How to Create Your Own Game Portal

One reader asked me how to create a game portal?.


Starting a game portal is relatively easy to do from technological point-of-view. Business-wise I don’t comment if it’s profitable area to enter, but here I present a guide for those who want to create their own portal. For starters, you could simply use game portals that already sell games and become their affiliate. Here are two examples that I’ve used:

  • Reflexive affiliate page. Reflexive offers 40% commission on every qualified sale and they let you customize games (good for branding them). Reflexive’s system is quite easy to set up and doesn’t require much work. Reflexive has (at the time of writing) almost 800 games to choose from and more coming.
  • Big Fish Games partner program. BFG offers 25% for each directed customer, but they also give you credit if you refer friends who refer friends (6.25% for 2nd tier). BFG offers several different possibilities. You can use your own game page to sell their games or you can even set up a complete portal. BFG is adding one new game each day, so there’s plenty of games under their wings.

There are pros and cons for these systems. I’ve used both and ended up using Big Fish Games – which has been okay for me. Some people I know are using Reflexive and have been pretty happy with them, so I guess it’s a matter of your own interest. I recommend checking out both and choosing the one you like better. (Naturally there are other portals available, so you might also want to check out those. These are the 2 portals I’ve used and have had experience.)

Other option is that you start working hard by getting people to publish games through your site. Then you have to set up the ecommerce store, deal with developer contracts among many other things. Basically you would need to do everything that’s included in self-publishing games – and handle other people’s games in addition.

Tip: By using tools such as OsaKit or IGLoader you can create web-versions of your games and give yourself an unique advantage compared to these big portals.

What about Flash game portals?
The reader who asked the question also wanted to know how to create a Flash game portal. I haven’t created a Flash game portal by myself so besides “ask developers to give you games” I have only one tip: there are websites where you can purchase a pack of Flash games to be displayed on your website. Some Flash portals make it possible to show their games on your website, so you might consider that as well.

Setting up a portal can be quite trivial (in terms of technology) if you use ready-made system, but if you really want to make a successful portal then there’s much more into it. You have to deal with all the aspects of publishing: everything from developer contracts to customer service – and it isn’t easy place to compete when world’s biggest gaming companies are entering in the same marketplace.

Juuso Hietalahti


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  2. I was only using reflexive until this weekend. I prefer reflexive because you can have direct links to the download and buy pages whereas with bigfish, you have to use iframes and it’s not always well integrated on a web site.
    I added bigfish this weekend only because I wanted mac games.

  3. Excellent read, thank you for the insightful answer. I have a huge list of games portals in my RSS Reader, but never actually thought that Reflexive Arcade or BFG provides affiliation or partnership. And yes I don’t really want to spend the time making my portal from scratch, although I’m a developer myself but I’d like to do only the business side of it.

    Thanks for the pointers I will check both Reflexive and BFG, but also hope if you don’t mind to link to your portal.

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