20 Essential Social Game Monetization Tools That Every Game Should Use

When it comes to monetization, there are few different types of players in the space such as offer, payment and micropayment solution providers. Each company brings its own talents and value add to the table but in the end there's not enough room for all the players.

When it comes to monetization, there are few different types of players in the space such as offer, payment and micropayment solution providers. Each company brings its own talents and value add to the table but in the end there’s not enough room for all the players. Many companies will fail or consolidate in this space. The following is a list of most of the players in the monetization arena and please let us know in the comments below names of companies we may have left out.

Offer companies

Offer companies have special offers, surveys, video offers, shopping rewards and tasks that users can do in order to earn virtual currency. These types of offers best relate to those users who do not want to purchase virtual currency directly or are unable to do so. These offers are usually packaged in a branded i-frame that game developers can plug-in to their game, although this does create a disjointed experience for the user as they have to leave the game to a third party in order to earn virtual currency.

To minimize this disruptive practice, offer companies have begun providing in-game integrations of offers with customized looks that allow developers to blend them nicely within their game’s environment. Companies offer XML and JSON feeds for complete custom integration capabilities that can lead to a 150-200% increase in revenues. Companies are also looking to target online players with specific offers within the context of the game, through the promotion of game items and discounts on buying virtual currency.

The standard cut is 80-20, 80 percent of the users’ price paid goes to the publisher and 20 percent goes to the offer provider. These rates are always negotiated on a per publisher basis based on metrics such as volume. Many claim to be the best at what they do but everything should be tested. A/B testing allows developers to find out which provider has the best eCPMs. In the end all companies are competing for the same top affiliates and publishers as well as offers.

TapJoy

Tapjoy is the leader in monetization and distribution services for social and mobile gaming applications, MMOs, virtual worlds, social platforms and other publishers selling virtual goods or premium digital assets.

Our alternative payment solutions enable developers to increase payment conversions and generate incremental revenue, while our cross-platform distribution channel delivers cost-effective user acquisition and re-engagement services across Yahoo, Google, Windows Live and other leading web sites and containers.

What sets them apart

Distribution on social and mobile web platforms; lowest pay per install acquisition for smart phones starting at $0.35.

Developers pay per install starting at $0.35 for free apps and 50 percent of the cost for paid apps.

Super Rewards

Super Rewards, owned by AdKnowledge, is a leading provider of monetization solutions for online games and social networks. The Super Rewards “offer wall” delivers highly targeted advertising offers to millions of global Web site and social network users. The platform seeks to maximize revenues for developers while allowing users to earn virtual currency in exchange for signing up for free products or trial offers.

What sets them apart

Super Rewards offers plenty of options for developers including an offer wall, in-game overlays, and an offer banner; relation with AdKnowledge might also mean access to a larger inventory.

Boomerang Networks

Boomerang Networks is pioneering the next generation of digital goods monetization and CPA offers. Our team has extensive experience inn eCommerce, social networking, online gaming, and payment systems. Boomerang Networks’ headquarter is located in San Francisco, CA.

Boomerang Networks is the only monetization platform to incorporate social feedback, user reviews and audience preferences to optimize our proprietary ad targeting algorithms. This ensures that your users are served the most relevant offers available for a high quality user experience.

What sets them apart

Great international offer inventory with multi-lingual ad translation; users can rate and review offers.

Sometrics

Founded in 2007 and based in El Segundo, Calif., Sometrics helps publishers monetize online games through virtual currency with the industry’s most advanced in-game payment and optimization platform and consumer digital goods marketplace.

With Sometrics, game publishers gain a new revenue source that enhances existing payment methods and increases conversions among paying users. Partners span many genres of online gaming, with top names like Playdom, Nexon America, PopCap, Bigpoint, IMVU and more.

What sets them apart

Enhance existing payment methods by allowing multi-variate testing of offer walls from diff. companies such as Super Rewards with user lock-in so a user only sees a wall from one provider and hence avoids filling out the same offer from 2 different offer providers; High e-CPM’s over $700 for major partners; live chat support for users.

Ultrawall

tmpSocial’s offerwall product is powered by thousands of direct offers from our parent company, Epic Media Group – the largest brand and direct response ad network powering offers across every social monetization platform. Having an established organization with massive advertiser reach means we can deliver top-tier brand offers at the highest payouts in the industry. Combined with our optimization technology and innovative direct payment solutions UltraWall will provide a solid base for growing your virtual economy and monetizing user.

What sets them apart

Direct brand relations that equal better pay outs.

Sponsorpay

SponsorPay is the European market leader in the field of virtual currency monetization for online games, social apps, virtual worlds and social networks.

What sets them apart

Largest reach in Europe especially because of Gratispay acquisition.

gWallet

Consumers are spending an increasing amount of time on social media sites like Facebook, creating a huge opportunity for both brand advertisers and social media application developers.

Our mission is to link advertisers and developers and help them reach the right consumers at the right time. For advertisers, we provide targeted advertising opportunities across a wide range of games and applications on Facebook and other platforms. For game developers, we deliver ads and offers from top brands using new and innovative formats such as video, which gWallet pioneered.

What sets them apart

Focus is mostly outside of Facebook; innovative offerings and high quality brand relations.

Trial Pay

TrialPay makes developers more money by presenting their online consumers with relevant promotions at every stage of the purchase process. TrialPay pioneered the transactional marketing model more than four years ago and has served over 70 million users and 10,000 merchants and publishers, including many of the world’s most well-known software and casual and social gaming brands. TrialPay was recently granted three U.S. patents for its unique methods and systems for alternative payments. A vocal advocate for quality standards and transparency in the industry, TrialPay is the only independent monetization platform that has consistently upheld an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

What sets them apart

High quality offers and strong brand relations; Long term experience in the space; Chosen as one of the official offer providers to work with Facebook Credits; Have a product called DealSpot that lets developers target players with specific offers based on in-game performance.

Peanut Labs

Peanut Labs is an innovative technology company that has been leading the way in social media market research for the past 3 years. Founded in 2007 by Chief Executive Officer Ali Moiz, President Murtaza Hussain, Chief Operating Officer Noman Ali and Chief Technology Officer Prosper Nwankpa, Peanut Labs enables companies to gather quality data for market research by embedding surveys into leading networks and applications.

What sets them apart

Market leader in providing surveys; clean offers.

Gambit

In 2007, the founders of Gambit Labs began building online games, eventually reaching over 7 million users. We had the same problem you have…making money. So we built all the tools we needed to help users pay for our games. Our users loved it. We loved it. So we thought we’d allow a few friends to use it. Surprisingly (even to us), the developers and their users liked it too. And Gambit was born.

What sets them apart

Lots of offers.

DoubleDing

DoubleDing is a leader in social network monetization. We turn virtual currencies into real dollars for publishers of online applications and games. By engaging consumers with targeted, high quality offers in exchange for points or virtual wealth, we help you achieve a twofold advantage: increased customer satisfaction and an ongoing, lucrative revenue stream.

Our offers are carefully selected among the most reputable and well branded advertisers, targeted to millions of local and international social network users, and seamlessly integrated across multiple platforms. As a result, a partnership with DoubleDing yields a strong loyal customer base and the highest RPMs around.

What sets them apart

Reputable advertisers on their offer network.

Cost

AdParlor

AdParlor is the leader in managing large facebook campaigns. We offer a full-service solution and manage advertising on Facebook Ads (right-hand-column) for the majority of the large spenders on the platform. While we bring on all types of advertisers, we specialize in growing facebook applications – having delivered well over 20 Million installs on a CPI (cost per install) model.

What sets them apart

Their core competency lies more in delivering installs and less on offers;

TokenAds

The TokenAds solution is an ad-based micro payment platform for online credit based games, MMOs, communities and social applications. The platform allows users to earn in-game credits by engaging with top tier local brands and sponsors.

What sets them apart

Localized ads for international regions like Europe, Middle East, Latin America, Australia and Asia

SupersonicAds

SupersonicAds is the International leader in International virtual currency monetization for online games, virtual worlds and social networks. The company’s customizable, plug and play payment platform gives consumers the opportunity to earn virtual currency for free by completing targeted offers, watching video branded ads, and engaging with leading brands. The platform provides complete transparency into every user, transaction and offer and visibility into the offer inventory. With the widest offer coverage in over 200 countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America, the company helps publishers achieve the industry’s highest effective CPMs. The company is headquartered in London, UK, with satellite offices in the US and Israel.

What sets them apart

Great for international monetization; offer a mobile monetization platform as well.

AppDog

AppDog is a virtual currency monetization platform for publishers of social games on Facebook and the iPhone. With the AppDog iPhone app, users are awarded virtual currency when they install and run one of our featured iPhone apps. Developers of iPhone apps can promote their apps with us on a pay-per-install basis through our self-serve portal.

What sets them apart

Offer both web and mobile monetization capabilities

Payment Service Providers

Payment providers give users the ability to purchase virtual currency from within the game. These transactions can take place through offer walls (most offer walls have a variety of payment options for different users with varying purchasing habits and geographic locations) and can also take place in-game. Some of these payment solutions can also come white label, unlike the branded approach of offer companies.

Its important to have various payment options available to your users. Most payment options come with PayPal and Credit Card options, as well as mobile options. Picking the ones that offer coverage in the most countries is important so you can monetize a wider user base.

Most direct payment methods are slightly complex to break-down in terms of costs but generally they take a 5 percent cut of all transactions.

Paypal

PayPal is the faster, safer way to pay and get paid online. The service allows members to send money without sharing financial information, with the flexibility to pay using their account balances, bank accounts, credit cards or promotional financing. With more than 87 million active accounts in 190 markets and 24 currencies around the world, PayPal enables global ecommerce. PayPal is an eBay company and is made up of three leading online payment services: the PayPal global payment service, the Payflow Gateway and Bill Me Later. The company’s open payment platform, PayPal X, allows developers to build innovative payment applications on multiple platforms and devices.

What sets them apart

One of the longest players in the industry that revolutionized the online payment space.

Cost

Paypal’s soon to be launched new solution’s fee structure will take a cut of 5 percent plus 5 cents for digital goods and content purchases under $12, which the company claims is “lower than the fees typically charged by payment processors in the digital goods industry.”

Allopass

Founded in 2001, Allopass is a leading global payments provider for digital goods and services. Processing over 8 million transactions a month, Allopass covers 55 countries and offers a comprehensive payments wall including Premium SMS, Phone billing, the innovative Hipay ewallet and local solutions such as Prepaid Cards, ISP billing, Cash payments, Bank Transfer, etc.

What sets them apart

Strong in Europe; provide pay by phone and SMS services; secure transactions.

Cost

Variable commissions

Boku

BOKU is creating the standard for online payments using your mobile phone, making it easy to pay for digital goods and social experiences across the web. With a strong focus on reliability and security, BOKU’s goal is to bring bank-grade payments technology and mobile users together on the web, creating a trusted, viable and accessible market for consumers, publishers and carriers alike. Based in San Francisco with offices in Europe, Asia and Latin America, BOKU reaches over 2 billion consumers worldwide, and is funded by leading Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and venture capitalists Benchmark Capital, Index Ventures and Khosla Ventures.

What sets them apart

Largest international reach in terms of countries covered

Cost

Roughly 5 percent of every transaction

Zong

Zong is the leading mobile payments platform for sellers of digital goods and services. Its frictionless payment experience converts shoppers into buyers at rates up to 10 times greater than traditional payment methods. Zong leverages direct connections with mobile network operators around the world to provide a secure payment solution with unrivaled connectivity and service quality. Zong is the mobile payment provider for Facebook Credits and also works with hundreds of leading destination sites, such as Gaia Online, IMVU and Playdom.

What sets them apart

Approved by Facebook as a way to purchase fb credits; relations with 220 carriers in close to 50 countries

Cost

Roughly 5 percent of every transaction

Fortumo

Fortumo Ltd, founded in 2007 with offices in Europe (Tartu, Estonia) and US (Sunnyvale, California), provides a simple mobile payment platform for internet entrepreneurs and app developers to monetize online games, social networks and mobile applications. In 2009, Mobile Monday awarded Fortumo as one of the TOP20 mobile startups in the world and TechCrunch features Fortumo in its list of the TOP100 most interesting startups in Europe.

What sets them apart

Fast turn around on account activation; focus on small to medium sized businesses as well

Cost

Roughly 5 percent of every transaction