The game’s direct-to-consumer pipeline is moving to online stores

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Direct-to-consumer marketing is becoming a more important part of the game economy, as a panel of experts discussed at this week’s GamesBeat 2023 Summit. Ron Scott, regional director for the Americas at xsolla, led the discussion with Tim Montgomery, SVP at Mastercard, and Jenna Seiden, VP of Business Development at Niantic Labs. All three talk about the importance of direct-to-consumer utility, as well as finding new ways to advertise to young gamers.

Seiden says one of the more important parts of advertising to young gaming audiences is meeting them where they are and lowering the barrier to entry. “What are the two things you always wear on your body? I have a phone and I have a credit card. Same thing: What is most accessible and what is closest to you?”

Montgomery agrees that one of the key features of direct-to-consumer marketing is to make it easy for users: “How do you ensure that, when you transact with your credentials? , that transaction is as smooth, seamless and secure as, for example, embedding a chip in a terminal?

Advantages of an online store

Seiden pointed out that online stores are part of a stream of in-game monetization that stems from traditional advertising through in-game advertising. They also help gamers maintain the experience. “You want to keep your audience in the game — you don’t want to kick them out. You want to keep them in place and reduce that friction… [Gen Z] concerned with efficiency. They care about maintaining the experience. Those conversion costs are high, so where do we want to reach them? Maybe in an online store where you can provide additional value.”


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Montgomery added: “Wouldn’t it be great, if you could launch a branded card for unique rewards that you can access in Pokémon GO or a similar asset class? The unique value propositions that you can develop, deliver, and tailor to this audience are exciting to me.”

Scott agrees that it’s worth reaching gamers where they are. “I think you’ve said this before, when you position it, it really knows what your business is, understands your goals, and how to align all the different resources accordingly.”

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