NokFrt

Is it really so easy to make money on HTML5 games?

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Hi,

my name is Tomas and I work as a PC app developer (C#, WPF). Recently I read some articles about making HTML5 mobile games and how to make money from that. I like making games and I've made a lot of them in my life (I started making games on 8-bit ATARI when I was 11 years old, then on Amiga and after that on mobiles (J2ME)). After I read those articles I thought that I can try it too. So I googled best HTML5 games and what I found was a huge surprise for me. Almost all of these best games are really simple unpolished games. I mean these games look much worse than games I made 10 years ago in J2ME. How is it possible that someone in 2013 want to play these games in his/her mobile phone? I mean look at the app stores, there are hundreds of highly polished games which are free or cost just 1 euro and some of them have no more than 1000 downloads - so you can made a good looking game and don't earn anything.

 

So my question is: Is it really so easy to make money on HTML5 mobile games? I mean it can't take more than 2 weeks to make game like that, so you spend about 80 hours of your time and then you easily sell the game X times for 300 or more USD?

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Most of html5 game users are ios users. I think maybe they dont like their phone loaded with lot of crap game apps. Good thing about html5 games is you dont have to install it you an play from browser and if you dont like you can move on.

Hence lots of users try the game  atleast once. Even though games look crap when you play it once you will play it for few minutes. Also keep in mind begining of the app store there were crap games as you see on app store and even they use to sell for a 1$ each. But those were before app store was crowded with apps.

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Most of html5 game users are ios users. I think maybe they dont like their phone loaded with lot of crap game apps. Good thing about html5 games is you dont have to install it you an play from browser and if you dont like you can move on.

Hence lots of users try the game  atleast once. Even though games look crap when you play it once you will play it for few minutes. Also keep in mind begining of the app store there were crap games as you see on app store and even they use to sell for a 1$ each. But those were before app store was crowded with apps.

 

Yes, I understand that nobody wants his phone loaded with lot of crap. But there are really hundreds of iOS/Android games which are really good and can be easily found directly in app stores. On the other hand look at HTML5 games here: http://www.marketjs.com/browse/web-html5. I see 12 totally amateur games. None of them can be compared with proffesional native mobile game. None of them have some great idea or something like that. 

 

So if I make game like one those 12, will it be enough to sell it to some sponsors? Is it really possible to earn 2000 USD or more with game like that?

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None of them have some great idea or something like that.

 

always have to laugh when i read something like that, 98% of the games that pop out somewhere every year are somehow clones, not exactly 100% clones but they take ideas from existing games here and there

 

i once read a article called "steal like an artist", its all about getting inspired by others

if you can manage to create an unique game that dont remind you of another one then do it, but be sure you can make it quick and you can sell it and its really unique :>

 

as for html5 games, to make a living out of it and ensure it works on most mobile devices i prefer simple games, concepts that work and lovely details you add to make it a bit better and bit more unique

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Okay, so these games can't be compared to native ones. In terms of what? Graphics? Performance? Gameplay? Originality? Polishing?

 

I'm just wondering, because I myself play some HTML5 games, and though the quality is not as good as native ones, are way more fun to play than many native games.

 

And if you don't believe that there are actually people enjoying these games, maybe I could give you some numbers from my personal distribution, which I find very decent.

 

The HTML5 games I make are the ones I enjoy playing, nothing less, nothing more.

 

Oh and btw, I also think many of the games showed on the first page of MarketJS are not that good. I do enjoy several of them, but maybe you looking at the wrong place. Some developers here can do way better.

 

EDIT: Oh and I forgot, I don't like this new trend of people thinking only about making money. I make games for fun, and I hope to keep it this way.

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I think the comparison between html5 games and native apps isn't quite fair (or accurate). A better one would be comparing Flash games you play in the browser to games you download from Steam, Big Fish Games, etc. There are plenty of excellent free PC games to download, or some costing next to nothing - but that doesn't stop Flash games getting millions of plays a day. The existence of one market doesn't exclude the ability of another to earn income, as has been proven time and time again.

 

I have to agree with True Valhalla - you're too late if you want to make really crap games and sell them. Maybe a year ago, but you'll need to do better now in terms of presentation, mechanics, etc. Still the sort of thing you could knock out in a couple of weeks easily, but just ensure it has a better level of quality, graphics, etc. It's just the same as with Flash, when that started quite frankly you could sell anything (and lots of people did!) but now you need a really excellent game to stand a chance. Mobile browser games are maturing in a similar way, at a similar rate. The more experience you have in making games (and it sounds like you have plenty) means you won't need to waste time getting up to speed re: game logic and mechanics, all of your time will instead be spent fighting with what mobile browsers are actually capable of, and cross-device issues instead. Never under-estimate those ;)

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You're a bit late to the market if you expect the below-average games you listed to make $2000 each.

 

Agreed.

 

As for monetization, I made a game in 9 hours that has earned over $5000 so far.

 

Really? If you don't mind me asking, how many sponsors made up that $5k?

 

Sondar

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I wouldn't exactly say it's easy. You dont just make a game in 2 weeks and money starts flying at you. Making the game is probably only 30% of the work. You still have to hustle and sell your game to companies.

Never did. I'm quite satisfied with my revenue, but I know it could be waaaaaaaay higher if I contacted companies myself (I've just let them contact me so far).

 

So it's still possible to make money without hustling sponsors, but it's probably less efficient.

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I wouldn't exactly say it's easy. You dont just make a game in 2 weeks and money starts flying at you. Making the game is probably only 30% of the work. You still have to hustle and sell your game to companies.

 

And how hard is to sell your HTML5 games to companies? How should I proceed after I finish my first games? I read the article on Photon Storm website and the "Sponsors and Portals" topics on this forum and it seems to me that I have to publish my games on marketjs.com and  write emails to companies listed in "Sponsors and Portals" and offer them my games. And if the quality of my games will be enough, it will not be so hard to earn about 3000 USD on each game. Is this true, or am I wrong? Can someone show me how the average HTML5 game looks like? I saw your sites and tried your games (TrueValhalla, -AAG-, remvst, @99golems, ...). Do you have problems with selling your games these days or not, is the required quality by sponsors on this level?

 

As I said before, I've made some games for mobiles before. First I tried to publish these games by myself, but it was almost impossible to earn some money like that. Than I found a publisher, but still the money I earned didn't cover my expenses (I spent 2-2 months on each game at least and I had to pay for graphics and at the end the publisher paid me about 3000  USD and he had an exclusive licence from me). The only possibility was making crap advertising games for clients.

 

Here are some of my games I made for mobiles in J2ME and C++: 

http://1-easysoft.com/samples/storm06c.png

http://1-easysoft.com/samples/storm07c.png

http://1-easysoft.com/samples/Galatron_lvl2.avi

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.inlogic.superdogfree

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S26smT-lPhY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zk0dxbyCZ_0

http://1-easysoft.com/samples/warsheep1.png

 

I'm sorry for my (maybe strange) questions, but I'm trying to gather as much information as I can before I start doing something and lose more money. Ten years ago, it seemed that making money on J2ME is also so simple, but it turned out that make a good game is not enough, you need very good marketing and a lot of luck (only a few succeeded).

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Can someone show me how the average HTML5 game looks like? I saw your sites and tried your games (TrueValhalla, -AAG-, remvst, ...). Do you have problems with selling your games these days, is the required quality on this level?

Mine are probably below the quality level I would recommend. TV's portfolio might give you a better of idea of games that could be sold to sponsors.

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I'd say you've pretty much got it right NokFrt. You should have access to the sponsors board on this forum now, so just hit them all up with emails once your games are ready. Also don't forget to list it on FGL, I'm seeing quite a lot more sponsor interest on there these days and have sold a few html5 licenses there.

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So my question is: Is it really so easy to make money on HTML5 mobile games? I mean it can't take more than 2 weeks to make game like that, so you spend about 80 hours of your time and then you easily sell the game X times for 300 or more USD?

 

 

We were making HTML5 games since early 2011 and yes, some of our games are pretty simple while others are quite complex. Take a look at THIS VIDEO of our HTML5 social game for example (it's in Russian, but you'll get the idea). 

Making good polished game in HTML5 is way harder than in Flash or Android/iOS due to performance and compatibility issues on different browsers and devices.

Some guys are really managed to sell lot of very simple and unpolished games for decent money in couple of past years, exactly as it was with Flash 8-10 years ago. But situation is changing and if by "money" you mean some real money, not just few bucks then its definitely not that easy to make it with HTML5. And it's good news indeed.

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We (Bushido Games) entered the market in the right time I believe, and I will agree with Rich and True Valhalla. Today, you need to take care of quality of code and graphics. We market our games globally, and we managed to get attention of publishers and that gives us opportunity to work on higher number of better games to rise the revenues and attention of market. The coding and creations of graphics is just a part of process, finding and negotiating with publishers is other part which isn't a "piece of cake" :) I wouldn't compare natives and web mobile games - pointless, this is totally different process of creation and distribution. 

 

Check out our current portfolio to see some examples, how simple, HTML5 game would look like to gain interest of publishers: http://m.bushidogames.com

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It seems that everyone is making simple games with simple well known mechanics, but with extremely well done graphics with a theme. Is that really the best way to make money with html5 games? And just by the way, do you think publishers would want a game like the one in my signature?

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I haven't thought much about the HTML5 market, but it seems like you guys are highly successful with these simple games. Haha, I might even jump into the market. Better late than never! 

 

As for monetization, I made a game in 9 hours that has earned over $5000 so far. Just 2 weeks ago, I made a game in 48 hours that earned over $1000 within 48 hours. So yes, there's plenty of money to be made.

 

I've been wondering, did you make that much through only sponsorships? Did you monetize it with ads?

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It seems that everyone is making simple games with simple well known mechanics, but with extremely well done graphics with a theme. Is that really the best way to make money with html5 games? And just by the way, do you think publishers would want a game like the one in my signature?

 

 unsquare is kinda cool, bet there are enough sponsors who are willing to buy that game

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It seems that everyone is making simple games with simple well known mechanics, but with extremely well done graphics with a theme. Is that really the best way to make money with html5 games? And just by the way, do you think publishers would want a game like the one in my signature?

 

I really agree with this .From what i play html5 games so far those are just same game with more beautiful theme and graphic the mechanic of the game is the same

I really dont know what to do I am currently create html5 games for sponsorship but i dont know which way to go graphic? of Game mechanic?

 

Sorry for my bad english

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I really agree with this .From what i play html5 games so far those are just same game with more beautiful theme and graphic the mechanic of the game is the same

I really dont know what to do I am currently create html5 games for sponsorship but i dont know which way to go graphic? of Game mechanic?

Well, so far I haven't been doing very original games, and I still keep my ugly graphics, and I won't complain about their success.

 

I like to believe that a simple gameplay, when done right, can be more successful than a game with beautiful graphics and an empty core. And I think the same for AAA games, I'd rather play a simple but good old Counter Strike than a modern Call of Duty.

Graphics just need to tell a story.

 

About the games being all the same, actually I think that two games, with the same concept, made by two different developers will both be worth a try. There are always small differences that make both enjoyable. For example, Gogogoat and Doodle Jump share the same concept, but I do enjoy both. Because you like Call of Duty doesn't mean you can't like Battlefield, or that one is better in every way than the other.

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I wouldn't exactly say it's easy. You dont just make a game in 2 weeks and money starts flying at you. Making the game is probably only 30% of the work. You still have to hustle and sell your game to companies.

This is so true, at least the first time, in my case was like 10% making the game 90% all the other work.

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