The casual gaming powerhouse, Nickelodeon’s AddictingGames, plans to monetize its 34 million MAUs by adding a virtual currency platform, in addition to its existing ad-based model. Free to play models seem to be affecting everyone from game developers to portals alike, and with thousands of developers contributing games, this move should help boost revenue tremendously for Nickelodeon’s property.
Players will be able to purchase virtual goods within the games that support them. Since most developers lack the resources to implement a virtual currency system, not to mention analytics and other features important for monetization, AddictingGames will help reduce those efforts and turn it into a plug and play solution. Venturebeat reports that AddictingGames began work on this platform half a year ago and is doing it in-house to customize the platform to its liking.
In addition to monetization, virtual goods model increase engagement because players have a vested interest in the game upon purchasing virtual currency, tapping into the psychological principle of commitment. Many other companies, such as Real Network’s GameHouse and the notable Mindjolt Games that was recently acquired by Myspace, are going to be offering similar solutions to their developers and working with them on the ground up.
With the virtual economy rising to over $1.6 billion in the US and the competition heating up, it will be interesting to see where developers go to publish their games and what kind of deals they negotiate. One question does come to mind as we think about these publisher models: will these companies adopt Facebook Credits and if they do, will they see an increase in revenues?