In the first part of this series on online game monetization, we addressed the importance of starting with a solid ecommerce infrastructure of back-office capabilities, including global payment processing and fraud management. In this installment, we’ll put our construction hats on and start building out the right mix of monetization capabilities.
Putting money in your game with proven monetization capabilities
You put a lot of creativity and innovation into your gameplay, so why not deploy cutting-edge monetization capabilities? Whatever your revenue model — premium download, free-to-play, or subscription renewal — when creating financial interactions for your players, there are a variety of dynamic online and in-game capabilities you can implement for both digital and physical products. Look for an ecommerce solution that offers flexible capabilities and tools for managing all aspects of the shopping interaction.
There are a number of different ways you can monetize your game, but let’s look at some popular options.
Fans of your game or franchise are eager to show their loyalty to your brand. Feed that desire by providing opportunities for players to buy clothing, figurines and collectibles directly from your online store. Selling physical merchandise will unlock significant revenue opportunity and give your game greater exposure, which helps grow your fan base organically.
In-game item management
Gaming should be an immersive experience with instant gratification, so don’t force players to leave the game in order to make a purchase or enjoy content. Enabling a frictionless and immediate in-game buying experience will keep players happy and drive revenue at the same time. With cutting-edge in-game purchasing solutions, players can load stored values of virtual or real-money currencies directly to their personal virtual wallet.
Even if your game is a premium download or free-to-play, a subscription service can be the best way to increase renewals and customer lifetime value. Depending on your monetization strategy, you may find great value in adding subscription and auto-renewal capabilities to support recurring revenue streams.
Wallet and virtual currency management
Core to an effective game monetization strategy is the ability to handle virtual and real-money currencies in the same wallet. Real Money Transaction (RMT) is the sale of in-game items, currency, characters or other data in order to obtain real money. RMT is popular with players because it enriches the online gaming experience. And developers love it because it makes players happy and brings in significant revenue. Some of the most dedicated fans invest $10,000 or more on in-game items. It’s amazing to think about, but if the rewards are enough to keep players happy and engaged, they will keep spending. There are a variety of ways to incorporate RMT, but the outcome remains the same — players form stronger bonds to the story arc and to the game community.
Not all wallets are created equal. You’ll want to deploy a smart virtual wallet that can operate across multiple games and platforms to offer players a seamless experience. Choosing the wrong wallet may require spending unnecessary resources on managing transactions from walled gardens like Apple iOS and Google Android. A smart wallet will save you time and money by giving you wallet functionality with a robust toolset that allows you to manage in-game economies across multiple games and platforms.
Whatever monetization capabilities you decide to build into your online game and on your web store, remember that retention is important to your long-term growth. Avoid friction by offering a seamless financial interaction that delights your fans and keeps them coming back for more.
In the next installment, we’ll wrap up this monetization series by discussing the importance of getting to know your audience and when to engage them financially.