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How to Generate Predictable Income and Keep Mobile Gamers Engaged

June 3, 2022
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Mobile Gaming’s Wild Ride

Reinvigorated by the rise of pandemic-infused stay-at-home behavior, mobile gaming continues to take center stage in entertainment. Statistica reports the $155 billion global video game market is on target to hit a valuation of $240 billion by 2026. While the entire video game industry expands globally and inspires game developers to vie for worldwide users’ attention and engagement, mobile gaming is the big focus for players on the go who want to be entertained and stay connected to their digital communities.  December 2021’s industry shifts opened the door to even more potential revenue channels and opportunities for mobile game developers. With Xsolla Web Shop for Mobile Games, you can now roll out your own online shop for your mobile game, selling in-app items, virtual currencies, and even subscriptions - on your website or the third-party platform you choose. Xsolla’s solution lets you implement new revenue streams online for your brand and mobile games. It’s all under your control, on your own website, and is highly customizable to your needs.

Mobile’s Monetization Trend? Subscriptions!

According to Business of Apps, 2021’s trending revenue generation strategy for 79% of mobile titles was via in-app purchases (IAPs.), followed by in-app advertising.  While reliable ways to earn game income, these popular methods don’t address player acquisition or retention. Also, the cost to monetize games on traditional distribution platforms was typically very high ⏤ around 30% per transaction. On the other hand, subscription revenue for mobile’s biggest players continues to grow year-over-year,  hitting $15.5 billion in 2021. Not every subscription model works for every game, but there are a few approaches that work well across different games and genres: Season Pass Season/battle passes are known to be especially effective in encouraging engagement in strategy and RPG games. In most cases, this type of subscription is an effective limited-time, scope, and content subscription - especially when the players earn rewards over time. The only way to get the bonuses is to keep playing. VIP Subscription Born inside real-world casinos, the VIP pass is still popular in mobile games of all kinds - even hyper-casual games. As the name implies, this subscription type beckons to high-value players and ladder climbers. The higher the level, the more perks earned - from tournaments and virtual goods to currency. Banish Advertising Advertisement removal is a type of subscription that works very well in any tiered program, especially in F2P games. The biggest bonus is that you can offer ad removal as either a subscription or a one-time in-app purchase.

Subscriptions Benefits

Subscriptions are an intelligent addition to your mobile revenue strategy. Many mid-tier and enterprise games (Boom Beach, Wheel of Fortune, Hunter Assassin, Archero, Call of Duty, Hustle Castle, and more) leverage the power of a subscription business model to boost revenue predictably. It’s an approach that works well with other forms of monetization and carries many benefits for you and your players:
  • Subscribed players stay. Developers selling Subscriptions via Xsolla Web Shop for Mobile Games solution could see an average retention and net revenue uptick of 20%.  In 2021, the list of games that use season pass style subscriptions grew, sparking a key monetization trend for mobile games that continue this year. 
  • Consumers need assurance. For your players, a tiered subscription plan promising a constant flow of new content with an affordable entry price can mitigate the commonly-held consumer fear of long-term commitment.  A well-priced subscription plan shows your sensitivity to their strained wallets. 
  • Risk management is brilliant. Adding subscriptions to your mobile revenue plan improves your earning potential. Income from weekly, monthly, or annual plans stabilizes your income by gaining and retaining loyal paying players. Multiple revenue streams are a savvy layer of risk management and empower you to better predict your income in a given month or even a year. 
  • Customer connection is vital. Responding to what your players want by creating promotions and extras is a win-win. Subscriptions provide meaningful data by tracking which categories, perks, and rewards are most popular, which pricing model works best, and which promotions amp up customer acquisition.
  • A mix of revenue streams is trending. Signs point to a growth spurt in hybrid revenue models over the long term – where subscriptions and in-app purchases marry to form a core monetization strategy, supplemented by additional revenue generation approaches tailored to your gameplay and game economics.

How To Add Season Passes to Your Website

With Xsolla’s Web Shop for Mobile Games, players can purchase Season Passes (or other forms of subscriptions, virtual goods, items, and currencies directly from your website).  After the purchase is complete, you can quickly grant access to the plan inside their game, make items available or grant bonuses, all for only 5%. Who is your Web Shop audience? We recommend targeting whales and VIP players. Xsolla partners who use Web Shop subscriptions tell us that a smart way to start testing a new sales channel is to bestow a bonus (e.g., a free virtual currency pack) to players who subscribe via your Web Shop. What kinds of subscription types can you offer with Web Shop?
  • Recurring plans
  • Lifetime plans
  • Limited season passes
What can you do with the Subscriptions feature? View our product demo and documentation guide to see how Subscriptions can work for YOUR web shop.
  • Customize up to five plan types with pricing, multi-currencies, billing cycles, trials, payment reminders, and more (although we recommend 3 at a time)
  • Create rewards (virtual items, currency, etc.) for players who subscribe via your Web Shop
  • Brand and build subscription plans with your design and your content
  • Set up time-limited season pass periods
  • Create enticing promotions (free trials, discounts, gift bundles, free product,  partner incentives, and loyalty rewards) to attract new customers
  • Make it easy for customers to choose a plan and subscribe from their mobile device.
  • Expand to emerging gaming markets like SEA, LATAM, and MENA by accepting 700+ convenient, local payment methods worldwide
Now that you know why Subscriptions help you gain new customers and generate predictable revenue, where should you start and how does it work? It’s a lot easier than you might think.  Check out the latest materials that can help you make smart decisions and add subscriptions to your mobile game in 2022:  GETTING SUBSCRIPTIONS FOR WEB SHOP When you’re ready, head to your Xsolla Publisher Account, an easy-to-use, all-in-one control center that lets you set up and manage every Xsolla product you need to optimize and monetize your games. To learn more about how to reduce your workload and provide simple solutions that allow you to publish your game across multiple platforms, contact an expert from our team. We’re always happy to help you take the next step in your business success.
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