Most revenue from your web game will probably come from advertising, so the money you make from your players will be indirect. However, there are still opportunities to earn direct revenue from a fraction of your player base, via micro-transactions and virtual goods sales.
This is a recurring point of advice for all three platforms in this book—in ecosystems where nearly all games are extremely cheap or free to play, monetization options have to be deeply integrated into the game’s design, so that they’re easy for players to notice and players will realize how paying will make the game more fun. “If nobody knows a feature exists,” Reeve explains, “nobody will ever use it, so you have to make sure the monetization features are relatively obvious. If a feature isn’t particularly fun or important to the game, no players will care about using it.”
At the same time, it’s also important to make it possible to play for free—that’s especially important if your game is multiplayer or depends on leader boards or social network sharing to drive growth, which would only be slowed by a payment wall.
Three varieties of monetization are common in web games: monetizing convenience, collections, and exclusivity.