Tavant Logo

Online Commerce Concerns for Game Studios

Share to

As the Gaming industry has evolved in recent years, video games have become one of the most sought after forms of entertainment, surpassing even traditional entertainment forms such as music and movies in terms of revenues. And rightly so, since game studios have left no stone unturned in enriching game content, enhancing user experience, and improving online commerce to surpass game sales year after year.

For studios to develop and enhance the online gaming experience, numerous factors need to be addressed, such as user login, game entitlements, managing avatars, online friends, etc.

As the business approach and technology vary from one company to another, so do the complexities and nuances of their gaming systems. Our previous post covered the benefits of online commerce for both players and companies. In this post, let’s discuss some typical concerns that an enterprise needs to address while building a centralized gaming model.

Supported Business Models: A studio can support multiple business models like direct purchase from sales portals, subscription services and virtual currencies like rewards points. The decision to adopt a business model depends on its business feasibility and market penetration potential.

Implementation Approach: The implementation approach depends on the preferred business model, and it plays a key role in building the e-commerce infrastructure. The selection of appropriate technologies and a very meticulous system design are key for a successful centralized gaming system. Online entitlement of a game, in general, requires multiple levels of validations on the data entered by the user. This will internally require various supporting systems such as:
Identity and Profile Management System: New age games have greater access to consumer information and hence, managing user data becomes a critical aspect of online game account management. Some studios prefer in-house solutions to meet their needs, as they believe a customized solution supports more rapid innovation and is better adaptable to emerging industry requirements.

Billing System: The growing popularity of digital distribution has impelled gaming studios to look for stable and highly secure billing systems. To enhance the user experience, billing systems with virtually zero transaction time are being built. Also, to counter the growing risk of online data theft, a mere “https” is no longer good enough, calling for more robust and highly secure systems. With smartphones taking over the market, game companies have a pressing need to support mobile billing too. Furthermore, a billing system is dynamic in nature as it depends on the marketing and sales strategy of the company. Therefore, it should support free demo games, limited-time discounted games, deactivating/activating subscriptions, gifting, and bundling, while supporting the regular priced games too.
A billing system is also expected to provide a vast range of features including but not limited to:
– Storage and processing of account information from credit cards
and debit cards
– Support for prepaid electronic cards like Wallie and Paysafe
– Support for payment systems such as PayPal, Giropay and Sofort
– Redemption of reward points, etc.

In-game Persona Management: Given rapid technological advances, posting personal content in games and interacting with other players in MMOs is now common, as well as allowing users to maintain multiple personas or avatars across multiple games. A persona management system here acts as a backbone, supporting the game content, and gives users the flexibility to traverse across games and levels from the same central account, thereby enhancing their multiplayer experience.

Game Activation and Key Management System: For digital goods, the game activation process can be broadly classified into digital download entitlement and online game entitlement. The former allows a user to download a digital product, while the latter gives him access to go online. With rapid innovation in gaming content and competitive market conditions, game activation and key management system have become the most dynamic aspect of the e-commerce ecosystem.

Growing piracy in the gaming domain has given companies a run for their money. I have often noticed users trying out various combinations of serial numbers, trying their luck to get game content for free. Then, there are others who use online tools to try breaking into a game. With a highly secure and fraud-proof game activation and key management system, such attempts can be foiled. It is even possible to track such users and take preventive actions against any piracy attempts.

Legacy Architecture: This is one of the biggest bottlenecks in the upgrade path for IT infrastructure. The issue usually comes in when a system is in production and supports the titles already on sale, but is hard to enhance or scale. Organizations feel concerned about the ROI of such systems and avoid new investments. The decision to retire such obsolete systems is never easy, but with a phased implementation of SOA, teams can get a new system in place without causing much inconvenience to their customers.

Others: Apart from the aforementioned issues, there are other non-technical requirements for legal, tax, audit, and partnerships, which may vary across organizations and geographies.

Tags :

Related insights

  • All Posts
  • Article
  • Awards & Recognition
  • Blog
  • Brochures
  • Case Studies
  • Fintech
  • Insights
  • News
  • Stories
  • Testimonials
  • Uncategorized
  • Whitepaper
  • All Posts
  • Article
  • Awards & Recognition
  • Blog
  • Brochures
  • Case Studies
  • Fintech
  • Insights
  • News
  • Stories
  • Testimonials
  • Uncategorized
  • Whitepaper

Let’s create new possibilities with technology