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As PC gamers, how would you recommend...
Well if the game was amazing in any case then it wouldn't matter much.
However single time payment or membership (if the game is meant to last, for example persistent world, MMO etc) don't make making awesome games more complicated unlike paid content.
Advertising and merchandise are hard to judge but I think they could be a good option. Advertisements would interfere with the game but the developer could still claim the game is "free-to-play". Of course it could be combined so that payment would remove the ads.
Theoretically donations could also be a good option as they don't interfere with the game but I'm not sure how well they work most of the time. If you'd get content by donating then it does interfere.
Interesting responses so far.
(If you have to, don't be "that" guy, and stop adblock users from playing)
Paid Content (Extra skins / items / etc.)?
No, not subscriptions, One time? Sure.
Additional Items (such as sell T-shirts)?
Actually purchasing the game (one time payment of $__)?
Depending on how much it's worth, but if your going this route, why not go for steam?
Is what I'd want from this, and no to advertisements.
Pacman is a deadbeat uncle who embarrasses everyone involved while living off of his one single moment of glory he had back in the 80s -Tirkaro 2013
I don't understand the "point" of a webrowser-only game, in general it just means the game wants to be completely free, I have no problem with pure cosmetic items (and don't care if they're overpriced), and have little problem with minimalistic ads. If you want banners on loading screens or on the main menu (or around, but personally I'd stick them in the game so they can't be filtered), then I'm fine with it since I'm not giving a dime.
I would not actually ever "buy" a browser-only game either. It just doesn't seem right.
Ads - Maybe, but the game provider better keep a very close eye on them because some ads are very annoying and will turn players away.
Paid Content - FPS games may get away offering early unlock for otherwise late game weapons. However, the game balance must be preserved (late game weapons don't turn a noob into an instant pro, they NEVER should, if they do, then you are doing it wrong). For other games, keep this only for cosmetics.
Membership - Very hard to say. As long as free players don't get handicapped in the free areas preferably.
Donations - Why not. Freeware games stay alive just because of this.
Items and mercs - Just like donations, it is all good. T-shirts, stickers, mouse pads, action figure, and if the game is really that popular, custom mice and keyboards though the devs need to find a willing manufacturer for this.
Purchase/Monthly fee - As long as reasonable price, people won't complain. Also keep the game away from being 'pay 2 win'. Completely fine if it is a high quality game in the level of World of Warcraft, but if it is a browser game, it may turn people away, so watch your options.
Combination - Just see the individual things.
I don't think I'll ever accept the concept of a browser based game. I'd rather have something saved to my hard drive. As for the topic, I'd say donations and micro-transactions are a fine way to go. Ideally it would be that they give you the whole game to play but there's some extra stuff like new characters, skins, and things like that to where you only pay what you feel it's worth.
Whatever Runescape does is your answer.
ADD, no. Where is the thread for Fallout OCD players?
"We have to keep it on page 3 or it freaks out."
Single payment and subscription are very similar. Which is better depends on the game - for small games subscription is not practical but it might be better for games that are meant to be played for a long time & the single payment would be too high number. Neither really interferes with the game itself - in both the consumer pays to get access to the game.
In games that are free-to-play but have microtransactions access is free but the consumer pays for in-game items. This is a bad thing as it doesn't keep the business and play parts separate - the whole becomes just a money making scheme. As you need to offer things like skins or boosts for real money instead of reward for in-game actions it also makes designing the game unnecessarily complicated.
Ads can interfere with the game but can also be kept somewhat separate. For example the player starts with points that deplete when he plays. When the player would be out of points he'd have to watch ads to recharge them again. Banners and such can be annoying but I guess they are a better solution than microtransactions.
Merchandise doesn't interfere with the game but I don't know is it a viable way to earn money unless your game is extremely popular/marketable.
Same thing with donations they don't interfere and also keep the game technically "free-to-play" but I don't know if they are a viable thing. Giving bonuses seems to work for the Kickstarter games but this doesn't keep the business and game parts separate. Maybe something like "once 10k has been donated this dungeon opens" thing can work - it'd be better than microtransactions at least.
Check out kingdom of loathing, they seem to have a pretty good setup for making enough money to fund their servers. Basically they have paid content and additional items for sale.