See how LOTRO cranked up sales while slashing fraud rate
May 30, 2019

Lord of the Rings Online, the massive multiplayer online role-playing game based on the work of J. R. R. Tolkien, launched more than a decade ago and continues to innovate on behalf of its large, passionate fanbase. The free-to-play MMORPG wanted to update a core element of the game experience—its online store—and improve support and communications for players. They were also looking for better fraud protection.

LOTRO—THE SUCCESS STORY THAT KEEPS ON GIVING

LOTRO launched under Turbine as a subscription game back in 2007. They soon shifted to a free-to-play model with an online store, an ahead-of-the-curve move that Turbine credited for the game’s exponential growth. In 2016, the group that had been working on the game at Turbine took over development as Standing Stone Games. Today—twelve years since launch—Standing Stone Games continues to develop LOTRO under publisher Daybreak Game Company (Warner Bros.). They recently released the game’s sixth expansion pack.

Xsolla Gateway partners benefit from the same detailed visibility into all transactions as those who use Xsolla as a merchant of record.

XSOLLA GATEWAY PROVIDES ESSENTIAL TOOLS & SERVICES FOR LOTRO—WITHOUT THE MERCHANT OF RECORD COMMITMENT.

Game developers large and small turn to Xsolla’s tools and services to help grow their game business. In the standard agreement, Xsolla acts as the merchant of record (MoR) for the game, managing relationships with a wide range of global payment providers and maintaining compliance for each region around the world. Not only is this a huge time-saver for game developers, Xsolla protects them from the risks and costs associated with lack of compliance and fraud.

When game developers have the ability to manage risk and operate contracts with payment providers themselves, Xsolla Gateway offers another integration option. With Xsolla Gateway, LOTRO benefits from Xsolla’s tools and services, including:

Custom Store

  • Increased store conversion rate: Prior to working with Xsolla, LOTRO’s store’s look and feel didn’t match the game. This raised the suspicions of game players—could they trust this store?—and they were more likely to avoid or cancel purchases. LOTRO and Xsolla worked together to create a store interface that matched the look and feel of the game. This consistency helped earn player trust, resulting in more purchases and fewer cancellations.
  • A seamless transition for players: A good user experience is critical for successful sales, which is why it was so important that LOTRO’s new store allowed players to make purchases without re-entering their payment information. Xsolla preserved the industry standard “one-click” payment experience by transferring all user account information from LOTRO. Not only was there was no need to re-enter payment information—the entire transition process was invisible to game players.

Transaction Reporting & Anti-Fraud

  • Detailed transaction reports: Xsolla provided transaction reporting via an online dashboard to help reconcile amounts from each payment system—the same detailed transaction reporting system that Xsolla provides for merchant of record partners.
  • Fraud detection and dispute handling: Xsolla advised LOTRO on the optimal parameters to pass with transaction data in order to assist with fraud detection and dispute management.
  • Configurable fraud filters: With Xsolla, game developers can set limits on the number of accepted payments per player within a configurable time frame (from one minute to months) based on the game’s risk and/or frequency of fraud. In LOTRO’s case, Xsolla set a higher threshold to increase conversion rate and customer satisfaction.

Customer Communications and Support

  • Enabled emails for in-store purchases and other player communications
  • Shared customer support resources to support player issues and questions
  • Added new support channels, including chat, Facebook and a toll-free phone number, making it easier for players to contact support
  • All player data is stored securely and is fully GDPR compliant.

Xsolla’s Gateway solution gave LOTRO a flexible, reliable and efficient solution for updating the game experience and increasing—by nearly 2x!—store conversions.

Even with a long track record of success and a very dedicated fanbase, LOTRO still needed to stay on top of the latest trends and challenges in the marketplace. Xsolla Gateway gave LOTRO an advanced approach to transaction analysis and fraud protection, which dramatically decreased fraud rate from 0.6% to 0.1%.

Also, a result of their new, customized store, LOTRO store conversions soared. After launch, the conversion rate was 42% and, in just one month, it climbed to 62%. Today the conversion rate is 82%—almost double the initial rate.

LOTRO also saw rapid growth in-game players following the Xsolla Gateway integration. There was a 700% increase in the number of returning game customers from launch to present day.

Perhaps best of all, everything in the Xsolla Gateway integration—from creating the customized store, integrating the new payment provider for LOTRO, to transitioning all users accounts—was completed quickly and on time.

By working with Xsolla, LOTRO gained a partner in growth, innovation and fraud protection, freeing the game developers to focus on the best part—ensuring the game continues to stand out in the fiercely competitive landscape.

For your risk-free trial of Xsolla Gateway, contact business@xsolla.com.

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