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How To Give Your Players The Virtual Goods They Want

October 11, 2021
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It’s now easier than ever to make a video game and sell it. It’s also harder than ever to make a video game and sell it. The challenges of game commerce in a digital world can seem overwhelming. How can you keep your players engaged after they have already purchased your game, while also earning enough revenue to continue development? Selling virtual goods online presents you with an excellent solution. Over the past decade, physical sales of video games and related products have declined as players – almost exclusively – switched to online purchases. Video game developers and publishers, just like you, quickly shifted to meet their players’ demand for instant access to content. They joined digital distribution platforms like Steam and Epic Games Store, offered in-app purchases, and created subscription plans with curated premium goodies. Virtual goods sales were the next logical progression in game commerce strategy for both publishers and developers. Yet, that pivot to online sales is not without its challenges, both from a financial and information standpoint. Each distribution platform imposes different fee structures per transaction, which can become confusing to navigate and may adversely impact a developer’s bottom line. The platforms may also limit or not allow certain virtual goods to be sold, such as game bundles, subscription plans, in-game items and virtual currency — all of which can restrict a developer’s game commerce options. Plus, the sales pipeline itself is not transparent, since digital distribution platforms don’t regularly offer relevant data about their customers’ video gaming ecosystem easily. Without valuable insight into their customers, both video game developers and publishers have a difficult time understanding what their users like, what they want, and what kind of games they consistently play. Establishing another method to collect that kind of information can be time-consuming and take up valuable team resources. What’s the solution? Xsolla can help you unlock your video game’s multi-platform commerce potential by powering in-game sales straight from the web. You can build and launch a fully-customized online storefront in minutes, and securely sell all of your game’s virtual goods, DLCs, and subscriptions directly to players around the world.

Easy, one-stop shopping on the web

By selling virtual goods online, you are able to give players instant access to your full catalog of in-game items, virtual currency, DLC, and subscriptions. As long as they have an internet connection, they can buy anything you offer in one place within a single, secure, shopping cart-powered checkout. All purchases sync instantly across all your game’s supported platforms and are ready to go the next time they boot up the game.

Increased earning potential

Some in-game sales platforms can take out as much as 30% of your game’s virtual goods revenue. When you partner with Xsolla, you share just 5% on all transactions.* The increased earning potential, as much as 25% more per transaction vs. other digital platforms,* can make all the difference to your game’s bottom line.   *Not including external payment method fees (ex. credit card fees).

Customize everything with no coding required

Xsolla seamlessly supports all of your virtual goods sales, no matter if you’re expanding an established video game franchise or launching a brand new title. You can add a store to your current website via API or create an all-new online store with Xsolla’s Site Builder and Buy Button tools – giving you the ability to create, modify, and launch a custom-branded storefront in minutes — all without having to write a single line of code.

Powerful promotion tools at your fingertips

Once you have your online store ready to go, shout it out to the world. Drive player interest, engagement, and commerce by hosting sales, offering discounts, enabling pre-orders, and featuring bundles. Easily use the solutions from Xsolla to power your promotional efforts and the integrated social media tools to broadcast your messaging.

Audience insights for optimized marketing efforts

Gain instant, fully-transparent sales data and insight into your customers — from the very first touchpoint. When you use an Xsolla-powered online store for your virtual goods sales, you have comprehensive, real-time access to all of your data whenever you want it. You no longer have to wait for, or be limited by, another platform’s analytics and reporting. Xsolla solutions are integrated by default with preferred industry-standard platforms and digital marketing tools, like Google Analytics and Google Ad Manager, so you can monitor your performance and continuously optimize your ongoing strategies.

Versatile and scalable marketplace

Gaijin Entertainment’s online store lets players buy a variety of things for their popular free-to-play cross-platform MMO, War Thunder, such as in-game items, virtual currency, starter pack bundles, and different kinds of premium account subscriptions. As the European indie video game developer is also a publisher, Gaijin.net even offers in-game items for other games, like Crossout and Cuisine Royale, on separate tabs. You can build a similar online marketplace for your specific game. Xsolla lets you easily create multiple sections for your online store and still present your players with a single shopping cart checkout process for everything they want to purchase.

Unlock web-powered game commerce

Increase your game’s revenue potential with Xsolla by giving your players the ability to make in-game purchases from anywhere with an internet connection. You can start securely selling virtual goods and DLC from a custom-branded web storefront in minutes, either by adding a new dimension of commerce to your existing site via API or creating a brand-new landing page with Xsolla Site Builder.

How to get started

  1. Download our one-pager. Learn how Xsolla can help you:
  2. Build a better shopping experience for your players
  3. Expand your video game commerce options
  4. Drive sales and optimize your marketing
Download our short guide Partner with Xsolla. We know that planning your revenue model doesn’t happen overnight. That’s why teaming up with a partner like us is valuable. We understand the unique challenges of video game commerce and can help you navigate them — so you can focus on what you do best. New to Xsolla? Get started by registering for a Publisher Account. Already an Xsolla partner? Log in to your Publisher Account or contact your Xsolla Account Manager to chat about the best Virtual Goods Sales strategy for your game.
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