In-App Purchases: Pricing and Players’ Trust

Rhett and Evan take a closer look at the dos and don’ts when it comes to IAP pricing and what affect this can have on the player’s trust.

Q: What is most common mistake you see in IAP pricing or merchandising, and what are some ways to fix it?

Rhett:  I see quite a few developers treat the design of the IAP storefront as an afterthought. Strange, considering it is the only revenue source (after ads) in free-to-play games. I recommend adding the ability to message sales and add tags to specific IAPs. Also, be sure to follow industry best practice pricing:

Evan: There have been numerous studies that support the idea that price may influence demand. If you’ve put the work into getting your game to look great, don’t offer any IAPs priced at tier one. The app store has matured to a point where top-shelf free-to-play games don’t have any IAPs short of tier five, and charging any less could hurt your overall monetization.

Fuse talks a lot about the player trust side of the IAP equation:

Q: What are some examples of what not to do, that erode players’ trust?

Rhett: IAPs that have no apparent value to your customers can be confusing. Say a valuable in-game widget costs 200 coins, your 4.99 IAP gives 150 coins and your 9.99 IAP give 300 coins. By not offering a relevant IAP, you are creating mental barriers to conversion.

Evan: A player that spends all their premium currency at once has fewer opportunities to feel the value of their IAP than a player who can space out their spending. Especially in the early stages of progression, make sure to avoid opportunities for players to spend all their premium currency at once.  Single big-ticket purchases are more to likely result in a loss of perceived value and repeat business.

Q: How do you structure an IAP to gain players’ trust? 

Rhett: In the above situation, I would set my 4.99 IAP at 200 coins. That way, the player can see a direct connection between buying the IAP and improving their experience in game.

Evan: The best way to demonstrate value in your IAPs is by having them alleviate more than one pain point, or solve more than one problem. If a single purchase can result in multiple pleasure points, your players will be less likely to experience buyer’s remorse and will feel they have made a sound, intelligent purchase.

In-App Purchases: How to Monetize through Merchandising

Monetization is a top priority for anyone creating mobile games. How can publishers and developers be sure they’re doing everything they can to keep this number as high as possible? Rhett, Evan, and Chris have a few helpful suggestions and observations on optimizing in game merchandizing, and monetization trends.

Q: IAP sales are pretty important when it comes to game monetization. What are some things developers need to consider to ensure they are optimizing their in-game merchandizing?

Rhett: I see a lot of games on the app store that haven’t put much thought into the price points and currency values of their IAP store. The last thing you want is for a player to second-guess their purchase. Common mistakes are; setting price points too low, inconsistent amounts of bonus currency, not relating IAPs to specific in game items (see the Builder in Clash of Clans). This article goes into greater detail on the matter.

Evan: Keep price-quality relationship in mind when scheduling sales and other monetization events. Running sales too often can devalue your digital commodities.

Chris: There needs to be some finesse in the way you push IAP sales. Having a good way to segment these players by the packs they purchase can be a great tool to help improve monetization early and often. Were you able to get the player to spend on a discounted $4.99 bundle at $2.99 in their first few sessions? Great, you have covered the first and biggest hurdle in getting players to monetize and have built your first segment. Now it is time to see if the next pack up interests them. Find a good point in the game where the player may need a little help and offer them the next pack up at a discount to that same segment. This ladder approach gives you a good opportunity to keep these players converting and growing your ARPU and ARPPU.

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Gamesauce Feature: Casual Connect Video, and Helping Developers Monetize

Gamesauce has released Liz Priestman and Jon Walsh’s presentation from Casual Connect: The First 48 Hours!

Following the video is an interview with Liz, looking everything from her favourite mobile game, to the future of the industry.

Check them out here!


The First 48 Hours: How to know NOW if you’ve got a hit or are DOA

Written by: Jon Walsh

Although the common consensus is that you should collect metrics for at least 30 days before drawing any major conclusions about the long term potential of your game, we’ve determined that there are some reliable early indicators that you should be paying close attention to after just 48 hours.

Read the full article on Gamesbrief!