Monetization has become a huge part of selling video games regardless of platform: DLC, F2P, boosts and more. This makes having an easily understandable payment page vital for anyone looking to receive profits from these purchases. All it takes is one confusing purchase to turn a fan into a disgruntled former customer. And we at Xsolla can help you out with designing a great UI.
The F2P Storefront
There is a major difference between selling content in a standard or retail game and one for a F2P title. With retail games, you don’t need a complicated store as you shouldn’t have complicated microtransactions to begin with. The bulk of the content should have been unlocked via buying the game in the first place. All you really need is a simple page that shows what’s available, the price and what you get for your money.
With a F2P game or one where you are going to focus on microtransactions, it is very different. The store has to be a major consideration when designing your game. The reason is that this is going to be an area where everyone who plays your game is going to look at and will be updated every time you release new DLC or have a marketing sale.
The front page should show everything from what’s on sale to new and featured items. If you are offering packages, make sure to clearly point out the discount or bonus players will get. Offer clear pricing in local currency and facilitate the buying process with one-click payments.
Sell the Steak, Not the Sizzle
If you’ve seen marketing strategies from other industries in the past, you might have heard them use the phrase “Sell the Sizzle, Not the Steak” referring to the act of downplaying the actual item or price in favor of all the bonuses, features and rewards you get for spending money.
That may work in other industries but for video games, it’s different. The consumer must know all the details when making in-game purchases. If you are trying to make your F2P profitable, two of the worse things you can do are make it Pay to Win or have confusing purchases.
Everything needs to be spelled out crystal clear so that there is no doubt in the consumer’s mind as to what they’re buying, how much it is and what they are getting. That last point is applicable if you have sales or bundle products like season passes. If your game has premium currency that the player can buy and spend, make sure that the symbol for it is distinct and easy to see so that the consumer won’t confuse it with spending in game resources.
The last point may sound innocuous but it’s vitally important if you are marketing your game towards kids – confirmation on purchases. It may annoy some of your hardcore fans that they can’t just one click to buy everything by default, but that annoyance is worth not having a child accidentally spend $100 without knowing it and you have an angry parent.
We’ve talked about some important elements of a good storefront and lastly here is what Xsolla can do to help you with your payment needs.
Technology at Work
Here at Xsolla our main goal is to help games improve conversion, and that is why we have a UI/UX team working on the payment interface for games only. Using the Sketch 3 tool from Bohemian Coding, we create a clear and player-friendly layout for your payment page that is:
- tailor-suited to in-game purchases as opposed to online purchases in general
- customized to your specific needs
Sketch 3 tool is powerful enough to create any kind of payment screen. We would typically start off with a standard, easy to understand UI as the template and from there we can turn it into whatever you need for your game.
Quickly and easily customizable payment interfaces are made possible thanks to Sketch 3 functionality.
By creating a variety of Artboards (simply put, pages of payment interface), we can clearly see all of them on one screen.
Symbols (similar to Adobe Photoshop’s Smart Objects) make it easy to create custom and yet multi-use objects that can be easily edited in batch if needed and reused.
Artboards combined with Symbols make up a UI Kit, which can be later used as a standard template for customizable payment interfaces.
Making an attractive, accessible storefront is important for anyone developing a F2P game. All it takes is one bad store experience to sour someone on the rest of your game and that makes it all the more vital to get it right the first time.