Payments and Video Games

Clash of Clans, Candy Crush, Angry Birds…the list goes on. Online gaming, specifically mobile, is an extremely lucrative industry. With the introduction of ePayments, gaming companies are making it very easy to spend money at the click of a button. If you’re interested in jumping into the gaming industry, here are some ways to accept payments for your games.

One-Time Purchase

This is a very standard business model. For games that are played on a console, like an Xbox or Playstation, you will typically pay once just to purchase the game. Mobile gaming is typically a mix between a one-time download price and or freemium pricing.

Ko Costarella, one of the lead developers for the game ToeJam & Earl, explains that this is the most “honest” model. Ko believes freemium style pricing takes away from the actual enjoyment of the game and focuses on turning a massive profit. Ko quotes, “It completely changes the way the game is developed. A gamer should only have to pay once to access the game in its entirety.”


The infamous freemium model is definitely one to stay. You typically won’t see a freemium model used for gaming outside of the mobile world. A user will be able to download the game for free, which is great for adoption rates. With little to no barrier for entry, tons of users will flock to your game if it’s popular. Once downloaded, these games offer a suite of in-app purchases that greatly affect gameplay.

These in-app purchases are strategic in how they are offered. For example, Candy Crush allows you to spend a dollar for a few “extra moves” if you fail to complete the level using the allotted moves. Odds are you’ve spent a long time on this level, so it’s worth the dollar to finish it up. A dollar may seem minuscule, but it really adds up when you have millions of users playing.


This is a great model for games that offer online gameplay. By setting up recurring payments for your game, you’re guaranteeing a steady cash flow. Games like Blizzard’s World of Warcraft have mastered the subscription model.

Typically these companies will offer a free-trial and discounts for annual subscriptions to incentivize users to sign up.

If you’re offering this payment model, it’s important that you continue to release new content and or expansions of your game to keep your users interested.

With virtual reality becoming more and more prevalent who knows where the gaming industry is headed. If you’re looking to jump in the gaming industry, take note of these payment models so you can stay in business.

Payments and Video Games was originally published on Due on October 9, 2016 by Renzo Costarella.