As Chinese game developers rush to explore the overseas market, game operation as well as in-game payment systems have become a hot topic for game developers.
Chinese game developers are running their games in the overseas markets in a number of ways: First, through massive global social networks, such as Facebook; other developers prefer to run the games on their own platforms, like Elex-tech; and still others distribute their games via local operators. Game developers who choose the last option are free from worrying about game operating and recharging systems as the agent takes care of that; but if they choose the first option, especially publishing games on Facebook, they need to operate the game on their own and choose their own payment methods.
Regardless of the new Facebook payment policies, there are three payment methods on Facebook:
- Facebook credit and PayPal that binds with users’ debit or credit cards;
- Local game recharging cards;
- Mobile billing
Facebook credit and PayPal is popular in European countries but rarely in Southeast Asia, as local users are not accusto med to using credit cards.
Compared with PayPal, the use of game recharging cards is more widespread. Game recharging cards such as MOL are popular in Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan, but rarely in Southeast Asia.
As for mobile billing, it is not restricted by sales outlets and it fits the users’ need of paying anytime and anywhere. People choose mobile billing mostly because of its lower risks and ease of use, so it is an important payment method. For some small game developers, it would be difficult for them to go directly to the operators, so a preferrable solution may be to select a mobile billing solution provider that can supply them with customized service, such as provided by B.Shark, Boku and Zong.
In conclusion, not one of the payment solutions is perfect; they are complementary with each other, and Social Networking Service (SNS) game developers should optimize their payment system in order to maximum their income.