By Amanda Loo
Head of Account Management & Sales Operations
A Juniper Research report projects that the video game industry be worth over $200 billion by 2023, with mobile and cloud gaming leading the way. Smartphone in-app revenue is expected to grow at about 8% in that time, driven by the growing number of smartphone gamers in emerging markets. The number of mobile gamers is expected to hit 2.7 billion by 2021 with more than half of all global games are played on smartphones and tablets.
While these are exciting numbers, successfully accessing this lucrative market can be a convoluted path. The flood of free-to-play games and similar-looking games in app-stores is presenting consumers and game publishers the ‘problem of plenty’. The abundance of choice means consumers have very little incentive to remain loyal to a title. As such, there is cut-throat competition among game publishers to acquiring and retaining customers.
Mobile operator companies are facing a similar situation. With data and connectivity commoditized, consumers can easily switch operators if they are dissatisfied in any way. This situation is putting pressure on even the biggest telcos in the world.
Amidst all this, mobile value-added services have become an important revenue generator for telcos, provides great opportunities for mobile game publishers.
Synergy In Mobile Bundling
In addition to their regular offerings, telcos are bundling value-added services and content to attract and retain customers. Besides the benefit of diversifying revenue streams, the synergy created by these bundles creates further cross-selling and up-selling products for both telcos and game publishers.
For game publishers, partnering with telcos to offer bundled content presents many advantages. These include helping publishers quickly break into new markets, providing an immediate boost to a title’s distribution, enhancing the marketing of the game, and providing a quick injection of paid users. For mobile carriers, it helps retain users and improve ARPU.
Four Big Advantages of Bundling Your Games With Telcos
Partnerships between telcos and game developers makes a lot of sense because their complimentary offers both short-term advantages and long-term growth for both. Here are just four of them.
- Partnering with telcos gives mobile game publishers an attractive marketing advantage. While telcos gain the advantage of offering new value to their customers, game publishers also has the advantage of instant access to a large market of potential gamers from among the telco’s subscribers.
- Telco-based payments, or Direct Carrier Billing, provides seamless payment as the checkout process is based on the users’ registered phone numbers. They just need to tap ‘agree’ and the rest is automated.
- Painless microtransactions converts better than asking people to whip out their credit cards. Because payment is so effortless, users are more likely to make in-app micro purchases. Customers can later be upsold to become subscribers.
- The easy transaction process of Direct Carrier Billing is also great for A/B testing small-sum payments for content. This is a simple way to gather data about consumer behavior and preferences in your game.
As smartphones and data plans become affordable, the shift towards mobile gaming will only intensify. Now is the time to ride this early wave of content bundling.
At Apigate, we understand the importance of content monetisation for game publishers and merchants. As part of Axiata, a leading Asian telco group, Apigate’s end-to-end API platform solution is able to offer game publishers various monetization opportunities while working closely together with mobile operators.