One of the most frequent stumbling blocks for Free to Play (F2P) games is the effective monetization of their player base. Effectively achieving this goal requires developers and publishers are cognizant of three primary factors:
- Knowledge of their customer base
- Offering alternative payments solutions
- Streamlined in-game payments
The most important factor determining the success of F2P and MMO (massive multiplayer online) monetization is knowledge of the customer game’s experience and should, preferably not create a “Pay to Win” atmosphere; as such an atmosphere will lead to reduced interests in the store and strong resentment amongst the player base, potentially leading to fewer players and thus fewer potential payers. It instead recommended that F2P games offer items that are balanced with current options or purely aesthetic in compared to what is available without purchase. Such decisions have been rewarded with strong customer dedication and increased revenues as a result. In fact customers often are equally or more likely to purchase decorative items, convenience items, or consumables than they are to purchase beneficial goods. The take away from this information is that such items in addition to being perceived as more fair; they are also more frequently purchased.
The importance of alternative payments, particularly for F2P games cannot be understated. Alternative payments solutions are one of the most frequent causes for uncompleted transactions. This is particularly true for F2P games where 34% of payments and 37% of revenue is delivered through alternative payments globally. Furthermore, this share increases in certain markets, particularly Europe and emerging markets. Thus merely offering card based payment solutions will deprive a large portion of customers access to their preferred payment solution. Hence, offering alternative payments is not just a nicety, but a necessity.
Another key to success for F2P monetization lines in successfully streamlining the in-game payment process. Well executed in-game payments are another area that have become necessity. In-games payments should be seamlessly included with the game itself, thereby avoiding a loss of immersion in the game and generating a better customer response. This also translates into higher sales as customers are able to spend more time playing the game itself and are thus more likely to make further purchases.
Succeeding in the F2P market, from a payments and monetization perspective, can thus be best achieved through knowledge of the player base, offering alternative payments, and streamlining the in-game payments process.
GlobalCollect has recently released the publication of its report “The Shifting Video Games Landscape: Payments, Intelligence and Trends.”