Mobile games are serious business as eMarketer clearly states, and proper management of game economics can make the difference between success and failure.
The science (and art) of game economics management starts with listing down the sources and sinks.
Sources are all resources provided to the users, either free or paid (examples can be daily amount of free chips in a poker game, or another life purchased but still not consumed).
Sinks are all of the ways in which users can spend their accumulated sources (such as spend gold and wood to build a new house, to use a potion to heal your hero).
You need to make sure that sources = sinks in the long run. If the sources outweigh the sinks, you’ll get an inflation and therefore less users will purchase (or you’ll have to offer more sources for the same price!). If your
sinks are greater than your sources you are basically starving your users and they will leave the game.
Draw out the flow of your game economics:
It helps to draw a simplified flow of sources in the game. I like Machinations: you can easily draw out the flow and get an idea of whether or not the flow is correct.
Test and test again:
Each and every change to the game economics can and probably will affect other aspects, with the first and foremost being the game revenues.
Make sure that you’re testing changes and doing so in an effective manner (so that the conclusions can be implemented on the general population of
Be prepared for shocks:
Bugs, sales and special events have a tendency to disrupt the
balance. Make sure you have some sinks ready to match those!