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5 Ways To Grow Cloud Gaming With Subscriptions

October 11, 2021
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Cloud gaming is ideal for video game fans: Developers and publishers do all the heavy lifting, while players enjoy the games like Shadow, GEForce Now, Vortex, and PlayStation Now from anywhere, on most devices, without expensive hardware upgrades. As a developer, your popularity is about to soar. According to Newzoo’s 2020 Global Cloud Gaming Report, the segment’s market will generate revenues of $585 million by the end of 2020 and is projected to reach USD 3.1 Billion by 2024. With more users than ever demanding untethered game playing’s rich experience, how will you keep the same users coming back month-after-month? If they do come back, how do you keep the experience exciting and inviting? We know subscriptions are a valuable addition to a game studio’s business model, but what is the specific value for those in the cloud? Here are five ways subscriptions can benefit players and your business model and how to get started.

1. Consumers Crave Value

The term “free cloud gaming” is searched globally about 6,500 times per month on Google, even though it’s widely known that great games come at a price. Still, whether it’s movies, music, or food delivery, consumers want unlimited access and lots of extras – all within their monthly budget. Offering tiered subscription plans within cloud-based video game environments gives your audience control over content. It’s their choice when to level up their experience, wherever and whenever they want.

2. Subscriptions are Aspirational

Creating tiered plans – like “Bronze,” “Silver,” and “Gold” –  promises users access and exposure to newer, bigger, and better video game options. Skills improvement and new ways to play is a core incentive for gamers to stay. They want a continually evolving experience and are willing to pay for it. Depending on how you bundle features and extras, player-friendly tiered plans give everyone – regardless of skill level – somewhere to climb.

3. Everyone Loves Rewards

Studies from Newzoo show the #1 way to entice monthly paying users is to create loyalty or rewards programs for game play. The freedom of cloud game playing combined with bundled features in tiered plans gives your players unlimited choices and extras not available with free play. Adding bonuses for loyalty is bringing more bang for gamers’ hard-earned buck.

4. Predictable Revenue

What many consumers don’t know is that video game development is a challenging and risky business. Even after releasing a great game and catching a lot of industry buzz, success still comes down to your business model. You mitigate risk by diversifying your business model and implementing multiple revenue streams. Adding subscriptions to your revenue plan increases earnings potential. Monthly plans stabilize your income by gaining and retaining loyal PAYING players. It’s a sound layer of risk management that lets you better predict your income in a given month or even a year.

5. More Play, More Pay

According to media measurement giant Nielsen’s division SuperData, subscribed players spend twice as much on in-game content than non-subscribers. Most in-game purchases go towards cosmetic items, followed by anything that extends the core game – like new maps, quests, etc. The more they buy, the more interesting the game is, and the more they play. More engagement leads to more play, which leads to more spending. With all that additional playtime, it’s up to you to keep things fresh. Your game is exciting from the start and players’ anticipation of the new, the unfamiliar, the bigger, and the better is what leads to lifetime loyalty. It’s easy to see why including subscriptions in your cloud-based game’s revenue model makes sense. Subscriptions form a kind of contract between players and developers: The loyal game subscriber offers a predictable, steady flow of revenue in exchange for regular updates, enhancements, and opportunities to step up to bigger and better plans and worlds.

How to Get Started

Download our One-Pager Learn about structuring an effective subscription plan that benefits you and your players and get quick data-driven advice on how to structure subscription plans, keep players happy, and keep the lights on.
  • What to include in a cloud game subscription plan
  • Which in-game items/extras players want most
  • How to design a fair and profitable price structure
  • The easiest way to manage recurring payments

Partner with Xsolla

We know that changing your revenue model 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.

Convert Players to Subscribers

We know the unique needs of cloud game revenue generation and player retention, and how to turn casual gamers into loyal subscribers. We’ll show you how to:
  • Decide which plan is right for your players
  • Define a turn-key solution for managing recurring revenue streams
  • Prevent subscription churn
  • Keep evolving and upgrading your plan features
When you subscribe to our Publisher Account platform, we take care of the Subscriptions program development and implementation while you focus on game development. Our main goal is to boost your business. 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 mission is to evolve your video game success strategy continually. That’s why cloud game 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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