Making Money

So, you're looking to put some bread on the table with your Java game, eh? Making money with a game is one of the most difficult things to accomplish, and how you attempt to make money depends on the audience you are aiming for, what type of game you make, and how polished your game is. But it can be done, and it has been done with many different Java games before. One way to indirectly make money with your game is to just make a demo that can help you get a higher-paying job. If you want your game to end up in retail stores, you're going to need to find a uploader, which is one of the hardest and potentially costliest things to do. Alternatively, here are a few other ideas for making money:

  • License the game engine to third parties. If your engine is unique, flexible, and well documented, other development companies might be interested in licensing it for their own products.
  • Create branded applet games for commercial web sites. For example, a soda company might want you to create "Fizzy Drink Racer" for its web site.
  • Show advertisements next to or within the game.
  • Make the game shareware, giving away the first few levels for free and charging for the full version of the game. You can charge for your game with the help of online payment systems such as PayPal, Kagi, or BMT Micro.
  • Charge a monthly fee to play a massively multi-player online game.

For some examples of Java games, the Race3D engine (by yours truly) has been licensed and customized for more than half a dozen companies, including Snapple and Subaru. RuneScape by Jagex is a massively multi-player online game that charges a monthly fee. Yahoo! games show advertisements next to the game. There are a whole slew of J2ME pay-to-play games on cell phones. Also, the commercial DVD games You Don't Know Jack and Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? are partially written in Java.