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Best Practices for In-App Monetization
At long last, the game community was back together in San Francisco for the Game Developers Conference—a long-overdue opportunity for the industry’s best and brightest to share ideas and inspiration in-person after the Covid-19 pandemic kept things strictly virtual over the past two years.
A lot has changed since the community last gathered. According to Morgan Stanley Research, more than 50 million Americans took up gaming in 2020 (a 31% year-over-year increase) as it increasingly became a way to connect and converse during what was a lonely time for many. In 2021, 79% of consumer spending on games globally was from in-app purchases (IAP), microtransactions and add-on content for games.
Microtransactions have become an important source of revenue for the global games market that is reportedly worth around $175 billion US and forecast to almost double in the next five years. However, many in the industry are worried that this increased focus on monetization is coming at the expense of game design and gameplay.
Some common examples include "pay-to-win" microtransactions that allow players to gain a disproportionate advantage over others or boost their status in the game simply by spending more money. "Loot boxes" that manipulate users into buying multiple boxes to find a desired item, rather than permitting a one-time purchase, is another instance where microtransactions ultimately fail to deliver a rewarding gameplay experience.
However, when done right, microtransactions can have a positive impact on gameplay, fostering user engagement and fun while driving long-term revenue growth in the industry. Just like in the real world where people buy clothes, cars and jewelry to express themselves, gamers enjoy making in-game purchases that allow them to show off their personalities and connect with others virtually.
This is certainly the case in console gaming where players purchase new weapons and cars to flaunt to others, and in mobile games where users buy power-ups, cosmetic upgrades, ad-free subscriptions and downloadable content to unlock new storylines, maps or characters.
Ultimately, microtransactions increase creativity in the industry and support smaller mobile game developers, who can turn small in-game purchases into thousands or even millions in revenue with the right idea.
If you’re looking for tips, support or advice on how to implement IAP on a Samsung app, you can find it on the Samsung Developers In-App Purchase Overview page.
According to Chris Benjaminsen, Founder of FRVR, IAP is the most valuable way their team monetizes their business. His advice for those looking to integrate IAP into their work?
Never trick your players, for people to pay you, they must trust that they are actually getting some value. Too many games try to trick people into paying, but that only works once per player, and that user is unlikely to ever pay you any more money. The most valuable people in your game are people who have already paid in your game.
Stay tuned to the Samsung Developers Podcast to hear our full interview with Chris coming soon!
Learn more about gaming trends and Samsung’s participation at this year’s Game Developers Conference here.
Be sure to also follow us on @samsung_dev to keep up-to-date on the latest developer news, and keep an eye on our blog for other helpful resources. You can also sign up for the Samsung Developer Program to take advantage of exclusive benefits and access helpful developer resources.