Subscriptions for games catalog platforms

August 5, 2021
Expand your mobile game business to PC and web to reach new players.

Gaming’s landscape

As the world around us rebounds from a stretch of rough road, games continue to take center stage as consumer entertainment. The video game industry is expanding globally, and new platforms challenge consoles for user attention and excitement. Web-based game platforms are the new normal for game collectors, community building and social networking. 

Reinvigorated by technology advancements and unexpected social changes, the $165 billion global video game market is on target to hit a valuation of $180 billion by 2021, and according to Juniper Research, will skyrocket to above $200 billion in 2023.

This rising tide of consumers playing at home and on the go created a boom for web platform business models. How can this hybrid of web-accessed libraries and PC resident content effectively monetize your experience with players? What do you gain by shifting your method of revenue generation to this model? We’re about to spill the strategy.

Why monetize with subscriptions? 

Subscribed players stay. Developers implementing in-game subscriptions see an average of a 20% uptick in retention. One of the industry bigs enjoying the upside of subscriptions of this model is Ubisoft. Their UPlay+ revenue is up 73% in 2021 compared to the previous year and holds 40% of its net bookings on PC. More publishers – including XBox, PlayStation and even Netflix plan to launch their version of this popular subscription service offering access to hundreds of titles on users’ existing devices.

Consumers need assurance. For your players, a tiered subscription plan promising a constant flow of new games with an affordable entry price can mitigate the commonly-held consumer fear of long-term commitment.  A well-priced subscriptions plan shows your sensitivity to their strained wallets. 

Risk management is brilliant. Adding subscriptions to your revenue plan improves your earning potential. Monthly plans stabilize your income by gaining and retaining loyal paying players. Multiple revenue streams are a savvy layer of risk management, empowering 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 bundles of games and extras is a win-win. Subscriptions provide you with meaningful data by tracking which categories, perks, and rewards are most popular, which pricing model works best, and which promotions amp up customer acquisition.

What makes subscriptions work

Variety is the spice of life. The biggest draw of a games library subscription is counting on access to a LOT of content. Subscribers can access any published game in the library AND play exclusives from the moment they launch. Users-turned-subscribers no longer need to pay for each. Game. One. At. A. Time. 

Give customers tiers of joy. Tiered accessibility allows a diverse user base to discover and interact with content on your platform as quickly as they do TV shows and songs. Rather than a “one-size fits all” approach, offering a choice of subscription levels with different combinations of content plus perks considers different consumer needs and financial resources.

Fresh tip #1: Reasonably structure and price the lowest tier as an entry-level subscription plan, and you will likely see more casual users convert into loyal subscribers.

Fresh tip #2: To take accessibility a step further, you can enable subscription gifting. By allowing subscription gifting, you empower your audience with the ability to give friends access to available content, which in turn increases their interactions with and accessibility to your platform. Twitch, the world’s leading live streaming platform for gamers, implemented a subscription gifting option with Xsolla, leading to increased digital patronage from its viewers. 

Satisfaction guaranteed. As human beings, we all want convenient access to what matters most to us. Creating or offering content that resonates with your specific audience leads to meaningful interactions and connections between users, your platform’s community, and your brand.

How can you provide more meaningful content to your users? Tiered subscriptions helps you gather insights into your audience’s preferences. By tracking which subscription plans are more popular, you can determine which premium content or extras to keep including for subscriber retention and which you can consider removing. You can then reallocate resources in a different direction or branch out into other content offerings.

How to plan for subscriptions

First, evaluate your catalog. Understanding the different categories and the overall breadth of available content in your library helps to define your subscription program details. Moreover, it helps you to consider whether you should pair Subscriptions with other forms of monetization.

Next, examine audience behavior and statistics. What will motivate customers to try, buy, and level up their subscription? Understanding what has value to your customers will help you choose what to include in each membership tier.

Consider partnerships. Game developers and publishers now have another opportunity to boost sales of individual games – by including them in an existing platform’s library of titles.

Finally, seek out expert resources. Product analysis and business model research are in your hands, but implementation and integration often require a partner – this is where Xsolla can help.

Whichever monetization solution you choose, you need a savvy partner to help implement it. Consider how Xsolla’s expertise can help you boost revenue and turn new gamers into loyal super-players.

Level up your existing subscriptions model

Managing your audience is smart business. If you’ve already implemented a subscriptions model to your monetization strategy, consider adding an analytics tool – included in Xsolla’s subscription solution – for the ultimate control of churn rate and engagement. Our integrated reporting gives you a way to predict future revenue and to react to user’s changes in their plans – such as unsubscribes or downgrades – with customer-centric emails and offers.

Including subscriptions in your web platform’s revenue model benefits you and your players. The subscription establishes a casual kind of social agreement between gamer and developer: Loyal subscribers offer a predictable, steady flow of revenue in exchange for actual value, enjoyment of access to great content, and opportunities to step up to bigger and better enhancements.

How to get started 

Start by reading how to design an effective subscription program and get quick data-driven advice on structuring subscription plans, keeping players happy, and keeping the lights on.

 Xsolla’s Subscriptions One-Pager will help you consider these critical steps to getting started:

  • What to include in a web-platform game subscription plan
  • Which layered “extras”  players want most: Social networking? Multiple devices? Gifting? Recording play for later streaming?
  • How to design a fair and profitable price structure
  • The easiest way to manage recurring payments

Download our One-Pager

Partner with Xsolla

We know that updating your marketing plan and boosting revenue doesn’t happen overnight. There are questions to ask yourself and details to understand. That’s why the benefits of teaming up with a partner like Xsolla are invaluable.

As an Xsolla Partner with access to our exclusive Publisher Account platform, we take care of your entire monetization program development and implementation while you focus on what you do best - creating great games.

Convert Players to Subscribers

We understand gaming platforms’ unique needs for revenue generation, player acquisition, and how to retain loyal subscribers. We’ll show you how to:

  • Decide which plan makes the most sense for your players
  • Define a turn-key solution for managing recurring revenue streams
  • Prevent subscription churn
  • Keep evolving and upgrading your plan features

When you subscribe to our Publisher Account platform, we take care of the Subscriptions program development and implementation while you focus on game development. Our main goal is to boost your business.

New to Xsolla? Get started by setting up a Publisher Account. 

SIGN UP FOR A PUBLISHER ACCOUNT

Already an Xsolla client? Contact your Xsolla Account Manager to take your revenue to the next level. 

CONTACT US

Xsolla’s ongoing mission is to evolve your video game success strategy. That’s why our partners continue to work with Xsolla as their businesses expand and why it’s worth your time to explore your Subscriptions solution with us.

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