We recently shared the benefits of adding in-game stores and outlined the differences in implementing an in-game economy for two video game business models: premium and free-to-play. Now, we want to share more relevant information that you should consider before and after you build your in-game storefront.
And while it would be ideal to ‘set it and forget it’ — create an in-game store that can passively generate additional income without any long-term attention from you — the reality is that you will still need to check in with it, and your shoppers, from time to time. The good news is that we can make it easy for your team to both integrate and maintain an in-game store for as long as you need it.
There are two categories of in-game goods you can sell: virtual items and virtual currencies. Virtual items can further break down into cosmetics or consumables, and you can even bundle items together as part of tiered subscription plans.
Virtual currencies come in two flavors. Soft currency, usually easy to earn as in-game rewards by playing the game as intended, and hard currency, typically bought with real-world money or offered in-game as part of a subscription plan.
You’re probably hoping for a quick answer for this. But the truth is that pricing is dependent on multiple factors, which can make it challenging to get right on the first try. In our eBook, “Game Commerce Essentials: How to make a successful in-game store,” we outline these factors so you can determine the right cost for your items. Think about regional differences, compare with real-world prices, and do a little research on your competitors – after all, your players are likely playing other, similar games, and are probably used to a specific pricing scale already.
Presentation is important. Think back to the time you walked into a store and felt immediately at ease. You understood the layout and were able to browse and find what you needed without distractions. You need to set up your in-game store the same way.
Choose an aesthetic that matches your game and make it easy for your players to find, such as from the main menu or a persistent, clickable icon on the game screen. Lastly, organize what’s for sale and add a search feature, so shoppers can quickly find the category and item they want.
You’ll need to think about all aspects we just discussed both before and after you launch your in-game store. Examine how your store is doing at regular time intervals so that you can determine how effective your in-game store is at engaging your players. Review your buyers’ specific choices, from the types of items they buy to the tier of pricing they usually go for.
And remember that we, as human beings, enjoy variety. The more you can keep your store at the forefront of your players’ minds, the better you can make the in-game store experience for you and them. Add new items, whether for seasonal events or tied to a specific DLC. Change categories, remove items that are not working, and don’t be afraid to tweak to your players’ preferences.
We encourage you to download and read our eBook, “Game Commerce Essentials: How to make a successful in-game store.” In it, we delve into more detail on what you can sell, how you can price and display your offers, and highlight the best ways to boost sales and increase engagement with your player base.