This chart shows that credit card payments are popular, but some markets are quite different.
I’m going to eventually need to sign up with a payments service with worldwide exposure.
In China, Alipay isn’t nearly as useful as you think, because Chinese are used to paying with their phones via their Carrier. Figuring out that aspect will be interesting. This info above (and a lot more) came from a gamasutra article.
Carrier billing in China, is China Mobile, China Telecom, China unicom. They charge at least 30%, sometimes much more.
In China, integrating into the largest of China’s social networks (local SNS), reaches nearly 1 billion users: TenCent “Q Q” 700million users (penguin symbol with orange scarf), Weixin 300million users, Weibo.com has 500million users. Yodo1.com says they have a technology with an API that helps apps to integrate into these SNS networks.
( Email is for business in China. Email doesn’t reach people who do gaming, or leisure computing. It’s these gaming social networks that people stay inside of… they don’t use facebook’ish clones in China )
In China, vast traffic downloading occurs, but hardly anyone pays for anything. Chinese attention span is SO short, your game will be deleted very very quickly, within a day or two, unless there are a stream of scheduled game updates with new content. Apparently PopCap.com is a western studio that has done a good job of understanding the Chinese way of doing things.
A tip to succeed, when a game starts, show the user that they are automatically put into a player community without ever leaving the game, to increase the social impact. It increases the session times and retention rates.
One way games in China monetize themselves, is to partner with ad networks and show ads inside the games. I might be able to show ads, on the moose’s hat, or below the closed caption text.
Localizing moose. The bowtie is western, so for China, moose would need a Chinese outfit. ( maybe wearing a panda costume ).
In China, PC gaming is a much larger market than mobile gaming. (whew)
Henry Fong of Yodo1, mentioned the CowPlay model in Korea, (or cosplay?) and said TenCent is trying to do something similar with weixin
June 28, 2013 update. A fantastic article on “Coercive Monetization” on Gamasutra. Emphasizes the importance of using indirect premium currency, even layers of tokens, to obscure the true dollar cost. (IF, IF you intend to be deliverately coercive, to use techniques to get money.) For skill games, the difficulty gets harder gradually, causes pain, and people pay to relieve the pain, and solve the puzzles or whatever. A big idea is “Reward Removal”. Give someone a big desirable thing first, let them think they can keep it, but later, but it at risk of being lost, unless they pay a small amount to overcome some difficult situation (that was deliberately planned by the game.) People hate losing something they already got, and more likely to pay to keep it, more likely than just buying it in the first place. Amazing insight. Much more in that article, although little is directly applicable to moose.
July 10,2013 update. From a different gamasutra article about addiction in gaming, “Small unpredictable rewards lead to highly engaged and repetitive behavior. In a minority of cases, this may lead to addiction.”
Average revenue per user (ARPU) monthly ARPU, monthly active users (MAU), monthly conversion rate, and average revenue per paying user (ARPPU). These are metrics that should be coded into any monetization game scheme.
Sept 20, 2013 update. From a blog comment on gamasutra, summarizing metrics in ordinary language: “you need: how many new users did you get (tempered by an understanding of how much it cost to get them), how long did they stay, how many of them spent money and of those who did spend money, how much did they spend.”
October 29, 2013 update. From a gamasutra article emphasizing that buying must be familiar and always in the flow of the game, and it had some nice point worth re-reading. It also mentioned these webistes to check out: BlueSnap for global payments, and SmashingMagazine.com for more posts on the topic.