Four things to consider for video game subscriptions
November 20, 2020

Virtually every industry is leaning into the subscription model these days, from entertainment to software to video games. We’ve put together a short guide that highlights best practices for subscription programs to help you successfully navigate this not-new but still beneficial revenue model.

 

What are the benefits in offering subscription plans?

Though more often employed by games as a service (GaaS) or free-to-play (F2P) games, subscription plans can work well for almost any type of game or platform to transform casual players into long-term fans.

This year alone, Americans spent an average of $20.78 a month on app subscriptions, and the trend is going up. That makes sense. Studies have shown that 18-to-30-year-olds tend to value access to content more than owning that content. People want easy access to enjoy new content across all platforms or devices and are willing to pay a reasonable price for that convenience. 

Add that to the data indicating subscribers typically spend more than twice as much on in-game content as non-subscribers, and the increased benefit for your development resources becomes clear. With a monthly subscription plan, you can reward your loyal players with in-game goodies, virtual currency, and any other extra content you want to include. Subscriptions typically have low overhead but can generate a predictable income stream for your development fund. That, in turn, allows you to produce more content for your player base to enjoy and restarts the cycle.

Four things to consider when you create a subscription program.

  1. Carefully tailor subscription plans to your specific game or product. Include different tiers or packages that you know your players will enjoy, so they can participate according to their budgets.
  2. Offer free trials to all your plans. Free trials work well because they let people evaluate subscription perks by removing concern about the upfront cost. Your players can experience the bonuses a subscription can offer firsthand. Once they see the value, you’ll have effectively helped them make a purchase decision.
  3. Make it easy for subscribers to manage their plans. Offer transparency with an intuitive dashboard so players can sign up, renew, upgrade, pause, cancel, and generally manage their subscriptions easily and as they need. Giving your players control over and visibility into their financial decisions regarding your game will go a long way towards gaining and maintaining their trust.
  4. Accept recurring and non-recurring payment methods. Globally, not everyone has access to a credit card or bank account that they can easily link for a recurring subscription. Enable notifications for your players when their subscription plans are close to expiring, and give them a quick way to top up or renew.

Want more best practices for your video game subscriptions? 

We encourage you to download our eBook on Subscriptions Best Practices. We show you how to get the most out of your subscription program, no matter the size of your studio or the number of users on your platform. With our eBook, you’ll learn valuable tips to implement with any subscription program, get detailed advice in our Use Cases section for specific situations, and discover how easily subscriptions integrate with Xsolla products and solutions.

You can also contact us for more information, or sign up for a free Xsolla Publisher Account to explore how easily you can integrate subscriptions for your game.

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