Minecraft is an open-ended game where you decide what adventure you want to take. It is a sandbox video game developed by Mojang Studios. Over time it has become a household name in gaming. In the past decade, almost all gamers would have played this to explore infinite worlds and build everything from the simplest of homes to the grandest of castles.
When it comes to Minecraft, even non-gamers are not immune to it; they would come across it via a streaming service or walk into a store that is selling Minecraft merchandise.
Minecraft has grown into one of the most popular gaming platforms in the world, with Microsoft reporting more than 200 million unit sales and 126 million monthly active users as of March 2020. Microsoft has also seen a big increase in Minecraft usage during the pandemic. Minecraft saw a 25 percent increase in new players last month and a 40 percent spike in multiplayer sessions.
With this kind of player base, as a Minecraft server owner, I will be sharing with you some of the ways you can monetize your server.
7 ways to make money on your Minecraft game server
- Set up your business.
- Charge for server access.
- Collect membership fees.
- Ask for donations.
- Sell digital merchandise.
- Secure sponsorships.
- Stream your gameplay.
Before you start to fully monetize your server, you must review the Minecraft Commercial Use Terms to understand how to legally profit from your server. Technically, you’re not allowed to make money from Minecraft gaming, but Microsoft/Mojang has made an exception for Minecraft game servers.
The reason why you own a Minecraft server is that you can create your world and invite players to participate. This gives you a unique opportunity to have your vacation as your vocation.
Setup your Business
When you are serious about monetizing your server there are a few things you will need to do where “sales” can happen.
Get Yourself a Domain name
With any business, you need to set yourself up for success with a name
You need a strong online presence. Usually, the first thing your potential customer will do when searching out your Minecraft services/server is to conduct a web search.
Some of the benefit of having your domain name:
- Adds professional credibility to your business and separates you from the millions of get-rich-quick-scheme websites out there.
- Provides visibility for your brand. Much like a storefront window, a good domain will create awareness and attract customers.
- Establishes your business as tech-savvy and forward-thinking. Whether you sell products online or not, it is crucial to your reputation to claim your territory online.
- Creates mobility for your internet presence. If you decide to change web hosting services, relocate to a different country, or shift to using your in-house server, your domain name stays with you, allowing you to continue to build your brand without having to start all over.
- Increases your search engine ranking. As you build your business and develop your website with quality content, your domain name will become more and more recognizable in search engines like Google, which draws more customers in your direction.
- It Will provides your brand with marketability around the world, or you can choose to focus specifically in a local region.
Go ahead, take a look:
Read More: Why Do I Need a Domain Name?
Create a Website
With a game server business, you need to not only set up the game server, but you will need to create a website. Your website is how gamers will find and learn more about your server, your server’s community, and the gameplay your server offers.
Read More: How to setup your WordPress Website
Once your WordPress website has been set up you can use plugins like BBPress (for Forums) or BuddyPress (Social Media – Group, User Profile Page, etc.) where you can develop a strong community for players who are playing on your server. You can also have announcements or tips & tricks via blogs – this will get in more players to your server.
Having a website is not always an expense, you can even monetize your website by having affiliate links or banner ads on your website. Having a strong website will pay for itself.
If you’re not interested in building the website yourself, you may choose to have a WordPress Agency build your site while you are busy setting up your Minecraft world.
Charge for server access
Making a profit is a serious business when developing an enormous, beautiful Minecraft world that requires a fast and reliable server. When you want to charge for your server access it is important to have a powerful server with low latency. Having a High-Performance Game Server will provide the user with the gaming experience they want and will lead to more sales. Better the gaming experience, the better will be the sales.
Microsoft/Mojang allows you to charge a fee, but it must be the same for all players. You need to decide if you will be charging Baltic Avenue discount rates or Boardwalk premium access fees.
While deciding access fees you need to take into account the following:
- Infrastructure Cost (i.e. your server cost)
- Server Setup (time spent on setting up your server)
- If you construct a large unique gaming world with beautiful structures
- Other expansions (unique features)
Even if you are a small game server owner, you need to look at fees so that all your building costs are covered and you can walk out with profits.
Collect Membership Fees
I will be breaking this into two models that can be applied to your gaming business.
Membership Fees for game server access
Collecting membership fees is not so different from collecting server access fees, except with memberships you can give your players choices of access duration. This is a better model as there is the visibility of future payment. It also enables recurring payment structures.
You can create different packages for instance weekly, monthly, or annual membership fees. As per the rules of Microsoft/Mojang, the fees must be the same for all players.
Membership Fees for your website
If your website is built with WordPress, you can easily build a membership website.
Setting up a membership site is a great way to leverage all the existing infrastructure you have for content marketing and turn it into profit.
Within your WordPress website/community you can have content that is accessible to all and premium content that is behind a paywall i.e. for members only. Within the members-only areas, you have been having more exclusive content about games, having your podcast with your members, etc.
Some of the benefits of having a membership site are:
- You receive extra income for the same services.
- You can improve retention and increase brand loyalty since subscribers should be spending more time on your website.
- There’s less need to find new customers, as selling to your existing customer base is more efficient and profitable.
When it comes to WordPress it is extremely easy to have your content behind a paywall. All you need to do is choose a good membership plugin and install it, configure it – that’s all!
Read More: WooCommerce an Alternative to Patreon
Ask for donations
There are a lot of big websites like Wikipedia that rely on donations to fuel their business. Donations are always subjective. Some people will donate the money when they feel a value that they have received for something they use. Donations allow game server owners to focus on game experience and expansion of their worlds and not treat it like a side-gig.
For the Minecraft game server owner, donations may be more rewarding than flat server access or membership fee.
Having a membership fee or a subscription fee can reduce the number of people who are playing on your server. For any gaming experience more the people on the server better it is. Which is why, having donations will vastly improve the chances of your success – even though there is a risk of people not giving the donations, when you put in the time, by having an attractive world, timely updates, and a high-performance server, donations will be a huge payoff.
Once your website is built on WordPress, you can set up WooCommerce Products as digital products for variation of prices for donation amounts. That’s it!
Sell digital merchandise
While Microsoft/Mojang doesn’t allow for profits from the Minecraft game itself, you are allowed to sell in-game items as long as it doesn’t affect gameplay. For instance, selling capes is not allowed. It is only awarded by Mojang only when a player has met certain criteria.
To sell in-game merchandise, you need a way to accept payments and create your digital inventory. There are several ways of doing the same:
One popular option is the Minecraft Marketplace. Minecraft Marketplace allows you to sell skins, textures, mash-ups, adventure packs, mini-games, track purchases, and foster a community.
Another favorite is Tebex. Tebex was originally developed as a platform for the monetization of Minecraft, but expanded in 2019 to cover other games. It’s still one of the leading Minecraft eCommerce plugins available that offer many digital inventory options.
WooMinecraft is a FREE plugin for WooCommerce developed to monetize your Minecraft server. With WooMinecraft there’s no freemium model. You get everything from the start. Multiple commands per item, and multiple commands per variable product. The possibilities are endless.
You can also have sponsors as revenue for your Minecraft server in exchange for promoting their product or services to your players. There are quite a few sponsors who have a budget to sponsor Minecraft related activities. Sponsorship is one of the best ways to monetize your server.
Microsoft/Mojang doesn’t allow ads to be placed within the Minecraft world. This is where your website comes in. You can promote the sponsor to your players via your website.
There are two primary revenues for your sponsorship:
- Banner Ads
- Sponsored Post/Article
All you need to do is, name a few that will be of interest to your prospective sponsor. When you approach these sponsors make sure your package is attractive enough so there is clear visibility of RoI.
You can Google for your prospective target. Approach them with a solid package. All you need to do is make up a well-constructed email to attract the attention of the sponsor. Some of the key point that your sponsors are looking for in the email are:
- Website Traffic/Stats (Organic)
- Domain Authority details (for a sponsored post)
- Active Users (incase if you have a forum/social community on your website)
- Subscribers to your email list
- Banner Rotation details and placement of banners
- Social Media Profiles (in case you do give a shoutout to your sponsors)
Stream your gameplay
Video game streaming is something many enthusiasts and casual players want to partake in, but getting a stream up and running on your preferred gaming platform can be a chore. Streaming gameplay involves sharing the games you play and your reactions in real-time with a remote audience. It’s like bringing the entire internet into your game room while you’re trying to beat that last boss.
Mojang allows you to advertise the footage of your game on youtube or any website following certain requirements. You can create, use, or distribute videos of you playing or using the game for any lawful reason, provided that you don’t make any money from them.
Currently, the most popular streaming platform in the world is Twitch, but there’s competition in the form of YouTube Gaming on mobile devices and Mixer, a Microsoft-owned streaming service used for Xbox and Windows.
What you can do is, create unique videos from your content and make sure the amount you add must also be enough for you to make money and worth to pay for it.
As I have mentioned earlier, you have different platforms to choose from to stream your gameplay. It is advisable to choose the platforms with a higher number of followers or subscribers to increase your profit. You can also add affiliate links to your profile or can find sponsors for your stream.
The most important thing is, your viewers need something interesting all the time that you need to take care of. This is how you can stream your gameplay to the platform you want.
Are you ready to monetize your game server?
Keeping an eye on current Minecraft trend is essential. Having a plan in pace to reap the rewards for the next big trend enures your longevity. So, making extra income from your Minecraft server is possible. All you need to do is just follow the guide and set up your own Minecraft server and you can translate it into a healthy side or primary income if you stick to your plan on the right track.