It might not be that easy to make money in a free-to-play mobile game. But you’ll have an easier time than ever making bank on T-shirts.
E-commerce giant Amazon is announcing Merch by Amazon, a self-service program that allows anyone to create branded T-shirts that are designed and produced by you and sold and shipped by Amazon. The program is primarily targeted towards app and game developers, but anyone who wanted to create a T-shirt on demand and sell it on Amazon.com could use the service. They would just need to register for a Merch by Amazon account on the developer portal.
This could actually be a really cool way to monetize a game or app. Players have become notoriously stingy about buying something in a game, with perhaps 2 percent of a game’s audience opting to do so. But a T-shirt is a tangible item that could contribute nicely to a game developer’s profits. It’s sort of like the affinity we all used to have for those Angry Birds T-shirts — except now we can get one based on an indie game.
This T-shirt print-on-demand service allows you to escape inventory pile-ups and sell only the shirts that your customers want to buy. For every T-shirt sold, you earn a royalty. And the more shirts you sell, the higher the royalty is.
You set up your own Merch by Amazon account, upload the art for the T-shirt, and submit. Amazon takes care of the rest. In a matter of hours, your custom T-shirt is available for sale worldwide on Amazon.com. Once you’ve created your custom T-shirts, Amazon lets you promote them inside your game on the Android, Fire OS, or iOS versions via Amazon Mobile Ads.
“We can poll our Facebook fans for t-shirt ideas on a Monday and be selling it on Wednesday. This is a ridiculously fast turn-around and lets us give our players exactly what they want,” said Bryan Mashinter, game director of Backflip Studios, the creators of DragonVale, in a statement.