PGC Digital: How to monetise mobile games beyond the app stores

Xsolla’s Miika Luotio talks how to expand monetisation methods

PGC Digital: How to monetise mobile games beyond the app stores

Monetisation is no longer as simple a model that it used to be and more developers are realising that monetisation lies at the heart of a successful long time game.

Speaking at Pocket Gamer Connects Digital NEXT, Xsolla senior manager of business development Miikka Luotio discussed how to monetise mobile games beyond the platform.

Luotio explains that the bottom line difference between using the Xsolla platform for payments compared with mobile platforms such as Apple and Google is what is often referred to as the 'platform tax'.

Apple and Google take a 30 per cent commission from most of the transactions on their storefronts; although this has changed slightly in recent years.

As Xsolla operates as a merchant of record it takes a much smaller commission, with developers getting "at least 20 per cent more profit" and can allow the developer to grow in different regions where they previously didn’t have monetisation coverage.

"The platform tax is the tip of the iceberg, what is under the waves is where the real difference adds up," said Luotio.

Monetisation methods

Luotio explains that one method to scale revenues from mobile games is to open a webshop that sells the same virtual currencies, items, and subscriptions, and includes the same special offers.

"You take your mobile in-game store and you put it in a website, essentially duplicating the in game store and giving access to players to go there," explained Luotio.

"There, they can log in to the webshop and they will see the same virtual currencies and items. They can see their inventories and player names so it feels like a true external store of the mobile game."

Luotio went on to explain how many of Xsollas partners are offering web exclusive deals, thus adding more value to the web shop and treating it like a VIP experience.

Often players who spend more will be offered special bundles tailored to them, which Luotio said is exciting for these players.

Luotio stated that some of Xsolla’s partners have seen revenue increases of 40 per cent when using a web shop, with some even generating more revenue on their webshop than its in-game counterpart.

One of the issues with setting up a webshop is user acquisition. Luotio suggested that one of the most efficient ways to bring players to the webshop is by targeting high spenders with interstitials, as timed exclusives can quickly go viral.

Outside of this, developers could utilise email campaigns, game forums or their own blog to let players know about the webshop and the various benefits it can bring.

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