Experiment: monetizing a Flash game – Part 2

Multipart tutorial: available parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Exactly a week after the beginning of the experiment (that I suggest you to read), it’s time to resume what I have done, what I haven’t done, what I should have done and what I shouldn’t have done.

I want to begin with the critics moved to the game and to the experiment.

Music: A lot of people complained there isn’t any “mute” button or an option to turn off sound. They are right. People may want to play without any sound or with their favourite music in the background. I completely forgot to include this option. This is one of the cons of making a game in a few hours: you will forget something important. So add in your “to-do-before-release” list to give an option to turn off sounds

Goals: I received some emails saying this is an experiment that I want to fail because I set the goals too high for a one day game. In one mail a boy said he would be happy if he manage to earn $20 from a one-day game.
As said, goals depend a lot from the Country you live in, and its currency change with United States Dollars.

Capitalism: Some people pointed their finger at me saying I am doing “capitalism”. Let me explain one thing: monetizing a Flash game is not capitalism. It’s almost an utopy that reminds me the early 80’s when lonely programmers in their rooms/garages made games that we still play today, in some retrogaming sites or with new fancy graphics.
Thanks to Mochiads, Flash portals sponsoring games, Google and Macromedia (now Adobe) everyone can sit in his garage with his entry-level computer and produce a games that thousands – if not millions – people will play and enjoy.

Ok. End of the boring part

Now, some numbers

At the time I am writing, I have:
56,374 Mochiads impressions with an earning of $31.60
13,602 Adsense impressions (I can’t tell you the earning due to Adsense policy)
1,298 Kongregate Ad Impressions with an earning of $0.20

For a total of $113.00

I am satisfied of this result, because it’s only the first week and I plan to reach the first goal before next Sunday. Obviously at the moment I am talking about virtual dollars because I haven’t reached the minimum payout, but it’s not a problem since Circle Chain won’t be the only game of the experiment.

Now, let me show you where did I submit the game


The first portal where I submitted the game is newgrounds.com.
This site is very important because most minor Flash game portals browse NG to see what’s hot at the moment, and eventually they will copy your file into their portals, spreading the game for you.
The game was rated 3.53/5 and was reviewed for 8.7/10
Really a success. This means Flash game portals webmasters noticed my game, and the community will remember Circle Chain when I will produce Circle Chain II.

The game was a runner-up for the day but it did not manage to break into the daily top 5. This means that now Circle Chain on NG is history.

Being in the top 5 would have given Circle Chain a bigger exposure, but you’ll need a bit of luck (other a rather awesome game) to be part of it. In the last week, the 5th entry had a score that ranged from 3.59 to 3.93 so the chances to get into top 5 vary according to the quality of other games published that day.
My page on NG


Then I moved to Kongregate. It’s another must-submit site. Kongregate does not show MochiAds ads but has its own revenue sharing system. Circle Chian got 3.11/5 that’s a nice result but once again not enough to bring it to the frontpage.
My page on Kongregate


Once I submitted the game to NG and K, I waited a day to let players rate and review the game. If you don’t get at least 3/5, then don’t bother submitting your game to other sites because the game probably does not meet the requirements to be a playable game. Sit down, read all reviews and fix it or trash it and start another game.


I made my first mistake when I submitted the game to GameGum.
It’s a well designed site with a revenue share system but it does not have enough traffic to make it worth your time. The only game with more than 100,000 views was submitted more than 2 years ago.
My page on GG

Jay is Games

Jay is Games is not a portal but a blog that reviews browser and downloadable games. Unlike previous sites, adding a game is not automatic and is not easy: you have to suggest it to the site, and only the funniest games will have a review. You can be reviewed with an entire post dedicated to your game or in the “link dump fridays” where all the runners-up of the week are reviewed in a single post.
Circle Chain got an entire post. It wasn’t commented that good because JiG audience is used to play high quality games and Circle Chain cannot compete with one-week games.
The good thing of JiG is that will point directly to your game homepage. This means JiG players will generate revenue both with MochiAds and Adsense
My page of JiG


I can’t tell you much about FlashPortal because they declined my game

The power of viral marketing

With my game submitted in this major sites, the viral marketing has begun

From Wikipedia: Viral marketing and viral advertising refer to marketing techniques that use pre-existing social networks to produce increases in brand awareness, through self-replicating viral processes, analogous to the spread of pathological and computer viruses. It can be word-of-mouth delivered or enhanced by the network effects of the Internet. Viral marketing is a marketing phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along a marketing message voluntarily. Viral promotions may take the form of funny video clips, interactive Flash games, advergames, images, or even text messages.

In ohter words, some portals pick games from NewGrounds, and other portals pick games from the portals that picked games from NG… and so on.

Look at some sites where I did not submitted the game (I didn’t even know most of them)

Plans for next week

I don’t want to fire all my bullets at once, so I’ll wait another day or two, then I am going to submit the game to other portals and some forums.

Meanwhile, I have the concept for the one-week game.

Multipart tutorial: available parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

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  • Don’t tell the impressions, but tell us how much you made with Adsense.

    Who cares the impressions? You could have been smart-priced and earned pennies, since (usually) gaming ads don’t earn much.

  • really interesting read Emanuele :)
    #113 for a one day game is impressive. I’ll be happy if I ever receive half of that amount :D.

    Please keep us updated with this project and can’t wait for your one-week game!

  • Jack Hopkins

    wow, well done mate.
    ive started a one week game called ‘Orbit’.
    It uses gravity of objects and everything has a gravitational pull.
    but if I get HALF of what you got with this game i’ll be happy!

  • Emanuele Feronato

    jason: I can’t tell you how much I made with Adsense, but you can use math :))

    Jack: show me your game once completed

  • Jan (dk)

    nice going on the one day experiment, liked the game. and to jack hopkins: u made orbit in one week?! thats nice going. if its the game i think it is…

  • Ivan

    very interesting. i’m waiting for updates.

    P.S. Came here from Kongregate

  • Nice going so far. It’s pretty hard to determine how much money your going to make with that game, since in one year you are still going to make money with it. It’s the Long Tail principle; content you put on the internet stay accessible for a very long time, meaning that if you have advertisement on your page, you’ll still make money with it in 3 or 4 years.

  • Frederik J

    Congratz, Emanuele :) Thats good news to hear. And I’m surprised. If I make a game, when I’m in the middle of, I’ll be glad, as Jack says, if I only earns the half amount. Thank you for telling us, I look forward to the next update.
    /Frederik J

  • I think is an interesting idea..one of the issues i see here, is about the game. The game idea is good, good for a better development, with more chances to get profit..you know, details, art, some interaction. I wonder how mutch you lose after a lot of people played the unfinished version, if you plan to get it done and re-publish it, taking care about the non orinal idea, after the re-publish.

  • arturo

    congratulazioni Emanuele. Forse non vale tanto il 113$ o il 400, secondo me quello che conta è che soprattutto in un panorama quale quello italiano uno sforzo motivato dalla passione vera sia in qualche modo ripagato.

  • Emanuele Feronato

    alejandro: this experiment at the moment is running with an one-day game.
    Better graphics, sounds, options and gameplay will come in the sequel, that will be a one-week game.

  • 56,374 Mochiads impressions with an earning of $31.60
    13,602 Adsense impressions (I can’t tell you the earning due to Adsense policy)
    1,298 Kongregate Ad Impressions with an earning of $0.20

    For a total of $113.00

    some (very very very) simple calculations give you the amount of money made with adsence :|

  • Its a fabulous experiment. No wonder if it will excel. Congratulations for doing such a nice game.The effort you have had is paid already.I believe that this would be the steps to success.

  • Ed

    You were saying that due to MochiAds people in at home can now create Flash games and earn money from them. The thing is they could do that before, by getting their games sponsored by ArmorGames or CrazyMonkeyGames or something.

    Though MochiAds is good because it will sponsor most games, where games will only be sponsored if they are very good.

  • Kevin

    I think most of the mochiads impressions are from the readers of this blog rather than from NG. May I ask how many impressions did you get from NG alone?

  • Emanuele Feronato

    about 1,500, according to NG page dedicated to Circle Chain

  • Marcos

    Hi Emanuele,

    I think your experiment is amazing but in my opinion you must not place your name in the game. I guess a lot of hits your game is getting is beacuse you are well known in the flash game area.

    I’m wondering if you can get the same ammount of $ without your name in it.

    Keep the excellent work.

  • Emanuele Feronato

    Hi Marcos.
    Honestly, I don’t think I am SO well known, anyway I agree with you, next game will be without my name in the main screen.

  • Kevin

    Hi Emanuele,
    I found that your income is mainly due to adsense ad. Could you tell us where did you put the adsense ads? Thanks

  • Frederik J

    Hi Kevin. He putted it at the site, where the game is: http://www.emanueleferonato.com/stuff/circle_chain

    As you can see :)
    /Frederik J

  • Kevin

    Hi Frederik,
    As i expected, he put adsense on the page of the game. But the problem was that I cant see any ads in that page.
    What I see in that is the game and the message:
    ” Circle Chain
    To know more information go to this page”

    and nothing else.
    The problem exists when I use firefox or IE6

    Anyway, this is just a minor problem, let’s just concentrate on Emanuele’s tuts

  • meWitStupid

    Hey Jason, do the math!

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  • hi emanuele,
    i’ve got a (simple) question:

    you tell that you’ve got:
    “56,374 Mochiads impressions with an earning of $31.60”

    we’ve got with out game http://www.pixer.org/excit aprox. 900,000 Mochiads impressions (in 2 month) with an earning of $215.

    any ideas why there is this huge difference (i mean, you obviously made a lot more money per impression than we did)


  • Emanuele Feronato

    money per impression may vary according to the audience of the portal your game is played in.

    US player will make earn you more than indian ones.

  • This is my game here:


    I can’t seem to get many hits.

    Also, I’ve been going through platformer tutorials to try and make a platformer next, but some thing always goes wrong in the tutorial’s code. I seem to understand the tuts fine, but something always goes wrong.

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  • Ed

    Hi Emanuele,

    Thanks for your wonderful series. I would like to clear up a couple of points however.
    Of the portals you described here, only Newgrounds is a high traffic site supporting Mochiads. Yet on Newgrounds “Circle Chain” got no more than 3000 page views which in turn probably resulted in even fewer number of impressions – somewhere around 2000, please correct me if I’m wrong. So it seems like Newgrounds contributed quite poorly into this pool of 56,000 impressions “Circle Chain” got. Kongregate, of course, does not accept Mochi so it too should be taken out of the equation. GameGum is very mediocre in terms of traffic – Circle Chain got only 442 page views at the moment of me writing this post. Also, I suspect the sites like havfun.com and keke.ru – even combined – are hardly capable of generating a number of impressions you got from Newgrounds. Thus we are left with approx. 54,000 imressions so my questions are: 1) what was the single most prominent contributing site? 2) if the bulk of this number is made up of contributions from more than one source, could you please name them?
    It will probably be not that difficult as Mochiads dashboard provides such info.

    Thank you,

  • Macedo

    I like how you don’t tell the ad sense earnings but you tell us the total hehe