate that your business is already successful and stay successful. If the investor wants to help with the process, they can join. Nobody wants to get on a train that hasn’t started. They want to get on a train that’s about to leave the station.

Don't Let Business Management Make Creative Decisions.

If managmenet is making decisions about development but is not involved in the development process, then the developers will leave. You need the Brand to be built on the original artistic intent of the whole team.