University Politehnica of Bucharest (ROMANIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: INTED2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Pages: 104-111
ISBN: 978-84-606-5763-7
ISSN: 2340-1079
Conference name: 9th International Technology, Education and Development Conference
Dates: 2-4 March, 2015
Location: Madrid, Spain
Games are present everywhere nowadays. Before the industrial era, games required the physical presence of at least two players, depending on the nature of the game. After the invention of computers and mobile phones, the gaming industry had a big opportunity for an unimagined development. Following this event, an important concept has occurred and has become popular: gamification. This concept is about the use of game thinking and mechanics to engage users in solving problems. Gamification has been studied and acknowledged with positive results on people. The industry of games and gamification-based applications has revenue which was estimated to be more than double of the one of film industry. The current paper aims at revealing how companies have created this huge revenue and how they have monetized the games they have created: are they following the same recipe or is game monetization diverse? A special case is the one of educational games due to the fact they have an increased ethical and social value. Therefore, the monetization methods which are suitable for this type of games are underlined.

There are different approaches for a game. Therefore, there are many classifications of games: by tools, by rules, by skill, strategy and chance. Another important classification of games is given by game theory. Game theory is a study of strategic decision making and classifies games according to several criteria like symmetry, sequentiality, or if a game comprises perfect information. In addition, game theory treats the case whether a game is determinate or not. A broad classification comprises: sport games, lawn games, tabletop games, dexterity and coordination games, board games, card games, dice games, domino and tile games, pencil and paper games, guessing games, video games, online games, role-playing games, business games, or simulation games. By looking at these classifications, one can state with certainty that any game can be integrated in at least two categories. We were interested only in the games with educational value. According to each category and type of the game, companies and individual developers can choose different methods of monetization of their work. Based on an amount of considerable literature mining, the paper identifies the basic ingredients for success in game monetization. Also, metrics for game monetization are identified and described: DAU (Daily Active Users), MAU (Monthly Active Users), PCU (Peak Current Users), ARPU (Average Revenue per User), ARPPU (Average Revenue per paying user), UAC (User Acquisition Cost), LTV (Lifetime Value), LTNV (Lifetime Network Value). Then, some monetization methods and strategies are presented, e.g. classical premium download model, subscriptions, freemium. Taking into account those methods and strategies, the authors suggest the suitable ones for various types of games. Based on this analysis, a methodology to choose the proper suite of monetization methods of educational games is proposed.

The work has been funded by the Sectoral Operational Programme Human Resources Development 2007-2013 of the Ministry of European Funds through the Financial Agreement POSDRU/159/1.5/S/132397.
Educational games, gamification, monetization, monetization metrics, monetization methodology.