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Getting the monetization strategy wrong at the start was critical for one mobile developer.

At our Unsung Heroes event at Casual Connect in Amsterdam, we asked five developers to pitch their games. These were all great games which had missed their potential in the app stores. We wanted to learn from these developers’ experiences and see if we could find ways to help them overcome the challenges they face.

First up was Benoît Freslon whose Unsung Hero game was Rolling Jump [App Store link ]. This is a skill game where players have to jump from one spinning wheel to another to get as high as possible. It is a die and retry game, accessible to everyone, and has excellent graphics and sound.

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Benoît told us that he had started as a developer of Flash games where he had learnt it was important to keep things simple.

“I just made games and put them on the web,” he said. But with mobile development he struggled. “I didn’t know the mobile market. It’s difficult to find a publisher.”

Monetization

One of Benoît’s biggest problems was making money from his game. He started with two versions: a lite and a premium. With the lite version, the game only allowed players to reach a certain altitude and then they were encouraged to pay for the unrestricted premium version.

But the model wasn’t generating income and so Benoît made the premium version free and tried to earn revenue from in-app purchases.

“We tried the freemium model,” he explained, “but we were too late.”

By that stage the game had already received reviews based on the lite/premium versions.

Lessons learned

Benoît says you need a good publisher and you need to listen to what they say if you want to get your monetization strategy right.

“Find the right publisher. A bigger publisher is better. Mine was too tiny and the game ended up in the black hole.”