Building WebStores to avoid high platform fees is getting traction in the video game industry. To make things a bit more clear, we decided to produce a quick FAQ on the best practices, potential gains and fears related to WebStore solutions.
The WebStore solution is about selling games or in-game items via the developer’s website in addition to leading marketplaces and stores. It is getting increasingly popular because selling straight from your WebStore allows you to dodge platform fees and earn more. Used in conjunction with community management, WebStores also help to increase sales and acquire new customers.
This process should be addressed in two steps. First, you must create an incentive like an in-game bonus, a discount, or a desire to support the team behind the project. Second, you must inform the players about it via email, in-game messages, newsfeeds, and social media. Another option is retargeting marketing campaigns straight to the store.
If the players are motivated by bonuses and enjoy the game, they will definitely make this extra step.
Selling your items to a player base of your own game does not violate any mobile platform policies. You are not using the platform's infrastructure, so there is nothing to worry about as long as you stick to the same prices and sell the same items. Otherwise, you can do whatever you want: run sales, process different payment methods, apply regional prices and more.
There are plenty of options. For example, you can create exclusive bundles for the WebStore that will not be seen in the game itself. Other options include seasonal sales, daily rewards, and limited-time offers. In general, there are plenty of options to experiment with. Eventually, you should find out what works with your monetization model the best.
Yes, both platforms are OK with WebStores. However, there's a better option for Android. You can distribute a custom game APK from your website, bypassing the Play Store infrastructure entirely and using our mSDK to accept payments. This way, players can buy in-game items natively without leaving the game.
A great way to distribute an APK is QR codes – scan it, and the game download begins. You can get quite creative using those.
Yes, you can sell Steam/EGS keys from your WebStore without any platform sanctions, as long as the same price policies are applied.
You can even generate game keys in your Steam developer account for free. Valve still benefits from users who play the game on Steam rather than elsewhere. Once your keys are ready, you can sell them via your WebStore without paying the commission to Steam.
Of course, you will still have to sell most of the game copies on Steam. But even a portion of keys sold without a 30% commission will make you an extra profit.
It all depends on your work with the community. But our experience shows that reaching 30-40% is quite realistic.
1D3 Digitech acts as a merchant-of-record, so if you go with our solution, we will ensure your VAT/Sales Tax/GST will be calculated and paid according to the local legislation of the end-users country of residence.
Considering how convenient and profitable this solution is and how mobile platforms react to current trends, I think WebStores are here to stay for a long time! Act fast and get more revenue now. Book a meeting with 1D3 to learn more!