Why You Should Consider Offering Game Subscriptions

March 18, 2024
March 18, 2024

From streaming services to meal kits, subscription models are gaining popularity across a variety of industries. In the gaming world, industry experts expect subscriptions to surpass physical and digital game sales as the third-largest revenue generator in the console gaming market. Free-to-play games dominate the mobile landscape, but there are reasons to consider offering game subscriptions for all types of games.

Key Takeaways:

  • Subscription services are gaining popularity across multiple industries, including games. Adding subscriptions to your monetization strategy can benefit you in multiple ways.
  • Subscriptions provide a steady, predictable stream of income, increase the resources you have to make the player experience better, and improve customer loyalty and engagement.
  • Adding subscription models also reduces hardware limitations, provides access to new audiences, and increases revenue from other monetization sources.
  • Because you can layer subscription models on top of other monetization strategies, you can boost your revenue without interfering with the revenue sources you already have.
Bar graph showing predicted revenue from game subscriptions through 2027

Types of Game Subscriptions

Game companies offer several types of subscriptions. Old-school subscription models provide players with access to a single game and all of its features for a recurring fee. Massively multiplayer games have traditionally offered this type of subscription.

When console platforms gained the ability to access the internet, they began offering a type of subscription that offers access to online play and other features for a recurring fee. Examples of this type of subscription include Xbox Live, Nintendo Switch Online, and PlayStation Plus.

More recently, services, such as Microsoft Game Pass and Apple Arcade, began offering players access to games from different publishers for a recurring fee. This model is similar to the model streaming companies, such as Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Disney Plus, use for television and film content.

Additionally, some games offer extra features and content, such as season passes, battle passes, and ad-free tiers. These types of subscriptions layer on top of other monetization models.

Reasons To Offer Game Subscriptions

Subscriptions have long been a revenue source for massively multiplayer online games but are gaining popularity for other types of games on various platforms. Depending on which monetization strategies you currently use, adding subscription options may benefit you in several ways.

Provides Predictable Income

Many free-to-play games rely on in-game ads and purchases to generate revenue. Because the number of ad views and microtransactions varies monthly, it is difficult to predict how much revenue you will earn in any given period. Subscribers pay the same recurring fee, usually on a monthly or annual basis, allowing you to more accurately forecast how much you will make and smoothing out the peaks and valleys in your revenue streams.

Improves Customer Loyalty

The act of subscribing to a game and paying a recurring fee creates a sense of investment in your game that translates to increased loyalty. You can strengthen this bond by offering exclusive perks and rewards to your subscribers, such as virtual currency, in-game items, and access to extra content.

Loyal players are more invested in the future of your game. They are also more engaged and less likely to churn than other players.

Provides an Opportunity To Reach a New Audience

Traditionally, game subscriptions provided access to a single game or extra features on a specific platform, such as online play. Newer subscription models offer players access to games from multiple publishers for one price.

Listing your game with one of these services can provide you with access to an audience you may not otherwise have. This is particularly true if the service features your game prominently. This type of subscription model can benefit smaller games that players who normally only purchase a few major titles per year might not notice otherwise.

Graphic describing the benefits of working with Xbox Game Pass

Improves the Player Experience

The steady income that subscription services provide allows developers to invest more resources into offering new features and content that improves the player experience. Developers can also offer premium experiences specifically for subscribers.

Developers can accommodate a larger segment of the player base by offering tiered subscriptions that provide different levels of service at different price points. Subscriptions also allow developers to remove potentially disruptive ads for players who choose to subscribe.

Reduces Hardware Limitations

Younger players value access to content more than owning a physical copy of the content. Game subscriptions make it possible for players to log in to play their favorite games without the need to log in to a specific device.

Increases Revenue From In-Game Purchases

Adding subscriptions increases revenue from in-game purchases because the highly engaged and loyal players who sign up for subscriptions tend to make more in-game purchases than other players. Additionally, some of the players you gain by offering subscription options will also make in-game purchases.

Capitalizes on Familiarity

Most consumers have multiple subscriptions to entertainment, delivery, and other services. As a result, they are already used to paying for products and services this way. Offering subscription models provides consumers with a way to pay for your games that is familiar.

Easily Pairs With Other Revenue Sources

If you are already using in-game ads and purchases to generate revenue, you can easily add subscription options without much impact on existing monetization models. You can also continue to offer free-to-play options for players who do not want to pay a recurring fee to access your game.

How To Get the Most out of Your Game Subscriptions

Sonamine’s monetization services provide immediate solutions no matter which stage of development your game is in. In addition to helping you with your game subscriptions, we provide ad placement analysis, conversion campaign setup, game economy analysis, and other services that will take your monetization efforts to the next level. Contact us today to get started.

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