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Level 7

Game Monetization

I'm part of a small game developer and we're looking to develop games for the Roku which seems well underserved compared to other TV streaming platforms.

I wanted to ask the following.

Can we monetize our games using Roku's ad platform?

Have developers been able to make a living out of paid for games?

Are there any ideas of the most popular games with approximate player numbers?

Thanks!

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4 Replies
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Level 10

Re: Game Monetization

Other developers may have different stories but this is my experience.

You can monetize games with RAF but you will need to have your own ad provider. From what I have been told, Roku ad partners are not interested in placing ads on games. 

I have seen very little revenue generated from "paid for" games. Certainly not enough to make a living. Of course the answer to "Make a living" is different around the world.

Since the Roku channel store game page has been static for years and new games are only added to the bottom of the list. Visibility for games becomes an issue. I imagine that only the developers with games above the fold are having the best success with game install and plays. Unless you have deep pockets to place an ad on the Roku home screen or have other means to promote your games it will be difficult to grow your install base.

I have 10 published games (most ad supported) and total revenue would barely cover the grocery bill on a good month month. (New game coming soon, hopefully February)

That said, I encourage more quality games on the Roku. If you want to make games for the Roku do it out of love for the Roku device and fun/challenge of making games, not solely for financial gain...

 

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Level 7

Re: Game Monetization

Thank you for replying! 

What games have you made?

It sounds like the visibility issue would be so easy to fix, if it were a priority for them. Is this the case with other channel listings or just games?

 

 

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Level 10

Re: Game Monetization

https://channelstore.roku.com/details/259461/run-cmd

https://channelstore.roku.com/details/65222/color-swap-n-drop

Are my most popular games. I know there is more I could and should be doing to publicizing and building an audience for the games.

Discovery/Visibility is also likely an issue with video channels as some categories have 1000 plus items in them. You will notice a trend of well funded channels at the top of each category.  The only thing I don't know is if there is some sort of curation or algorithm for placement for the less well funded channels.  I know there is not one for the games category. All new games get added to the bottom of the list regardless of quality or popularity.  I have not seen a re-sort in several years.

I don't think Roku take games seriously.  There was a brief moment when I though Roku was going to make a push for games with the release of a motion controller, an "Angry Birds" branded device and an agreement with Namco to put Pacman and Galaga even Tetris was on Roku (which is no longer available along with angry birds.)  There was also a path for games developed in unity (granted it was an expensive path.) But Roku no longer seems to be interested dropped the unity path, not advocating for ad partners to display ads on games. Life was good when they were.

What games does your company make? What games are you thinking of bringing to roku? 

 

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Level 7

Re: Game Monetization

Wow, you've made a bunch of games for Roku. Run Cmd is lovely btw, lots of game types, I'm impressed by the parallax scrolling, and the various tape graphics are cool!

Honestly even with the games it seems there is some variation (at least in UK) possibly influenced by downloads, but visibility is obviously difficult. If it's not profitable to advertise a game, it's probably not worth doing. Unfortunately with my research I've still not seen any adverts in the games, that are supposed to be supported by adverts. I expect some of this is due a normal January downturn in advertising availability but still that doesn't bode well.

We generally make solitaire and domino games, but are currently looking at making puzzle and word games. The company is Glowing Eye Games. 

I was thinking trivia games seem popular on TV boxes, but it does look like making something specifically for Roku is probably not a good business idea.

The other prolific Roku developer RomansIXIV seems to have converted their games to other formats. They're pretty good too. 

It sounds like your revenues have actually gone down over time. 

 

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