I initially started my RPG as a passion project driven solely by a desire to create a game that I know I’d like to play, and can only hope others will as well. It has gotten more attention than I thought it would, without even promoting it much, and as I spend more and more time and resources on this project, I’m beginning to consider something I never would’ve seen myself implementing before: Monetization.
Not to sound like I think I’m some big-shot or anything, but I believe in my project; I think it has the potential to gain a consistent playerbase if I invest in ads and sponsors, and if that happens, monetization could prove fruitful. The issue is I feel like I’m sacrificing the heart of my game here. I always disliked how blatantly money-grubbing and passionless some games can be, looking at you, obby-tycoon-simulator, microtransactions and gachas and whatnot are the bane of my existence. That isn’t to say I fault developers for making a living off of doing what they love, quite the opposite as I’m considering the same thing now, but I just feel scummy implementing something I know I’d be irritated by as a player.
On one hand, I would like to be rewarded financially for my hard work, but on the other, I don’t want my passion project to get lost in the sauce. I’m not looking to make a living off of this, but to someday be eligible for devex would be nice.
What non-intrusive, soft monetization methods might you suggest? As mentioned before, my project is a very heavily social-based roleplay game, but any and all suggestions are appreciated, applicable or not, it may give me other ideas. And also, are you easily annoyed by monetization? What do you advise against, what monetization techniques cause you to instantly click off of a game?
I am also curious as to your opinions on the ethics of monetizing games with such a prominent demographic of children, which is another reason I have been so hesitant to monetize my games, but that may be a better-suited topic for Development Discussion. In general, I’m not sure if this thread is better suited for here or Development Discussion, so do feel free to let me know if I’m barking up the wrong tree.