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Different Ways Developers Earn Money through Games

The video game industry has surpassed the film industry by 2020 and that explains the tons of money that’s made by the video game industry every year. The yearly turnover being over $140 billion makes us wonder there can’t be a single way that developers earn money through. So it is, the process of earning money from video games isn’t as simple as the DVD sales.

Video games are definitely costly, but the turnover is even better if the game is to stay in the market for a while. There used to be a time when DVD sales were the main source of income for a video game but as time has progressed, the internet has taken over and being online has got more possibilities than the physical world that we live in. The video game industry evolved as digitalization took over the world and that is the key to the success of video games these days.

In-Game Purchases

Developers today earn a nice amount of money from a game in many different ways and the most prominent one today is the in-game items that are sold at online marketplaces and different portals. As online gaming took the world by storm, the golden era for developers had already started and from smallest to biggest, the developers have made the most out of the opportunity.

Online games today operate through a market mechanism that gives a more personalized touch to the gameplay and makes it easier for players to play as they see fit. Selling different items including cosmetics like CSGO skins and other FPS titles has been an effective way to squeeze money out of players.

From weapons to party hats and weird costumes, the stores have it all and players don’t think twice before spending their hard-earned real-world money into the games for a better experience which makes it a strong source of income for video games. The everyone’s known game World of Warcraft recently launched its recent expansion and every player is buying Cataclysm Gold.

However, the digitalization has also affected the developers pretty negatively too. Piracy is the ultimate nightmare for developers and even in an age where online systems are thought to have the tightest security system; there are people who still are able to crack it.

Good old Hard Copies

The traditional way of earning through DVDs is still intact and more prominent in consoles like PS and Xbox Series. Can’t say it’s much popular in PC gaming these days as different platforms like steam have taken over where you can buy almost any of the games you would want right from the comfort of your couch.


Another way that is often overlooked is, developers earning through merchandise. There have been plenty of chartbusting video games that ended up releasing different clothing lines exclusively featuring the game and its characters. From apparel to mini games like the famous card game Gwent from Witcher 3 ended up having a real-world physical existence and are being sold widely.

We have seen different industries like the film industry and apparel industry merging with the gaming industry lately, and that opens a whole lot of opportunities for the developers to earn in ways that weren’t possible a decade ago.

Games like PUBG and Fortnite are earning billions in Microtransactions alone and in the past few years we have seen a lot of independent developers going big from the scratch and that is probably the best thing to happen to the industry and to the gamers alike.

The freshness of ideas in the world of video games is what the industry is solely about. We have experienced big franchises become big flops because of the repetition of elements that were used a decade ago. Personally, being a Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed franchise fan, it’s sad to see the story quite applies to both of Ubisoft’s biggest franchises.

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