View Full Version : In Game Purchase System
08-05-2004, 09:01 AM
Has any here noticed a change in # of sales after they implemented a purchase path directly in the game? ie.. purchase the game within the game and have it register itself, etc, etc..
08-05-2004, 09:10 AM
I'd be interested in the stats on this as well. All I know right now is that I really hate it when this option is put in games.
08-05-2004, 10:44 AM
Why would you hate it?
08-05-2004, 11:38 AM
I would be less inclined to trust it. At least with my browser, I know it is supposed to work and let me know it is secure. How can I know that the game itself will have the proper security, or how could I know that it is sending my money to the correct business?
08-05-2004, 11:39 AM
I've heard a few discussions about this before; in particular, eSellerate's integrated purchase technology. This is from memory, but if I get a sec I'll try to dig up some of the stats discussed (some from email, some from ASP newsgroups):
You can detect if a user cancels the integrated purchase process. If they do, prompt them for a tried-and-true web-purchasing link. Allow users to purchase and paste a key the traditional way if they don't want to use the integrated purchase.
These stats were from shareware utility authors, so they may be different for games (particularly casual games). Several authors mentioned they get about 50/50 integrated/web sales in their applications that support both registration methods. This seems to indicated that many users are wary of integrated purchasing. I'm sure this is true of eSellerate's integrated tech, since it looks very nonstandard (their new integrated web store should fix this, although I haven't looked at it in depth yet).
Killing Game Sessions
I've talked with a few casual game channels about this, and opinion varies wildly. Some agree one benefit of integrated purchasing is to kill the game session when the time trial is up, followed by immediately showing the integrated purchase form. This can snare some impulse buyers. Trymedia's technology kills sessions like this, and PopCap now uses ActiveMark with their 1st-party releases.
Conversely, though, other channels are convinced killing a game session like this is a very bad thing. If you have a 60-minute trial, for instance, you should only check the time limit when they start up the game; even if all of your registration is now done in-game (just check on the title screen or similiar). If they play for three hours when they only had a few minutes left on startup, let them. They'll buy it anyway.
Personally, if you aren't going to halt game sessions in some way--ideally you'd design the game to accomodate killing sessions in a friendly manner--integrated purchasing loses its primary benefit: impulse buying. I don't think pasting keys is too big of a problem, even for the casual market, so behind-the-scenes key passing isn't very important.
08-05-2004, 12:04 PM
It seems to me that an in-game method of purchasing and registering would be a lot of work for not much benefit. Casual Gamers are typically older and more "web savy", so they most likely wouldn't trust it as much (as stated before). I would stick to a "Buy Now" link in the game that takes the user to the right web page for purchasing the game.
08-08-2004, 04:42 AM
I personally dislike in-game purcahsing systems. If people want to buy a game they will usually make a certain effort to doign so and if they don't want to they will not. There might be a tiny number of people who impulse buy only, but those people would probably be put off if even a tiny thing goes wrong with the purchase process and that's more likely to happen if the purchase system is convoluted. Make sure people who want to buy, can. That's all.
08-08-2004, 06:18 AM
In-game purchasing has worked well for me with Alien Flux. I haven't yet moved to phase 2, which is one-click purchase, because I haven't yet got a second game out to take advantage of it. I'm 100% targeting impulse purchase.
08-08-2004, 07:28 AM
I have implimented the in game buying feature and my sales have been great ever sense, but then again I have added so much to my game to improve registration % over the last few months its hard to tell. Using the Esellerate SDK was very easy and only took a few hours to test and go live. I definitely recommend it.
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