Plan ahead! Tips for microtransactions
In our last article, we summarised the main points of planning a VR program.
As we are currently working on a type of game that has shown some difficulties with microtransactions, we will share these experiences with you again.
If you are not just driven by curiosity and generosity to develop a free game and you want to make money with the game/program you are planning, the main options are:
1. the game has a one-time download fee
2. and/or make extra revenue through in-game/program purchases
The difficulties come from in-app purchases (i.e. microtransactions.), which seem simple yet are difficult to test. All platforms (AppLab, Oculus Store, Stream, Viveport, etc...) provide different ways to do this.
However! The problem starts when the game has become available to customers (even during early access on some platforms). From that point, the possibility to test the game for free is over. Any modification what you want to test about "in-app purchases" would possibly be charged by these platforms.
An additional problem is tha t this makes accounting more difficult between the customer and the developer (whose credit card should be charged, who and how should be billed for these costs, etc.)
But let's look at the planning and development side!
The most important things to think twice before launch are:
- What kind of in-app purchases do we want?
- When do we want to activate them?
- On which platform should the game be released first?
- Do we want it to appear everywhere at the same time?
For the last version, although it is possible to integrate more payment solutions, the time spent on development (especially testing) is multiplied, so it is only possible to release and make a profit later. However, the advantage of multi-platform publishing is that you can reach more users, as not all players are registered for all platforms.
The advantage of a single platform is that it can be released faster and can already generate some profit by the time the other versions are ready.
Consider also the fact that there is no interoperability between different platforms. In case of a player changes device, even if he downloads the same game, the add-ons purchased on the previous platform will no longer be available on the new platform.
In the case of mobile games and apps, it is already natural that by logging our google or Facebook account on any device and downloading from any app store, you can continue with the same user ID and extras.
Well, this doesn't really work for VR programs yet.
For cross-platform VR pograms, there is no clear solution that works immediately everywhere, but connecting different systems can solve the problem.
In addition, Unity is already working on the Economy package, which is expected to make it possible to access VR games with Oculus and Steam accounts in the first half of next year.
Got a question? Feel free to contact us!