In an industry as rapidly changing as gaming, it’s never easy to predict the future. At Acapture, however, we specialize in staying ahead of the curve when it comes to payments. Here’s our view on how some of the current trends in gaming could influence video game payments solutions in the coming years.
The gaming payment mix is already varied, with ewallets and mobile carrier billing chipping away at card’s traditional status as the preferred payment method. This situation will only intensify as developers push towards a “360 product”.
As Todd Harris of Hi-Rez Studios told the Guardian, “You want your game to be a lifestyle, a hobby, a passion that people spend money on regularly…we want players to be able to go to Amazon, buy the game, see a 3D print, buy that too and then have that open up a cool item in the game.”
‘You want your game to be a lifestyle, a hobby, a passion that people spend money on regularly.’
With an increasing number of physical and digital touch points and payment points, PSPs will need to provide greater support across multiple sales channels, alternative payment methods, data analytics that monitor customer behavior and constant uptime.
The subscription models used by games merchants are seemingly multiplying by the month. With Steam offering refunds for players unhappy after less than two hours of play on a downloaded game and services like Early Accesss and Xbox Preview allowing players to play unfinished games still in development for a monthly fee, recurring payments will need to become even more flexible to match the industry’s constant innovations.
While some gamers complain about microtransactions in free-to-play games, it’s a model that is not going away. In fact, some pundits foresee a world in which even titles like Call of Duty offer their basic game for free, with in-game purchases the only cost to the player.
The ideal microtransaction should feel unintrusive to the gameplay and a logical extension of the game’s world. PSPs have to support this by ensuring any in-app payments are fast, secure and can be handled in a single click.
Steam Workshop’s attempt to formalize the relationship between mod makers and games developers with 2015’s ‘paid mod’ feature for Skyrim ended almost before it began. Yet it’s likely to return in some form soon. After all, by January 2015 Steam had already paid mod designers around USD57 million for content offered through the platform.
As the mod scene continues to grow, it’s not hard to envision a time where a large, alternative revenue stream for both games merchants and development companies comes from facilitating transactions between independent mod designers and players. A situation such as this would see the games company act as an online marketplace, which means a whole new set of payment concerns must be dealt with, from split settlements to stricter international retail regulations.
Would you like to speak more about how video game payments will evolve in the next few years? Then get in touch with us today. We tailor solutions specifically to the needs of ambitious games operators looking to grow internationally.