Promoting Discounts & Smart Prices for Games

With the rise in popularity of F2P models within the gaming industry, the active use of discounts for sales of digital in-game goods has never been more important for the well-being and success of the developer/game. Sales within the digital gaming sphere allow the developer/publisher to stimulate demand, increase conversions and ultimately generate profit.


Discounts on Packages:

One of the most common commercial practices in the modern online games market includes selling sets or packages of discounted goods. These goods can range from being full released games to digital accessories within a game. One of the significant advantages and reasons why this type of package deal works so successfully is because of the fact that these packages provide high value for the player at a lower cost. The package includes a discount for the customer by means of adding multiple goods together for purchase at one uniform price. The set of products in this package will usually be much cheaper than purchasing each item itself individually.

Humble Bundle

The Humble Bundle is a perfect example of a company selling sets of games, music, books, etc. at a discounted rate in a bundled package. Customers can look through the games offered and see if the package is worth their time and money. The unique part of The Humble Bundle is that they boast a “Pay what you want” model where the customer chooses the amount they will pay for the bundle, as well as how the money should be divided up respectively to the publisher/developer and charity of their choosing. Normally these bundles come with a catch, however, as the most desired and popular game is at the higher threshold, luring the customer into purchasing the bundle at a higher cost in order to unlock certain features such as the popular game.

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In a previous post on the Xsolla Blog, we covered The Pro’s and Con’s of the Bundle Promotion where we go into more detail describing the effectiveness of bundling for any given game.

Apple Game Bundles

Game Bundles have become a feature on the Apple App Store recently and it has been proven to generate much success. Apple groups similar applications either by genre or by publisher and sells this promotional set for much cheaper than purchasing each individual piece by itself. This is a wonderful technique that clearly shows the user benefits as Apple obtains more sales, the user spends less on games that they will enjoy as a package, and everybody wins.


Reasoning Behind Discounted Items

Evaluating empirical data done by Xsolla, we found that the formation of prices on packages in games aren’t dependent on the value of the product itself. Statistically, the average price reduction on the most expensive item within the store equates to approximately a 20% discount. Today’s online projects are mostly targeted towards the “whale” consumers who invest the most into the game and the need for a big discount for these players to continue paying seems unnecessary.

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With consideration to the stability of the in-game economy, price points of $4.99, $9.99, $19.99, $49.99, and $99.99 are carefully calculated and do not give excess room for variability. This is due to the fact that game design is tough to approach. However, by providing greater returns on higher price points such as the $99.99 price point exemplified for Clash of Clans below, you receive the most value in terms of in-game goods per dollar spent. At the price point of $99.99, you receive a return of 140 gems per $1 put into the game. Compare this to purchasing a lower threshold of $4.99 where you only receive 100 gems per $1 spent.

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Discounts on packs: Successful Use Cases

Angry Birds Star Wars 2 offers a choice of three large packages which are time sensitive and boast sales percentages of up to 70% off. Note that you can buy these products for virtual currency that is earned in the game or purchased additionally for real money. Discounts for purchases of price points are implied as Angry Birds Star Wars 2 takes the approach of having sales promotional events on their virtual goods rather than on the purchase of the digital currency itself.

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World of Tanks for the PC went as far as striking out previous price points and adding what the current discounted price is as well as adding a marker for the percentage discount received.

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Wargaming made allowances for a special premium set of goods (tanks), which were related to the recently released film Fury. This came out as a limited time offer which puts a timer on the consumer to purchase now because it won’t be available later. Sometimes players who are devoted for the long-run, react negatively to selling premium products at a deep discount. Therefore it is best to make such sales restrictions based on a time restriction or do not offer discounts on the product itself, but on the set of virtual currency for which this product can be purchased.

Xsolla Paystation 3.0

Xsolla’s newest payment solution, Paystation 3.0, puts the developer into a position of command. You are able to set price points, add and remove items, and manage all aspects of sales within your game. Our new system allows you to have any type of purchase within your project and manage it all from your backend. Once you plug in your API, you’re good to go.

Here’s a demonstration of Xsolla’s Paystation 3.0 from the perspective of our senior integrations developer, Tom Murray.

To get started with Xsolla Paystation 3.0, you’re only a click away!

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