With the constant industry innovation, video game development is now both more accessible and more challenging than ever before. As a developer, how can you sustain your players’ desire for novelty in this competitive landscape while generating enough revenue to keep the lights on? You can add an in-game store.
We’ve put together a short guide covering the benefits of incorporating an in-game economy and highlighting the differences of the integration between two different business models, namely free-to-play and premium games. Our first focus is on the reasons why an in-game store works well, and later we will showcase implementation best practices.
Simply put, an in-game store is an avenue to help you increase the longevity of your game. With it, you can offer a variety of digital items to your players right when they’re most engaged: while they’re actively enjoying your game. You can add and sell any variety of virtual goods, such as cosmetics for characters or weapons, exclusive store-only items, XP boosters, season passes, subscription plans, bundles, virtual currencies and muchmore.
The in-game store can become a hub of sorts for your players, through which you can give them access to exclusive in-game items and even understand what kind of content your players enjoy the most so you can keep building to their needs. By introducing this type of in-game economy, you will be able to boost engagement with both your casual fans and your most dedicated players. You can give them the opportunity to immediately obtain extra content in-game, without having to exit to and deal with another platform for purchases.
More importantly, an in-game store is a means for developers to keep making money long after launch, which is naturally a valid goal for any game studio. Especially for games as a service — MMOs like World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV, or BRs like Fortnite and Apex Legends — audiences expect titles to be supported for a long time, which can be a daunting task. Revenue generated from an in-game store can be one way to secure such long-term funding.
We encourage you to download and read our eBook, “Why Your Next Release Needs An In-Game Store.” In it, we explain how to approach integrating an in-game economy for both free-to-play and premium titles, outline the reasons players might choose to purchase items from your store, and highlight the benefits of utilizing a player-centered design philosophy.