Revenue Models for Free To Play Games

Revenue Models for Free To Play Games

GigaOm links to a list of the Top 10 Revenue Models for Free To Play Games and illustrates seven ways to make money from MMOs.

I’m not really familiar with all of these business models but here are some very interesting figures from them:


  • Advertising Deals: 14.5 Million (Habbo Hotel, 7.5 million; RuneScape, 5 million; Gaia Online, 2 million)
  • Virtual Item/Currency Sales: 10.2 Million (Habbo Hotel, 7.5 million; Gaia Online, 2 million; Second Life, 500K; Puzzle Pirates, 200k)
  • Subscription: 10 Million (World of Warcraft, 9 million; Lineage I/II, 1 million)
  • Subscription Tier: 9.2 Million (RuneScape, 5 million; Club Penguin, 4 million; Puzzle Pirates, 200k)
  • Merchandise: 4 Million (Webkinz)
  • Expansion Packs: 2 Million (Guild Wars)
  • Virtual Land Sale/Use Fees: .5 Million (Second Life)

Korea’s Cyworld isn’t on the list but I think the 17 million members of their virtual world spend a lot of money on virtual items. This has even prompted the South Korean government to propose a tax on these transactions.

Club Penguin, on the other hand, recently got bought by Disney for $700 million big bucks — half of it in cash and the other half depending on future performance. Still, $350 M is huge money. Now you got some very Happy Feet!

Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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6 Responses

  1. GM Tristan says:

    Hi Yuga!

    Love the new look. Very interesting post about the business models. Nice insights. This would certainly help me, my blog and my company (Level Up), manage the games better.

    Speaking of Free-to-Play games, our hottest and fastest growing game, Perfect World is now in Open Beta. Your readers might want to check that out.


    GM Tristan

  2. pinoygames says:

    wow! that’s a lot. Wish my game site is that big. :)

  3. Hello if you like runescape check out runescape private servers!

  4. How did you do that? How much time are you spending to create this kind of posts?

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