The time when one could develop an app, set a price for it and watch the digits of his bank account grow are long gone. Today, more than 90% of all apps on the App Store are distributed free of charge. Most developers are switching their monetization models to Freemium, offering users In App Purchases. This model turned out to be quite effective for some developers.

This is why we believe that a new trend in monetization should soon emerge on the mobile market. We call it a complex monetization system.

By complex monetization system we mean a system of mutually integrated products that support each other in all distribution channels.

Here's an example: you have the original game and a couple of sequels. When you are doing a promo for one of these products, whether it be, buying traffic, doing PR campaigns or price drops, other products from the series also tend to grow in downloads and sales.

An illustration of this tendency can be observed on a real life case of Infinity Blade 2.


Epic Games made a major price drop for the game to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the App Store. Thanks to the price drop of the company's flagship product, the publishers were able to gain huge traffic volumes to all their satellite products from Infinity Blade Series. According to Chair Entertainment, the sales of the original $5,99 version of Infinity Blade increased by 2,5 times compared to the results of the week prior to the price drop. Also, the company reported a 70% sales increase of the original book, based on the scenario of Infinity Blade, priced at $2,99.

Looking at this case, we can point out that developers should aim at complex cross promotion of apps within one's series or portfolio. Basically, everyone is doing so already and there is pretty much nothing new about such approach.

But if we talk about a meaningful pricing and promotional actions between a series of projects, that might sound like something new to most developers. For example, if the leading product is being featured on the App Store, one should not only raise the prices for In-App-Purchase in it, but also inside other games from the series as more traffic volumes can be expected there as well.

One could also immediately arrange the sales of digital content based on the story of the game.

Though there is a problem with such kind of monetization: You need a hit game and a lot of cash. If you do have a hugely popular game - you may consider such method, but if you don't, you may want to think twice before choosing the complex monetization method.

Recent initiatives by EA and Rovio - all fall into this theory. In order to make more money on the release of the second part of Plants vs. Zombies, EA has released a standalone comics application, based on the story of the game. The Finnish company, in turn, said that after the release of Angry Birds Star Wars II on mobile platforms September 19, the original version of Angry Birds Star Wars will be released on all consoles on October 29. It is clear that this will increase the sales of mobile versions of mobile Angry Birds.

by Dmytro Bilkun