Game Development Reference
Players who “convert” to regular players are not necessarily paying players.
Finally, Sarathy advises, “Take the time to understand which marketing tactics lead to your longer-term cus-
tomer lives and greatest revenue, not just your highest conversion rates .”
“We've seen publishers who realize that the marketing tactic that leads to the highest customer life might
only be third or fourth best in terms of conversion rates,” says Sarathy.
Now ubiquitous in department and drug stores, prepaid game cards enjoy a large market share in North America
and the EU—up to 50 percent for some kinds of web games, by Pidgeon's estimate.
Offered by companies like Ultimate Game Card (see Figure 7-4 ) , Rixty, and Zeevex, they're an excellent
payment option for young players who aren't old enough to qualify for credit. (Plus that means they can nag
others to give them as gifts.)
Figure 7-4: Ultimate Game Card prepaid card
Although less popular as a payment method in the United States, many gamers prefer to pay via mobile SMS,
especially in Western Europe and even more so in the East. “Mobile payments are quickly grabbing market
share in Asia (60 percent+),” as M2's Pidgeon notes, “and in the emerging markets as mobile phones are ubi-
quitous, personal finances are often tied to mobile phone accounts, secondary transfers—gifts, allowances, and