Xsolla Rewards: An Out of the Box Community Building Tool

Xsolla Rewards: An Out of the Box Community Building Tool

May 23, 2023
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The video game industry continues to boom. This year alone, the market is projected to reach $384.90 billion, growing approximately 8% annually. The increasing number of players around the world is driving this growth. By 2027, there are expected to be nearly 3.1 billion gamers globally.

While this is great news for the game industry, it also presents a challenge. Many gamers stop playing a game within 30 days of downloading it. This is known as user churn and is a major problem for game developers and influencers alike as it can lead to lost revenue and a decline in a game's popularity.

The solution to this problem isn't new. The answer is creating effective marketing campaigns to drive new and current players to continue participating in your gaming universe. But with the rising cost of advertising, marketing budgets are taking a hit as the pressure to compete for mobile and PC users grows. For game developers, this means dealing with high user acquisition costs and low retention rates while navigating the increasingly important influencer market to forge the right partnerships.

INFLUENCER MARKETING IS CHANGING THE GAME

While traditional marketing is still important for expanding your audience and building your player community, influencer marketing has become a staple strategy for game developers to reach potential players. What makes this strategy both unique and complex is the relationship between the influencer to the gamer and the mutually beneficial relationship between the game developer and the influencer.


The developer and influencer have similar goals - the desire to grow revenue with their audience. An influencer builds relationships via social media and typically falls into one of four types:

  • Professional gamers: Play video games professionally, individually, or as part of a team. They compete in esports tournaments and often stream their gameplay online.
  • Streaming gamers: Broadcast themselves playing video games live on platforms like Twitch or YouTube. They are usually focused on developing an audience of devoted followers who watch them regularly.
  • Vloggers/YouTube gamers: Create videos about video games, often including gameplay footage, commentary, tutorials, reviews, or funny in-game moments.
  • Micro-influencers: Have smaller followings than other types of influencers, typically between 500 and 10,000 followers, but they often have a much more engaged audience and can target specific niches in gaming.

Selecting the right influencer and starting a beneficial relationship can be tricky. As the number of gaming influencers grows, finding an influencer that fits your brand and has already cultivated a following that aligns with your target audience can determine a partnership's success. The Google Play Team acknowledges this struggle, "Skeptics point towards the effort of managing an influencer campaign and the fact that playable ads are easier to measure." 

However,  as the marketing director for Kolibri Games, Volkmar Reinerth, points out, "Using influencers, we can reach people outside of the typical targeting available via ad networks and DSPs. Influencers also produce long-term visibility because the content usually remains live indefinitely on the influencer's channel."

Influencer marketing is a successful strategy for generating buzz and increasing game revenue. For example, Respawn Entertainment partnered with the popular streamer Ninja to promote their game Apex: Legends. The campaign was a success, and Apex: Legends made over $92 million within a month of its launch.

The potential for marketing campaigns like this that are centered around partnerships with streamers is only becoming more lucrative. Newzoo estimates that live stream audiences will cross the billion mark this year, reaching 1.4 billion in 2025.

Game developers can use influencer partnerships to strengthen their existing user base, and create a funnel for both short-term and long-term revenue gains. This is because influencer partnerships can help to:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Generate excitement
  • Drive traffic to a website or store page
  • Boost sales

Influencer partnerships can be especially effective for games that are in the launch phase. However, they can also be effective for games that have already been released. For example,  Activision regularly rewards exclusive digital items and content for Call of Duty. They promote these items and content heavily via social media and in-game. This helps generate hype for the game and renew interest in the community.

Epic Games also uses a similar strategy with Fortnite. They regularly release new skins, conduct online events, and produce other content for the game. This helps keep players engaged and coming back for more. By using these marketing tactics with influencer partnerships, game developers can create a successful long-term strategy for their games.

XSOLLA REWARDS IS THE ANSWER

Xsolla Rewards is a comprehensive tool that combines influencer marketing with exclusive digital content. Rewards is an extension of Xsolla’s existing marketing solution, Xsolla Partner Network. This allows game developers to:

  • Partner with influencers to promote their games
  • Reward exclusive digital content to players
  • Build and nurture more robust and loyal player communities
  • Address some of the core budgetary issues facing game developers

Rewards uses monetization mechanics to acquire, re-engage, and retain players. This is achieved by:

  • Creating bespoke campaigns that provide exclusive rewards and content for players
  • Making it easy for developers to launch these campaigns
  • Using a multi-tiered approach that reaches a wide audience
  • Bringing back the thrill of game discovery
  • Creating inherent value by facilitating collaboration between influencers
  • Raising a game's overall brand awareness
  • Maintaining a low cost per lead (CPL)

Rewards

is a full-service marketing solution that takes care of everything from A to Z. It is the perfect solution for game developers who want to save time and resources, get detailed insight into their campaigns, and protect their game keys from fraud. 

With Xsolla Rewards, you can:

  • Create multiple D2C storefronts hosted in our B2C environment.
  • Receive detailed analytic reports for daily insights into each campaign’s performance.
  • Safely store your game keys and digital items in our secure inventory space.  

Rewards

is also a valuable tool for any game developer who wants to build a strong, engaged community around their game.

Here are just some of the ways Rewards can help game developers build a community:

  • Increased sales and revenue by engaging players and driving traffic to the game.
  • Improved brand awareness by promoting the game to a wider audience.
  • Providing players a way to connect with each other and with the developers.

The video game industry continues to boom. This year alone, the market is projected to reach $384.90 billion, growing approximately 8% annually. The increasing number of players around the world is driving this growth. By 2027, there are expected to be nearly 3.1 billion gamers globally.

While this is great news for the game industry, it also presents a challenge. Many gamers stop playing a game within 30 days of downloading it. This is known as user churn and is a major problem for game developers and influencers alike as it can lead to lost revenue and a decline in a game's popularity.

The solution to this problem isn't new. The answer is creating effective marketing campaigns to drive new and current players to continue participating in your gaming universe. But with the rising cost of advertising, marketing budgets are taking a hit as the pressure to compete for mobile and PC users grows. For game developers, this means dealing with high user acquisition costs and low retention rates while navigating the increasingly important influencer market to forge the right partnerships.

INFLUENCER MARKETING IS CHANGING THE GAME

While traditional marketing is still important for expanding your audience and building your player community, influencer marketing has become a staple strategy for game developers to reach potential players. What makes this strategy both unique and complex is the relationship between the influencer to the gamer and the mutually beneficial relationship between the game developer and the influencer.


The developer and influencer have similar goals - the desire to grow revenue with their audience. An influencer builds relationships via social media and typically falls into one of four types:

  • Professional gamers: Play video games professionally, individually, or as part of a team. They compete in esports tournaments and often stream their gameplay online.
  • Streaming gamers: Broadcast themselves playing video games live on platforms like Twitch or YouTube. They are usually focused on developing an audience of devoted followers who watch them regularly.
  • Vloggers/YouTube gamers: Create videos about video games, often including gameplay footage, commentary, tutorials, reviews, or funny in-game moments.
  • Micro-influencers: Have smaller followings than other types of influencers, typically between 500 and 10,000 followers, but they often have a much more engaged audience and can target specific niches in gaming.

Selecting the right influencer and starting a beneficial relationship can be tricky. As the number of gaming influencers grows, finding an influencer that fits your brand and has already cultivated a following that aligns with your target audience can determine a partnership's success. The Google Play Team acknowledges this struggle, "Skeptics point towards the effort of managing an influencer campaign and the fact that playable ads are easier to measure." 

However,  as the marketing director for Kolibri Games, Volkmar Reinerth, points out, "Using influencers, we can reach people outside of the typical targeting available via ad networks and DSPs. Influencers also produce long-term visibility because the content usually remains live indefinitely on the influencer's channel."

Influencer marketing is a successful strategy for generating buzz and increasing game revenue. For example, Respawn Entertainment partnered with the popular streamer Ninja to promote their game Apex: Legends. The campaign was a success, and Apex: Legends made over $92 million within a month of its launch.

The potential for marketing campaigns like this that are centered around partnerships with streamers is only becoming more lucrative. Newzoo estimates that live stream audiences will cross the billion mark this year, reaching 1.4 billion in 2025.

Game developers can use influencer partnerships to strengthen their existing user base, and create a funnel for both short-term and long-term revenue gains. This is because influencer partnerships can help to:

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Generate excitement
  • Drive traffic to a website or store page
  • Boost sales

Influencer partnerships can be especially effective for games that are in the launch phase. However, they can also be effective for games that have already been released. For example,  Activision regularly rewards exclusive digital items and content for Call of Duty. They promote these items and content heavily via social media and in-game. This helps generate hype for the game and renew interest in the community.

Epic Games also uses a similar strategy with Fortnite. They regularly release new skins, conduct online events, and produce other content for the game. This helps keep players engaged and coming back for more. By using these marketing tactics with influencer partnerships, game developers can create a successful long-term strategy for their games.

XSOLLA REWARDS IS THE ANSWER

Xsolla Rewards is a comprehensive tool that combines influencer marketing with exclusive digital content. Rewards is an extension of Xsolla’s existing marketing solution, Xsolla Partner Network. This allows game developers to:

  • Partner with influencers to promote their games
  • Reward exclusive digital content to players
  • Build and nurture more robust and loyal player communities
  • Address some of the core budgetary issues facing game developers

Rewards uses monetization mechanics to acquire, re-engage, and retain players. This is achieved by:

  • Creating bespoke campaigns that provide exclusive rewards and content for players
  • Making it easy for developers to launch these campaigns
  • Using a multi-tiered approach that reaches a wide audience
  • Bringing back the thrill of game discovery
  • Creating inherent value by facilitating collaboration between influencers
  • Raising a game's overall brand awareness
  • Maintaining a low cost per lead (CPL)

Rewards

is a full-service marketing solution that takes care of everything from A to Z. It is the perfect solution for game developers who want to save time and resources, get detailed insight into their campaigns, and protect their game keys from fraud. 

With Xsolla Rewards, you can:

  • Create multiple D2C storefronts hosted in our B2C environment.
  • Receive detailed analytic reports for daily insights into each campaign’s performance.
  • Safely store your game keys and digital items in our secure inventory space.  

Rewards

is also a valuable tool for any game developer who wants to build a strong, engaged community around their game.

Here are just some of the ways Rewards can help game developers build a community:

  • Increased sales and revenue by engaging players and driving traffic to the game.
  • Improved brand awareness by promoting the game to a wider audience.
  • Providing players a way to connect with each other and with the developers.

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