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Mobile game developers drive in-game payments via PayPal

Mobile game developers Gamesoul Studios and Pierrox are integrating PayPal to drive in-application content purchases via Android.

The game developers integrated features such as online leader boards and player challenges into their mobile offerings using social gaming platform Scoreloop’s software development kit. Gamesoul and Pierrox monetize the challenge feature by letting players bet on the outcome of matches using virtual currency purchased from the Scoreloop platform.

“The largest hurdle for in-game transactions is accessibility,” said Nicole DeMeo, spokeswoman at Scoreloop, San Francisco. “Once a player makes the decision to purchase a virtual good, it needs to be easy for them to do.

“PayPal is a natural option as many players already have accounts and this makes the process that much more straightforward,” she said.

Scoreloop claims to be the leading social gaming platform on Android, reaching 190 countries and managing over 200 million accounts.

Monetizing social gaming
In additon to the challenge features, Scoreloop’s social gaming platform lets developers introduce premium features such as additional levels and virtual goods.

They can monetize these features by requiring players to purchase and use Scoreloop “coins” to unlock the extra functionalities.

Here is a screen grab of a Scoreloop coin-purchasing screen:

Pierrox integrated Scoreloop’s social gaming platform into its Mini Golf’oid game, which lets mobile users play rounds of miniature golf on their handhelds.

Players can hit the virtual golf ball by swiping the screen with their finger.

They can alter the trajectory by altering the direction and force of the swipe.

Scoreloop monetized the game for Pierrox by introducing a challenge mode, in which players can play matches against each other.

Each participant wagers coins purchased from Scoreloop’s platform.

Pierrox said that player challenges were an important part of motivating in-game purchases, and the process should be as painless as possible.

Here is a screengrab of a list of challenges in Mini Golf’oid:

Gamesoul also includes Scoreloop’s social challenge functionality in its Radio Ball 3D game.

The game uses the accelerometer in Android handsets to let users navigate a virtual rolling ball through obstacle courses.

Players earn points by navigating through the courses and reaching the end without losing.

Gamesoul said that PayPal was an important addition to Scoreloop’s platform.

Here is a screen grab of a challenge screen in Radio Ball 3D:

fMonetizing Android gaming apps
Consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with purchasing virtual goods, including games, according to a study conducted by VGMarket and Playspan (see story).

The premium mobile gaming market has been booming in Apple’s App Store, led by developer EA (see story).

However, free games still dominate in Android’s Market.

“Most developers are currently monetizing their games via ad revenues, and if you look at the numbers there’s an unusually high ratio of free to paid games on the Market,” Ms. DeMeo said. “We’re offering an additional revenue stream for these developers by making the freemium model accessible and delivering the whole package – social context, downloadable content and payment solutions.”

Final Take
Peter Finocchiaro, editorial assistant at Mobile Commerce Daily, New York