I’m developing couple of flash game content. I want to know how does revenue sharing happens with flash games. Do we really have to sell the game to a portal? In that case the portal will have all the rights of the game? Can we sell game lisence? I mean I let the portal use my game but not give all the rights of game to them. In this case I guess I can sell same game to different portals. Right??
Can someone guide me in this regard? What are the portals I can contact? What is avg. selling price of a flash game? Once I sell flash game, can I port same game on another platform (mobile may be) and resell?
The ArcadeTown page spells it all out and that's standard for all the free Flash game sites. Once you've been "sponsored" by a site that's it, you can't sell it any more and it must remain free online. Also, when you see the "we pay $50 - $1,200 per game" I'm sure you know which end of the spectrum they really pay at.
I'm not trying to steer anyone away from sponsorships (in fact I plan to do a few myself) but be aware that if you take longer than a week to make your game you will be losing money. That's why 99% of free flash games suck total ass.
If you are talking about packaging a game to sell through a portal then, yes, you can sell the same game through multiple sites but you don't sell to anyone in that case. The game is yours, the portal merely presents it to their audience for a 70% sales commission :)
I don't like the whole sponsorship thing - at least not the exclusive aspect. Especially since the games are generally "sponsored" for as little as possible. There are other options though - the main one being simply to get people to license the game. You still have to stick logos and intros and whatnot into your game but you can license it multiple times.
My day job is at miniclip.com, we don't sponsor games, but are happy to work out deals with developers. If the game is really special we may work out an exclusive deal, but it will be for more than the $1200 offered here.
Depending how good your web game is, don't rule out putting it on your own site and placing ads. I've made over 5 figures with my golf web game in a year's time. If I did sponsorships, I probably would have only made a tenth of that amount or much less.
Also, you could just sponsor your own game. Place links to your website within your game and give your Flash game away for free to any site that will take it. You probably won't see much direct ad revenue from the game because it will be everywhere, but you'll drive quite a bit of traffic to your site.
To be honest, I wouldn't do a sponsorship unless it only took you about a week or two to make the game. Otherwise, it won't be cost effective or really beneficial to you.
In terms of revenue, the two main viable options I see are licensing your game and placing the game on your site with ads. Licensing is somewhat similar to ArcadeTown's sponsorship except that you're free to license the game to as many sites as possible and do custom brandings. You can negotiate for one site to pay you $500 for a branded version, with another site for $700 and etc. Though it'll get harder to license your game once it appears all over the place.
The other option is placing the game on your site with ads. If your game catches on, you can make a lot of money this way. The downside is that you need to have fairly solid hosting in place. Your site will eat through bandwidth if one of the larger sites link to (or leech from) you. If you're not prepared your site can either be shutdown or you could end up with huge hosting fees depending on your server provider. This is why a lot of small Flash bedroom coders are happy to practically give their games away. They're content to gain some name recognition meanwhile other larger sites profit off their work.
Overall, I think it's hard to make money off small web games unless your development is really streamlined. Also, there's just so many flash games out there that it takes something special to get noticed. You have to strike the right balance between making your game distinct and of decent quality while keeping your development schedule relatively short.
Personally I think multiplayer web games are the next big wave...
EDIT: BinaryMoon beat me to the punch. That's what I get for sitting on the reply page for too long. :)
Thank you all for the information.
When we sell a flash game to multiple portals, how do they determine “sale” of a particular game? I mean in case of portals having subscription and/or ad based revenue model, how do they compute revenue generated by a particular game. And how do they share this data with developer?
Uh where did that magic # mentioned above come from (scratches head)? Not mentioned on our site, nor is that range valid (get what you pay for and all).
Licensing, sponsorship, or traffic/adsense driver to developer's home page are common options. At the high end is advergame development but won't cover that as doubt it's what your looking at. Licensing is typically a one time fee but a very select few sites may do annual fees or even ad revenue share (very uncommon). We license or sometimes sponsor. If we sponsor it's only exclusive to sponsorship and the developer may still sell licenses to other sites to earn extra revenue.
Problem with licensing model is there's few sites that license anymore. We started life by licensing our games but long ago abandonded that model after .com bubble burst.
So, what about Java games (applets)? Or are these sponsoring/licensing models only for flash games?
I have a hard time finding a business model for my Bubblomania java game :(
We both know for sure that no one other licensee wouldn't accept the game with links to another website - this is point number one in any such agreement. Life would be too simple if this would be possible.
And I agree with Kyle and others - these obvious tricks are one of the main reasons why Flash gaming area is flooded by teen "half-made" games. But everyone gets what he deserves.
PS I bet that ball park figures are close to valid. Most of another websites use them. Want to share your ones if they are so different? :)
My two cents,
That's hilarious! When I initially researched the sponsorship racket just about every site (and I'm reasonably sure ArcadeTown was one of them, because I wrote down the pay ranges listed) had the pay range posted on their sponsorship FAQs. Now almost none of them do. Isn't that interesting?
For the record, the few sites that still list a pay range like Arcade Street still show the $100 - $1,200 range, which was universal to all the sites I researched. If ArcadeTown pays more than that I'd love to hear it :)
Please don't put words in our mouths, we have never displayed an amount on our site. What other sites offer is their business. It's game by game negotiation and we tend to target considerably more as you get what you pay for. Plus the good developers know there's many offerings these days so amounts have gone up. It's virtually a negative return market now as prices have gone up meanwhile there's a huge overabundance of games (did I say huge, I meant HUGE!) making it harder than ever to get eyeballs.
Andy, you are correct and we don't require our sponsorship links/logos in sold licenses. That would make no sense. Look at GunRun on Miniclip for example. As always we help developers maximize their possible revenue.
Also, you'll probably struggle getting a Java web game distributed. Some sites do carry them, but many don't. A lot of these so-called webmasters have very little actual web admin skills and just plug stuff into a Content Management System. For small web games, Flash really is your best bet.
As for licensing/sponsorship rates, I looked into it early last year and what KNau quoted seems to be about the average. Some Advergames and fully branded games went for more but typical licensing deals went for $1200 or below. Usually far below.
As already mentioned places like MiniClip and Shockwave.com will offer a lot more. Though MiniClip's standards have risen quite a bit and Shockwave.com almost always wants their web games to be exclusive.
Some alternative links
mochiads seems interesting, they are on the right sort of track after all
Personally I'm playing with the following idea.
Using http://www.projectwonderful.com as an ad market place, then injecting the current winning ads in game, in real time.
I doubt it will make any real moneys but I just like the idea of auctioning off virtual billboards and more importantly. This way round nobody is telling you what you can or cant do and everyone is free to walk away at any point.
You know, independent like.
I'm already doing it simply with a basic text ad, which is really just a test, but specific images in game is my next step.
Doesn't have to be done in flash, any "real" game that requires net connection could do the same and its a transparent system even if they did just break the way 0 bid ads work.
Right now PW is very web comic focused due to network effect and the founders having web comic contacts. It is also probably best to think of it as a banner trading network rather than way of making moneys.
Best way to make money off Flash games is build something really fun, then sell re-skins to major brand clients.
I've switched to the user account "Spore Man".
Don't PM this account.