5 Nimble Marketing Moves For Game Developers

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Expand your mobile game business to PC and web to reach new players.

In our rapidly changing, entertainment-hungry world, video game playing continues to explode. For example, eMarketer.com’s new forecast for Twitch projects that U.S. usage of the platform, known mainly for video-game live streaming, will jump 26.2% this year, to 41.5 million. Developers and publishers are on the fast track to create new titles, launch new features, and release game updates at breakneck speed, to satisfy the millions of players.

Your players are your most important asset. Driving more new users to your game is a no-brainer, but think long-term. How will you attract new players to your game? And, how will you keep the same users returning day after day? When they come back, how do you keep motivating them to level up their experience, try new games, and step up to a premium subscription plan?

We know subscriptions are a valuable addition to a game studio’s business model. Adding special offers or subscription promotions can POWER your marketing efforts to gain new subscribers and turn them into lifelong users. Player loyalty is your ultimate game goal, isn’t it?

Xsolla’s newest release unlocks value-added marketing Promotions management for the Subscriptions platform suite. Promotions make it easy for video game companies to offer subscription discounts, trial offers, and bonuses in the form of virtual items or virtual currency.

Here are five types of subscription promotions to grab player attention and help boost your bottom line.

1. Free Trial

One of the easiest ways to promote your game is to let players simply experience it themselves. Free time-limited trials are an excellent way to entice new gamers to commit to a subscription plan. A time-limited trial with VIP access to all the benefits, perks, and extras included is compelling, as is a limited version of the entire game that teases premium, subscriber-only features.

When the trial period is close to ending, you can entice the user with subscription plan discounts or VIP bonus incentives. Fueled by a desire to keep playing at their current level, trial expiration is a key motivation to push your players to take the leap and subscribe

2. Discounts

You don’t always have to offer a percentage discount off the total subscription price. Xsolla Subscriptions Promotions enables developers to apply discounts to a plan in the form of additional weeks or even months tacked to the tail end of a predefined number of payment cycles.

Discounts translate to value, validate the purchase, and increase players’ willingness to pay for more down the road. The more they play, the more they become invested in continuing their game experience.

3. Exclusives & Bundles

Retail holiday sales are often boosted by gift bundles or free product extras when shoppers purchase something for friends or loved ones.

Sign-up bundles and exclusives communicate a similar “more bang for my buck” message to video game consumers considering a subscription purchase. The incentive can take the form of promo-only skins, VIP quests, virtual currency, or added skills – anything that adds fun and intrigue to the overall experience.

The cost of giving virtual goods for new subscriptions is nominal, and does not detract from user in-game spending, according to N3TWORK, developers of Game of Heroes. Their VIP Program delivered over 30,000 subscribers with a 20% retention and a 95% daily log-in rate. The net result? Their small up-front promo cost translates to a significant revenue win.

4. Partner Incentives

A new user’s payment method choice often guides their desire to start or continue the game experience without delay. Because most users are payment agnostic, developers can promote their payment partners to new gamers as entry to becoming a VIP subscriber or for access to exclusive content.

Xsolla Subscriptions Promotions lets you direct revenue in ways that work best for you, with payment method discounts that encourage users to choose specific partner products. Layering this kind of affiliate promotion with other marketing tools is another effective way to enhance your revenue stream.

5. Loyalty Rewards

Just as subscriptions are a long-term commitment for gamers, subscription benefits can evolve and grow along with the user and their game experience.

The Promotions feature makes it easy to reward subscribers who log a certain number of hours, return daily, or reach a set in-game purchase level.  The more points they have, the more free virtual currency, skins, or items they earn. The more time players stay engaged, the more bonuses they’re awarded. The more rewards they receive, the more incentive they have to continue the adventure.

Giving new users a glimpse of future rewards is a great way to help them feel the urgency to connect to long-term game benefits, and ultimately click the Subscribe Today button.

Promotions Deliver

We have evidence across multiple industries that subscription promotions work to build long-term relationships with users. One meaningful statistic shows that free trials help convert newbies into loyal subscribers. According to the Subscription Commerce Conversion Index (SCCI),  “…65% of the best performers in subscriptions offer free trials.”

Now it’s up to you to decide which one (or several) kinds of promotions work for your game, your Subscriptions program, and your players.

Whichever combination you implement, consider how Subscriptions Promotions will help boost revenue and turn your new users into loyal superusers.

Partner with Xsolla

We know that changing your marketing plan and boosting revenue doesn’t happen overnight. There are questions to ask yourself and details to understand. That’s why the benefits of teaming up with a partner like Xsolla are invaluable.

Reach out to an Xsolla expert to find out about all the ways Promotions can benefit you and your players and learn how quick and easy it is to integrate these campaigns into your Subscriptions program.

As an Xsolla Partner with access to our exclusive Publisher Account platform, we take care of your entire Subscriptions program development and implementation while you focus on game development.

New to Xsolla? Get started by setting up a Publisher Account.


Already an Xsolla client? Contact your Xsolla Account Manager to take your revenue to the next level.


Xsolla’s ongoing mission is to evolve your video game success strategy. That’s why our partners continue to work with Xsolla as their businesses expand, and why it’s worth your time to explore your Subscriptions solution with us.

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