Monetization Advice for Indie Developers

Although developers with a large player base will probably want to go with a third-party service provider (see the Vindicia CashBox profile earlier in this chapter), that option likely won’t be feasible for smaller/indie developers. For them in particular, M2’s Billy Pidgeon has the following advice.

Go with Name-Brand Payment Option(s)

Pidgeon recommends that you use a service layer with a name, such as PayPal, Visa, or possibly Digital River, to increase gamers’ comfort zone with a recognizable name. The more trust users have with your payment option, the more likely they will be to buy.

Offer Multiple Payment Options and Multiple Revenue Streams

“Friction is always the primary issue with monetization,” says Pidgeon. “If gamers want to pay, any barriers to payments such as time, filling out forms, going to secondary sites, and so on are going to be very significant. For this reason, indie developers and micro-publishers should offer any and all payment solutions their customers might want, and they should troubleshoot payment procedures to make sure these are easy and comfortable for all their customers.

NOTE “The payment experience is easily as important as the initial play session, and the same issues are involved. Is it clear and understandable? Is it easy? Is it comfortable? Is it satisfying?” says Billy Pidgeon of M2.
Independent developers should apply as much creativity to monetization methods and structures as they do ...

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