[Part 3] GameFi Research: Others Top Game Revenue Model


Please read Part 1 and Part 2 before coming to the Mobile/PC, VR/AR, and Cloud Game revenue model analysis, which will be implemented here.

Mobile/PC Game 

With the development of information technology, games are not only produced in the form of hard disks, but also in the form of software on the Internet. Thus, players can play the game right on their computer or phone by downloading it to the computer.

The reason for pooling games on Mobile and PC for analysis is because there are many similarities between games on these two types of devices, even though many games have identical versions on PC and Mobile.

Types of games on Mobile/PC

Below is a list of games with the highest average number of players in April 2022.

According to the above statistics, it can be clearly seen that the most popular game series on PC are:

  • Battle Royale: Competitive
  • MOBA/MMORPG: Community 
  • Sandbox: Be creative

And especially, most of the games mentioned above are free.

Why are Mobile/PC games popular?

With the explosion of the Internet and the need to own a personal computer and phone became mandatory. PC and mobile games are also following that trend and are occupying the majority of the market share today. 

Mobile/PC games introduce a new game concept “Freemium game”, allowing users to download and play the entire game completely for free. At the same time, the game still offers optional products that enhance the in-game experience better.

Compare Console and Mobile/PC Game about the 5 needs in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.

Through the above comparison, it can be seen that Mobile/PC games outperform Console games on the 1st and 3rd floors of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, thereby attracting significantly more players to participate.

Free-to-play revenue model

Unlike Console’s rather rigid one-time-purchase fee revenue model, the free-to-play model offers many ways to generate revenue, which is to create “paid content” and sell it. in the game app itself.

Paid content includes 2 main types:

  • Functional: Elements that affect the operation in the game.
  • Decorative: Visual elements.

During the early stages of free-to-play games from 2000-2010, Functional content was growing in popularity. For example, in a role-playing game (MMORPG), functional content helps players increase the coefficients of the characters in the game such as experience, level, strength, speed… Types of games with models as above are often called pay-to-win games, where the rich become the strongest and the best in the game.

From 2010 to now, game publishers began to think about “fairness” and “ethicality” in games, and functional content began to disappear, instead, most games provide a lot of “decorative content”. These games quickly attracted a large number of players, such as League of Legends, Fortnite, CS: GO…

In short, the free-to-play model helps to increase the number of players in the system as much as possible, and in the process of playing the game provides paid content that enhances the gaming experience. Whether or not to buy “paid content” is entirely up to the player’s decision, so players can control how much money they will accept to put into this game.

Free-to-play game developers also created a new way to monetize the game, which is to create in-game currency, thereby creating a small in-game economy and monetizing it.

VR/AR Game 

VR stands for Virtual Reality, which means virtual reality games, requiring more specialized devices such as stereoscopic glasses, headsets and other handheld control devices, to help players feel. Very realistic simulation through VR virtual reality technology. 

AR stands for Augmented Reality which means augmented reality game. For this game, players do not need to use support devices. They can observe the outside world right in the game. Therefore, players will not feel dizzy or nauseous. The AR gaming space is also large and unrestricted. Pokemon Go is the most famous game when it comes to AR games.

The very name VR / AR game is also a game genre, providing a completely different experience compared to other games. VR/AR games offer the ability to interact between players and virtual space. Going deeper, the most popular games are in the genre: Action and Adventure.

Revenue model of VR/AR games

Similar to consoles, VR/AR games require hardware devices. Nearly half of revenue comes from hardware sales.

Cloud Game 

Cloud gaming, also known as a cloud service, allows players to play any game they want on any device such as a phone, computer, or console without downloading, as long as that game must be supported by the service to play on another platform.

Simply put, the cloud gaming service is a place to run games, and then transmit images to the user’s device. The user device then only acts as a place to store images for playing games, so there is no need for too strong a configuration.

Instead, what players need to care about when using Cloud gaming is that the Internet connection must be smooth, with the fastest download speed possible to avoid lag or disconnection during the game.

Why are Cloud games so popular?

Good games, heavy on graphics and features in the game will of course have to have a large capacity. Therefore, the fact that players can play these games without spending too much is a great experience, saving a lot of money for game enthusiasts.

Cloud game revenue model

Normally, companies that provide cloud gaming services will charge a fixed fee per month, ranging from $10 – $60. 

Service providers can include Shadow, GeForce Now, Vortex…


(1) The Free-to-play, pay-for-convenience model has proven successful with PC/Mobile titles. 

(2) The rational development strategy of PC/Mobile games is to create a game with good content, without barriers to entry to attract users. Players when participating can choose to pay to help themselves stand out. The key is good game quality to attract users. 

(3) The console game market share is mainly focused on a few big names. Hardware (electronics, handles…) is their strong point and it is difficult for new names to compete. Console game sales are cyclical and heavily dependent on new titles. 

(4) There are gradually appearing games in new branches such as VR/AR games and cloud games. Although still new, VR / AR games and cloud games have their own unique selling points that other game branches do not have.

Further research will focus on GameFi, including what business model would be suitable for a gamefi and the issues surrounding it.

If you have any questions, comments, suggestions, or ideas about the project, please email [email protected].

DISCLAIMER: The Information on this website is provided as general market commentary and does not constitute investment advice. We encourage you to do your research before investing.

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