Bad markets do not exist. But incorrect payment methods do


Steam in Russia

In September 2010, Gabe Newell and Doug Lombardy gave an interview to PC Gamer magazine. Valve top managers talked about Steam benefits in detail. Four years later, Newell’s words seem to be prophetic. That time the creators of the largest distribution platform started up the idea that there were no ‘bad markets’ at all. You just need to find an approach. Xsolla illuminates the most successful cases of payment localization for different markets. We figure out why developers do not hurry to introduce new payment methods as well.

«‘They’re low enough that we don’t really spend any time [on fraud]. When you look at the things we sit around and talk about, as big picture cross game issues, we’re way more concerned about the stability of DirectX drivers or, you know, the erroneous banning of people. That’s way more of an issue for us than piracy.

Once you create service value for customers, ongoing service value, piracy seems to disappear, right? It’s like «Oh, you’re still doing something for me? I don’t mind the fact that I paid for this.” Once you actually localize your product in Russia and ship it on the same day that you ship your English language versions, this theoretical hotbed of piracy becomes your second largest- third largest after Germany in continental Europe? Or third after UK?» — Gabe Newell says.

The idea met a lot of skepticism but 4-year experience shows the complex localization (translation, local currencies and timely release) produces tangible results. Dev Days (Steam) considers Russia and Brazil to maintain their position of highly developing markets. Compared to the last year the Russian market growth rate is 128%.

«During Valve Dev Days we hear about the results of payment page localization and the introduction of local currencies. After the payment page was translated into Russian, Valve’s income quadrupled. The company is going to continue this practice» — Xsolla payment manager Peter Sokolov says.

However, many game developers are slow to use new payment methods as it causes additional costs to work with tech support.

«It depends on the studio or the publisher. The „best“ option is to have particular payment systems for each region. But that adds a lot of complications and support needs. So if you have the staff and money to do so it is better. But for example right now with additional pledges and stuff via our website we only support PayPal because we don’t have the staff to support more right now», — Nick T Nieuwoudt (Taitale Studious) says. Recently the studio finished collecting the funds for the space MMORTS Novus AEterno production (nearly 200 thousand dollars).

We appreciate when billing partners help us with customer support and provide us with the maximal stability of payments. You can always rely on Xsolla on this issue.

Xsolla remembers the cases when local payment methods brought smaller Russian games popularity. We cannot fail to remember the very popular ‘card’ game by Russian publishers – “Tanki Online”. The game resembles a lot of Hearthstone. Gamers loved it but surprisingly it was not commercially successful in the international field. Later on the game was launched on the Korean market and local payment methods (Xsolla partners) were included. The game had an access to local distributing platforms as well. As a result, the amount of payments increased up to 30%.

Such practice is not something out of the ordinary. Many Asian projects show similar results. It’s really difficult to predict the exact income increases. Nevertheless, the effect of a correct introduction of new local payment methods is always visible.

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