Blog Integrating metagaming monetization into...

Integrating metagaming monetization into your core gameplay

Relying on a single monetization strategy is essentially putting all your eggs in one basket—a risky move in an industry known for its rapid changes in consumer preferences and technological advancements. Diversifying your monetization strategy, particularly through the innovative use of metagaming elements, presents a compelling solution to this challenge. It not only secures multiple revenue streams but also significantly enhances player engagement and retention.

What is metagaming?

Metagaming, also known as meta layering, refers to the elements and activities that exist outside of a game's core mechanics, yet contribute significantly to the overall player experience. These elements, while not consuming the majority of a player's time, enhance the depth and richness of the gaming world.

Metagaming can encompass a wide range of activities like:

  • Character customization.
  • Building or managing resources.
  • Participating in leaderboards.
  • Community challenges.

Unlike the primary gameplay that directly contributes to game progression, metagaming offers supplementary experiences that provide additional layers of engagement. This could include social interactions, collection or achievement systems, and other interactive features that encourage players to explore the game's universe beyond its main storyline or gameplay objectives. This is becoming more and more common with the rise of hybrid-casual games.

Weaving metagaming into your mobile game can transform both the player experience and your revenue model.

How can I leverage metagaming as a monetization stream?

From customizing avatars to unlocking special levels and engaging in community challenges, each metagame element presents its unique potential for revenue generation.

Metagaming for in-app purchases (IAPs)

Metagames often encourage players to engage in activities such as collecting rare items, customizing characters, or building personal spaces. These activities can be monetized through IAPs, where players can buy virtual goods or currency to enhance their metagame experience. For instance, purchasing special skins for characters or items that speed up progress in the metagame.

Metagaming examples of in-app personalization monetization in mobile app Dreamdale.

Metagaming for season passes

Many games introduce season passes that offer rewards and challenges within their metagame structures. Players can purchase these passes to access exclusive content, missions, and rewards over a specific period.

Metagaming monetization example from mobile app Cats & Soup.

Metagaming for advertising

While not exclusive to metagaming, integrating ads within the metagame experience can generate revenue without directly charging the player. For example, offering players in-game currency or items in exchange for watching ads can enhance the metagame without detracting from the core gameplay.

Metagaming example of advertising monetization from mobile app Cats & Soup.

Metagaming for user-generated content (UGC)

Encouraging the community to create and share their content, such as custom levels or cosmetics, can be monetized by sharing revenue with creators and charging players to access this content. This approach not only diversifies the metagame but also fosters a strong community engagement.

Metagaming example of user generated content (UGC) monetization from mobile app Roblox.

Metagaming for events and collaborations

Hosting events or collaborations with brands can introduce unique metagame content that's available for a limited time. Players might be willing to pay for access to exclusive items,

Metagaming example of collaborations with mobile app Merge Dragons and Rick and Morty.

Ethical considerations for monetizing with metagaming

While metagaming for monetization offers numerous opportunities, it's crucial to navigate these waters ethically to maintain player trust and satisfaction.

Transparency: Be clear about what players are purchasing and the value it provides. Avoid hidden costs or misleading players about the chances of receiving certain items from loot boxes or gacha systems (claw machines).

Fairness: Ensure that monetization strategies don't create insurmountable barriers for non-paying players or lead to pay-to-win scenarios. Balance is key to keeping the game competitive and enjoyable for everyone.

Value: Offer real value through monetization efforts. Players should feel that their purchases enhance their experience in meaningful ways, rather than feeling pressured to spend money to progress.

By thoughtfully integrating metagaming elements with monetization strategies, developers can create additional value for their players and open up new revenue streams. However, it's important to prioritize player experience and ethical practices to ensure that these efforts are sustainable and positively received by the community.

To learn how you can measure the impact of changes to your monetization strategy, request a demo to see how Adjust can help you swiftly implement next-gen mobile marketing measurement.

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