I’m thrilled to announce we’ll have a brand new category this year: Web Monetization. It will be compatible with the three basic ones: Desktop, Mobile, and Server, so you’ll be able to submit to any (or all) of them.
The Web Monetization category was created thanks to the partnership with Coil. It doesn’t influence the size limit, and to participate, all you have to do is to include one meta tag in the head of your index.html - this will allow you to monetize your entry.
How exactly does this monetization work? If a Coil subscriber visits your entry, Coil will pay you micro amounts of money per every second they’re playing your game. To make this work we need two things though: compatible browser and a wallet.
Right now the Web Monetization API is in the very early stages of being worked on - it’s not even a W3C draft yet, but thanks to the Interledger Community Group there’s a working polyfill. This means Web Monetization can already be used - either via Puma Browser which supports this natively, or installing a Firefox or Chrome extension that emulates it.
If someone registers on Coil.com and pays 5 USD a month subscription fee, and then uses Puma Browser or Firefox / Chrome with the extension, then they become an active subscriber. If a subscriber visits your game, Coil pays you money. But where does this money go to?
If you want to receive the funds, then you need a wallet. Coil makes it easy for you. When you register, from the Creator Settings in your account you can select either USD or XRP as the currency you will be paid in. Choosing USD will ask for your Stronghold account. Choosing XRP (let’s assume you’ll go for this option) will take you to XRP Tip Bot, where you can create your wallet - if you have a Coil account you will be logged in automatically and the wallet will be created for you.
This wallet address is your unique payment pointer, and this pointer is exactly what the monetization meta tag contains. Now we have it all: monetization meta tag enables the content to be paid for by Coil when their subscriber visits it (using Puma Browser or one with the extension), XRP Tip Bot offers the wallet, and Coil gives the platform for everything to work.
Now everytime someone plays your game, the funds will be streamed immediately, directly to you. No SDK implementations to make it work, no ads ruining the gameplay, no paywalls blocking the content, no months of waiting for the payment from the publisher. Only you, your game, and the money you get.
The crucial part to encourage the whole ecosystem to grow is the 100+20 rule. In short, it means that you create your game the way you wanted to, and only then you add some extra features on top of it for subscribers. Be it some extra points, unique weapon, secret level, etc. You’re not taking away a piece of the content and calling it a paid DLC.
For example, I’ve implemented this in Flood Escape in the easiest way possible - if you’re a subscriber (and detecting this is as simple as checking document.monetization with an if statement), you’ll get 100 extra coins every time you start the game, and the cooldown timer for the wheel of fortune is 5 minutes instead of 10. Next on the list is a brand new level only for subscribers.
Ok, but why would you care to create something for subscribers only? Isn’t that limiting the number of potential players and forcing them to pay Coil to become one? Not at all, because EVERYBODY will get their free subscription plan to try it! No matter if you submit your game with or without the meta tag, you will get a six month subscription so you can pay those who did while playing their games. All of the experts will also get their subscriptions, so they’ll be able to pay to those which games they will be judging. For me it sounds like a win-win-win situation.
Please remember that it’s more of an early stage experiment than a machine bringing you millions of dollars. These are called micro payments for a reason. But if it goes in the right direction, you’ll already be covered. And it seems it will only grow - you can expect more from me and Coil in the coming months as I really believe in all this. That’s why I hope all of you will give it a chance and will participate in the Web Monetization category with me!