Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Business Administration, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran

2 Ph.D. Candidate in Business Administration, Allameh Tabataba'i, Tehran, Iran

3 Faculty of Management, Allameh Tabataba'i University, Tehran, Iran


Mobile games are getting a lot of attention as a content-based sector of the digital economy. Especially considering "Free with In-App Purchase" as the mainstream business model of these games, designing the right economic structure to monetize the content of mobile games is crucial. However, there is limited knowledge about the mechanisms of persuading users to pay for in-game content and most of the studies are merely focused on the revenue models. Due to this knowledge gap, this study attempts to aggregate the game monetization methods into a multi-level classification and focus on identifying the main content monetization mechanics of five genres: Arcade, Sport, Puzzle, Racing, and Platformer/ Runner. For this purpose, interviews were conducted by game design and economics experts about successful mobile games. As a result, a new multi-level classification for mobile games revenue models is proposed which includes monetization via selling core items, selling performance items, and providing supplementary services in addition to retailing and in-game advertising. It also became clear that monetization mechanics for each of these methods vary in different genres and change depending on the type of game. The results of this study can be useful for digital game researchers, designers, and marketeers to structure a better revenue stream.


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