Mobile game

Why Mobile Game Developers Can’t Afford to Miss Cross-Platform Opportunities (VB Live)

Presented by Xsolla

In this VB Live event, join VB’s Dean Takahashi and a panel of pros to learn how developers of all sizes can not only sell their content directly to gamers, but also expand into regions where credit cards aren’t available. primary payment method, reduce their overhead, improve AU and discoverability and more.

Register here for free.

The mobile gaming market was built on the shoulders of two large app stores, but that dynamic is changing irrevocably. Publishers have far more choice and more control over their audience, marketing and payments, from the payment methods they choose to the amount they receive.

“Whether it’s payments outside of app stores, or NFT and blockchain, the industry and the creatives working in it have already evolved beyond these platforms,” ​​says Miikka Luotio, director of the 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 direct their users to other payment systems. This 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 have made people ask questions,” says Luotio. “Is it really good for free trade to have such a narrow set of options controlled by two companies?”

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

Many countries view App Store rules as restrictions on their local businesses. And as the payment conversation continues, it becomes clear that many audiences are being left behind because these large platforms do not offer local payment methods.

“Publishers need to provide choices to their audiences, and even governments and their regulators realize that,” he says. “Which means it’s time to democratize parts of these restrictions, giving publishers and individual companies more options. In the mobile gaming community, 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 from the App Store and implement cross-platform features, own their customer base, build customer relationships directly with their players, and monetize in whole new ways.

New revenue opportunities for publishers

Just being able to offer a wider variety of payment methods has unlocked major new revenue streams for mobile game developers. Many major global markets, including Asia, Russia, Latin America, India, and China, have huge groups of customers who do not have access to international credit cards or international e-wallets like PayPal.

“It is important for businesses to understand that their monetization has not been significant in these emerging regions because they have not been able to cover the payment methods that the majority of people in these regions and countries want to use,” says Luotio. “We want to make publishers aware of what they’ve been missing out on and the growth they could tap into if they went beyond app platforms.”

Since many customers were only able to use local payment methods, they were left out of the equation. For example, Xsolla found that offering local payment methods in regions like Latin America and South Korea could increase market payment coverage by up to 60%.

Mastering the relationship with players and their data

But as some regulations in app stores have eased, privacy restrictions have tightened, drastically narrowing the options for direct performance marketing and making it far less profitable. But these same rules do not exist in the same way on the web.

“There’s a little more freedom in how you handle user acquisition for an online store, browser game, or PC version, and you can track a lot more precisely,” Luotio said. “You can attribute the players you acquire through different social networks running user acquisition campaigns.”

Customer relationship management, which is becoming increasingly important for free-to-play games on all platforms, is much more effective when you own your players. When you expand beyond app stores, you no longer need to rely on these platforms to host your user accounts. You have your own user account system, and access to this data makes understanding and restoring your most valuable players more flexible.

“Publishers are realizing that it’s not just about attracting new players,” he says. “It’s about finding the best ways to meet the needs of your most loyal existing players and give them what they want in a very personalized way. When you control the community and are not hindered by any intermediary platform, you can take better care of your best players.

An Xsolla partner with a hugely popular mobile game has launched an online store to target its most valuable players, offering special offers to loyal fans. Word started to spread that there was a new destination to provide more attractive and value-added offers, and it snowballed, to the point where the publisher was making more money with the online store. than he was earning on the mobile platform, says Luotio.

“We’re certainly seeing similar results elsewhere,” he says. “In any case, the online store’s approach to special offers has always been a positive return on investment so far, from all our partners, especially for games that have been around for a while. , have reached a certain scale and have a public core.”

Best Practices for Business Growth

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

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

He discovered that the markets that make a big difference are Latin America, South Korea, Russia and China.

Second, as you take steps to free yourself from the app stores, he warns that you should always make sure you maintain a good relationship with the platforms because you will still earn a lot from being featured in the app store.

“The important thing is to offer value that doesn’t conflict with the existing options you have in the mobile game itself,” he says. “You need to provide offers that complement what you already sell directly in-game. Create new unique offers, bundles of things you can buy in the mobile game that present a better value offer.”

For more on how to take advantage of new revenue streams, free yourself from app stores, and find new ways to monetize your players, don’t miss this VB Live event!

Register for free here.

You will learn:

  • How to break free from the mobile app store
  • Best Practices for Business Growth
  • How Mobile Developers Can Achieve Their Revenue Goals
  • Real-life case studies from successful mobile game developers and publishers


  • Michael CarterCEO, Playco
  • Taewon YunCommercial Director, Super Evil Megacorp
  • Tugay AlyildizCEO Co-Founder, Veloxia Technology
  • Mikka LuotioBusiness Development Manager, Europe, Xsolla
  • Dean Takahashi, Lead Writer, GamesBeat (moderator)