Flash Truth

…about flash gamedev and business

Nonoba

One of the subjects I want to bring to this blog is a vision of the pros and cons of several portals. I considered several of them to start up this category, all pretty obvious, like Kongregate or Addicting Games, but I wanted something more… Nonoba provides that something more I was thinking.

“Why?” you ask… or don’t ask. First and foremost, Nonoba is a great site. It has the basic condiments of that make a modern gaming site: developer profiles, a ton of APIs, great social implementation, lots and lots of things to have both players and developers entertained for hours.

More, developers can make money from it. First and most obvious, Nonoba allows advertising, such as Mochi Ads or Game Jacket. Not that much traffic to make it an extraordinary portal to monetize from ads, but that’s always a good add-on for developers. Second, it holds weekly and monthly competitions, based on number of plays with some juicy prize money. Third, Nonoba has a micro-transaction API which allows players to win money from in-game features, like objects or extra content.

Sounds really juicy but… Don’t you hate when someone says “but” right after something really good is showed? What is the problem with Nonoba then? A developer can see Nonoba in two different ways.

The first is the typical one: you create a game, put up some APIs and hope to get some traffic. This is where the problem starts since most portals pay to have their APIs integrated and Nonoba does not. So, the developer has the trouble of putting their APIs up, testing it and hope the game does good enough to get some money from advertising. You don’t need a lot of math to see this is not worth the trouble most of the times.

The second route is to go for multiplayer and transaction APIs which Nonoba supports fully. First… the APIs are wonderful. Really easy, really good. But the problem with traffic stands again since you won’t be able to sponsor your game or even to distribute it because both APIs are heavily branded with Nonoba logos and worst, Nonoba register user buttons and so on. No portal is interested in having that kind of branding, therefor, the game will not be sponsored or even distributed, bringing the problem of traffic up again.

So… Nonoba is a terrific idea that will go really bad if they can’t build the traffic up. The only developers interested in doing some real work there will be the ones aiming for the prizes (some are really pros at this) or contracted ones, since the rest is almost pointless. Ok, there are developers doing it for fun, but most good developers are pros or getting close to it. All other developers will simply upload the games, hopefully get some hits and that’s it.

Good things: Technology, social aspects
Bad things: Over branding, no payment

November 1, 2008 Posted by | Portals | , , , , | 1 Comment

Making money from flash games

I don’t have the slightest clue of the percentage of flash game developers that know they can make money from their games. Assuming at least one isn’t aware of it, I’ll try to tell you what paths are available.

Sponsorship

Many flash portals are interested in having their logos and buttons on flash games. This happens because people use the buttons and logos to navigate to the sponsor site, which translates to traffic, which translates to money. The more money they have, the more they will be willing to pay for better games since better games attract more portals, more players, more traffic and more money. I’ll give my take on sponsorship soon, but for now you can check these resources:

Flash Game License
Flash Game Sponsorship

Stuff

Although this is usually under the sponsorship umbrella, the truth is that it’s unrelated to sponsor branding. The “stuff” I’m talking about it to include APIs or make a custom version of your game or even selling the games rights to a third party that will then own the game. Hallpass has made the process of API inclusion quite easy and straightforward. The developer uploads a game with their API included and after Hallpass staff look at the game and aprove it, they’ll simply transfer $50. Not bad for a 15 minute job. There’s a world of opportunities around for several “stuff” just get to the number of forums around the net and pay attention.

Advertising

Advertising can be quite good or quite bad. The rule of thumb of advertising is that no matter where your game is played, you’ll get something, truth is, a lot of times you get nothing. Many of the big portals are not interested in games with ads, but you can make a buck if you use it. There’s a balance that the developer will need to find between cashing in a good sponsoring deal and having advertising. There are some offers, I invite you to check them:

CPM Star
Game Jacket
Mochi Ads

Revenune Share

Not all is bad news from portals that don’t allow ads. Some offer revenue share usually with a higher pay when compared to the advertising networks. The most outstanding portal that shares their own advertising revenue is Kongregate. Other’s offer it too like Fizzy.

Competitions

Too many to speak of really, but in my opinion most of them are bad for developers. These competitions either make you plug a logo and buttons in your game in exchanged for the remote possibility of winning a prize. That means you automatically exclude yourself from the best sponsorship arrangements. Others are cool though, even if very difficult. Kongregate and Nonoba offer weekly and monthly prizes to the games with higher ratings or number of plays. Althought the prizes are not that high, the simple fact that you enter the competition by uploading the game and eventually using an API, makes both extremelly attractive.

Advergames

This one is tricky. These are games that advertise a product, service or whatever they are contracted to advertise. You’ve seen it everywhere if you think of it. Little flash banners that want to you to score a goal, or to click it fast to win a push-up competition. For most flash game developers, advergaming is not that interesting since it looses the core mindset of game development and is more (if not completely) a marketing tool. To know a bit more about it, check Wikipedia.

And this is the overview of how you can make money from flash games.

October 16, 2008 Posted by | Monetizing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment