unstable level with falling bits

Making money from BotSumo without being evil

I’m still trying to understand the audience of my BotSumo game, as analytics for apps don’t seem to have the detail about the type of audience as we’re permitted with web analytics. From what I’ve gathered, most of the players are young, and I’m gathering that from user reviews saying they enjoy to play at school, or play with siblings. Also from videos like this:

(There’s more videos here). So when I decided to try and see if I could make some money out of this hobby, and see if there was potential for more, I didn’t want to just slap a pay barrier on the app, and force people to pay for a new version, because that would be pointless, I’m guessing most of the audience won’t have credit cards linked to their Google Play accounts. They’re kids! It has to be free.

So instead I went down the route of adding adverts. I still feel a bit weird about that, because adverts can be pretty scummy. Although I like to think I’m doing it in the best way possible for these 2 reasons:

  • I chose Unity ads – which shows adverts for other games, which should be at least be relevant – unlike when I’m watching TV and get an advert for tampons. I’m a guy! It’s totally pointless that advert is being shown to me.
  • The adverts can be skipped – I always think this should be the case.
  • Some of the adverts are opt-in – I have made one type of robot, the “CogBot” unlockable only by watching an advert. This is probably the coolest (IMO) robot, so I think is a good reward for sitting and watching an advert.

I also created a paid version of the game, with all levels and robots unlocked, for people who don’t mind spending a small amount of money, but who wouldn’t like to watch an advert.

I’m hoping that I’ve done this in a way which isn’t evil, and still allows people to enjoy the game.