How to make money with your designs

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Sell You Apps Directly

This is most traditional method. You create a unique series number for every software license. Consumers will use this series number to unlock your app.

Main challenge of this model is piracy.

Sell Your Apps In App Markets

You can sell your apps directly in app markets.

  • For iOS Apps
    • Apple App Store, you need give Apple $99 yearly registration fee to sell you apps here. For a paid app, Apple gets 30% percent of the revenues, you get 70%. Currently, Apple App Store is largest mobile app market.
  • For Android Apps
    • Google Android Market, you need give google one time $25 registration fee to sell you apps here. For a paid app, Google gets 30% percent of the revenues, you get 70%. The approval process is very fast.
    • Amazon Android Market: you need give Amazon $99 yearly registration fee to sell you apps here (first year is free currently). For a paid app, Amazon gets 30% percent of the revenues, you get 70%.
    • more: AppBrain, MobiHand, SlideMe, GetJar, AndSpot, ...
  • For Widnows Phone Apps
  • For PC/Console Games
    • Steam is a digital distribution, digital rights management, multiplayer and communications platform developed by Valve Corporation. (See the wikipedia item)

Embed Advertisements In Your Apps

You can embed advertisements in your apps. The biggest benefit is you can encourage others to help you distribute you apps so that your app can get more impressions and more advertisement revenue.

You can put your app with advertisement embedded in App Markets mentioned in last section for users to download freely. On PC, for Flash swf game files, you can distribute them to many Flash game portals. These portals will not pay money to you, but they will bring many impressions to your games. Generally , more impressions will bring more advertisement revenue.

Earn From Web Page Advertisements

If you have made many online webpage games, you can build your own website to show your games.

Use In-App Payments In Your Apps

You can sell virtual goods, such as virtual swords and power boost items, in your games.

Many companies provide in-app payment APIs, including Apple App Store, Google, MochiMedia (through Paypal), Paypal and Facebook.

This model needs a backend online service to store and manage the visual assets of users.


This model need a backend online service. Users pay every month.

Find Sponsors

Two usual modes:

  • sponsors pay you for requesting you put a referrer link to their websites in the main menu screen or anywhere else in your game. When your game is spread all over the world, some players will visit the referrer website.
  • game portals pay you for requesting you remove any referrer links in your game.

The sponsor fee is determined by your game popularity. I heard some very popular Flash games ever got more than $20,000 sponsor fee. is a good place to find sponsors for Flash game developers.

But by my viewpoint, I don't encourage to find outside sponsors. I always think "get a sponsor from yourself" is the best choice.

When you upload your games to or send your game to the sponsor game portals, remember to add site-lock code in your games.

Get License Fee From Derived Products

If your games is very popular, you can license the characters in your games to some other derived product providers. For example, the company of Angry Birds sells licenses to some toy manufacturers.

Sell Your App Proprietary

Don't recommend it.

How To Select Models For Your Apps

No fixed rules, just some facts:

  • for a creative professional game, selling it as paid app in app markets is strongly recommended.
  • if your game has good repetitive play values, players will not be bored after playing your game many times, embedding advertisements and distributing it as a free game is a good strategy.
  • generally, a paid game will get much less downloads/plays than a free game, but the advertisement revenue of 2000 plays may be still less than selling one copy of paid game.
  • making 2 versions, one is paid and one is free but with advertisement embedded, is also a good option.
  • on PC, players rarely pay for a Flash single player online game.
  • "get a sponsor from yourself" is always a good strategy, either for paid apps and free apps. For example, putting a promotion link to your other apps in the main menu screen of any one of your apps. 1+1 > 2.

If there is any fixed rules, the following ones must be some of them:

  • be professional, on either graphics or user experience.
  • be creative, a great game should contain some unique ideas.