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Why mobile game developers can’t afford to miss cross-platform opportunities (VB Live)

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Presented by Xsolla


In this VB Live event, learn how developers of any size can not only sell their content directly to players, but expand into regions where credit cards are not the primary method of payment, lower their overhead, improve UA and discoverability and more.

Register here for free.


The mobile games market was built on the shoulders of two large app stores, but that dynamic is irrevocably changing. Publishers have significantly more choice and more control over their audience, their marketing, and their payments, from the payment methods they choose to how much they get paid.

“Whether it’s payments outside of the app stores, or NFTs and blockchain, the industry and the creative people working in it are have already evolved beyond these platforms,” says Miikka Luotio, director of business development, Europe. “They’re coming up with new business models, better ways to entertain their players, and innovative ways to allow their players to monetize.”

How the mobile landscape is changing

It started with the legal battle between Apple and Epic, which loosened the App Store’s grip on developer profits. Developers are now allowed to steer their users to other payment systems. In that way, developers bypass the App Store’s 30% commission and can offer their players better prices, more ways to pay, and better user experiences.

“The latest regulations made people start to ask questions,” Luotio says. “Is this really good for free commerce, to have such a restricted set of options controlled by two companies?”

It’s become a global question. Legal challenges to the dominance of the two app stores have come recently from Korea, the Netherlands, and regulating parties across Europe. Now the snowball has started rolling down the hill, and the momentum is there, Luotio says.

Many countries are seeing app store rules as restrictions on their local businesses. And as the payment conversation continues, it’s become clear that many audiences are being left behind, because these large platforms don’t offer local payment methods.

“Publishers need to offer choices to their audience, and even governments and their regulatory authorities realize this,” he says. “Which means that it’s time to democratize parts of those restrictions, allowing more options for publishers and individual companies. In the mobile games community, the people I talk to are excited about the implications of this larger conversation.”

This wave of change is a major opportunity for mobile game publishers. It’s easier than ever for developers to break free of the app store and implement cross-platform functionality, own their customer base, develop customer relationships directly with their players, and monetize in brand-new ways.

New revenue opportunities for publishers

Just being able to offer a broader variety of payment methods has unlocked major new revenue streams for mobile game developers. Many of the major global markets, including Asia, Russia, Latin America, India, and China have huge swaths of customers who don’t have access to international credit cards, or international ewallets like Paypal.

“It’s significant for businesses to understand that their monetization hasn’t been great in these emerging regions because they haven’t been able to cover the payment methods that the majority of the people in those regions and countries want to use,” Luotio says. “We want to make publishers aware of what they’ve been missing out on, and what could be the growth they could tap into if they go beyond the app platforms.”

Since so many customers have only been able use local payment methods, they’ve been left out of the equation. For instance, Xsolla found that offering local payment methods in areas like Latin America and South Korea could increase payments coverage of the market by up to 60%.

Owning the relationship with players and their data

But while some regulations in the app stores have loosened, privacy restrictions have gotten tighter, significantly narrowing the options for direct performance marketing and making it far less profitable. But those same rules don’t exist in the same way on the web.

“There’s a bit more freedom in how you handle user acquisition for a web shop, browser game, or PC version, and you’re able to track much more accurately,” Luotio said. “You can attribute the players that you acquire through different social networks running user acquisition campaigns.”

Customer relationship management, which is becoming more and more important for free-to-play games on every platform, is far more effective when you own your players. When you expand beyond the app stores, you no longer have to rely on those platforms to host your user accounts. You have your own user account system, and having access to that data makes understanding and catering to your most valuable players more flexible.

“Publishers are realizing that it’s not about just getting new players,” he says. “It’s finding the best ways to cater to your existing, most loyal players, and giving them what they want in a very customized way. When you control the community and aren’t hampered by any platforms in between, you can take better care of your top players.”

One Xsolla partner with a very popular mobile game launched a web store to target their most valuable players, offering special deals for loyal fans. Word started to spread that there was a new destination to land more engaging, value-add offers, and it snowballed, getting to the point where the publisher was making more money from the web shop than they were making on the mobile platform, Luotio says.

“We’re certainly seeing similar results elsewhere,” he says. “In every case, the special offer web shop approach has always been a positive return on the investment so far, from all our partners, especially for games that have been out there for a while, have reached a certain scale, and have a core audience.”

Best practices for commerce growth

The best practice for games that have started to scale is to run a pilot test to see how your community would react if you allow them to monetize outside of the app stores.

“Doing a proof of concept is something that, especially for games at scale, can help you start growing again,” he says. “If your game revenue has plateaued a little, try a proof of concept, especially targeting those markets that you haven’t reached before with different payment methods.”  

He’s found that the markets that make a big difference have been Latin America, South Korea, Russia, and China.

Secondly, as you make moves to break free of the app stores, he warns that you should still make sure you maintain good relationships with the platforms, because you’ll still always gain a lot by being featured in the app store.

“The important thing is to offer value that isn’t conflicting with the existing options that you have within the mobile game itself,” he says. “You need to come up with offers that supplement what you’re already selling directly in the game. Create new, unique offers, bundles of things that you can buy in the mobile game that present a better value offer.”

To learn more about how to take advantage of new revenue streams, break free of the app stores, and find new ways to monetize your players, don’t miss this VB Live event!

Register for free here.


You’ll learn:

  • How to break free of the mobile app store
  • Best practices for commerce growth
  • How mobile developers can reach revenue goals
  • Real-world case studies from successful mobile game developers and publishers

Presenters:

  • Taewon Yun, Chief Business Officer, Super Evil Megacorp
  • Miikka Luotio, Director of Business Development, Europe, Xsolla
  • Dean Takahashi, Lead Writer, GamesBeat (moderator)

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Identity in the metaverse: Creating a global identity system

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With the advent of the metaverse, the need for a global identity system has become apparent. There are many different ways to create an identity in the metaverse, but no single system is universally accepted. 

The challenge is usually two-fold: first, how to create an identity that is accepted by all the different platforms and services in the metaverse, and second, how to keep track of all the different identities a person may have.

There are many proposed solutions to these challenges, but no clear consensus has emerged. Some believe that a single, global identity system is the only way to ensure interoperability between different platforms and services. Others believe that multiple identities are necessary to allow people to maintain their privacy and security.

The debate is ongoing, but it is clear that the need for a global identity system is becoming more urgent as the metaverse continues to grow.

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In this article, we will explore the various options for creating a global identity system in the metaverse. We will discuss the pros and cons of each option, and try to identify the best solution for the future.

Option 1: A single global identity

The simplest solution to the problem of identity in the metaverse is to create a single, global identity system. This would be a centralized system that would be responsible for managing all identities in the metaverse. 

The advantages of this approach are obvious: It would be much easier to keep track of identities, and there would be no need to worry about different platforms and services accepting different identities. In addition, a centralized identity system would allow for better security and privacy controls, as well as the ability to track identity theft and fraud.

However, this approach also has several disadvantages. First, it would be very difficult to create a global identity system that is accepted by everyone. Also, a centralized system would be vulnerable to attack and could be used to track people’s movements and activities. Third, it would be difficult to protect the privacy of users in a centralized system.

Option 2: Multiple identities

Another solution to the problem of identity in the metaverse is to allow each person to have multiple identities. This would mean that each person could have one or more identities that they use for different purposes. 

One of the main advantages of this approach is that it would allow people to maintain their privacy and security. Each person could choose which identity to use for each situation, and they would not have to worry about their entire identity being exposed. In addition, this approach would be more resilient to attack, as it would be much harder to take down multiple identities than a single one.

The limitations of such an approach would be that it could be difficult to keep track of all the different identities, and there would be no guarantee that different platforms and services would accept all of them. In addition, multiple identities could lead to confusion and could make it more difficult for people to build trust with others.

Option 3: A decentralized identity system

A third solution to the problem of identity in the metaverse is to create a decentralized identity system. This would be an identity system that is not controlled by any one centralized authority but rather is distributed among many different nodes. 

This might seem like the ideal approach, since decentralization is a common theme in the metaverse. However, there are still some challenges that need to be overcome. For instance, it would need to be ensured that all the different nodes in the system are properly synchronized and that the system as a whole is secure. In addition, it might be difficult to get people to adopt such a system if they are used to the more traditional centralized approach.

One solution would be to get the nodes in the system to be run by different organizations. This would help to decentralize the system and make it more secure. Another advantage of this approach is that it would allow different organizations to offer their own identity services, which could be more tailored to their needs.

Another would be to incorporate an edge computing solution into the system. This would allow for more decentralized processing of data and could help to improve performance. It would also make the system more resilient to attack since there would be no centralized point of failure.

The best solution for the future of identity in the metaverse is likely to be a combination of these approaches. A centralized system might be necessary to provide a basic level of identity services, but it should be supplemented by a decentralized system that is more secure and resilient. Ultimately, the goal should be to create an identity system that is both easy to use and secure.

The ideal identity standards of the metaverse

Now that we have explored the various options for identity in the metaverse, we can start to identify the ideal standards that should be met by any future global identity system. 

It is no easy task to create a global identity system that meets all of the criteria, but it is important to strive for an ideal solution. After all, the metaverse is still in its early stages, and the decisions made now will have a lasting impact on its future. 

Current iterations of the metaverse have used very traditional approaches to identity, but it is time to start thinking outside the box. The ideal solution will be one that is secure, private, decentralized, and easy to use. It will be a solution that allows people to maintain their privacy while still being able to interact with others in the metaverse. 

Most importantly, it will be a solution that can be accepted and used by everyone. Only then can we hope to create a truly global identity system for the metaverse.

The bottom line on identity in the metaverse

The question of identity in the metaverse is a complex one, but it is an important issue that needs to be addressed. 

The challenges associated with creating an implementation that is secure, private and decentralized are significant, but they are not insurmountable. For one, it will be important to get buy-in from organizations that have a vested interest in the metaverse. These organizations can help to promote and support the adoption of identity standards. 

It is also important to keep in mind that the metaverse is still evolving, and the solution that is ideal today might not be ideal tomorrow. As such, it will be critical to have a flexible identity system that can adapt as the needs of the metaverse change. 

Ultimately, the goal should be to create an identity system that is both easy to use and secure. Only then can we hope to create a truly global identity system for the metaverse.

Daniel Saito is CEO and cofounder of StrongNode

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How to Eliminate Scheduling Inefficiencies in Your Business

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What do salons, consultancies, and home service providers all have in common? This question may seem like the prime setup for a joke, but there’s no punchline to look forward…

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Why You Should Start a Business Only While You Have a Job

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Many people that I meet tell me that they dream of starting their own . I always ask them, “Then why don’t you?” They typically respond by saying that they have so many financial and personal responsibilities, that they can’t just quit their job to start a company, etc. Then I tell them my story …



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Related: How to Use Your Current Job to Start Your Next Business

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