Social Gaming Summit 2010: Alternative Monetization and Life After Credits

Rixty Founder Ted Sorom, Sean Ryan of Zeus Research, Danny Shader of Kwedit and Vikas Gupta of SocialGold engaged in a lively discussion, led by Charles Hudson, about alternative monetization methods for social platforms like Facebook. As social gaming gains popularity, developers have more at stake to be able to effectively monetize as much of their audience as they can. and these companies look to help developers do just that.

Popular forms of alternative monetization include calling cards, paying by mobile, having a social gaming credit card and more. Kwedit allows users to either direct pay or ‘promise’ to pay for virtual currency at some point at the nearest 7/11 location. “25% of people are not able to pay,” said Danny Shader. Companies like RiXTy help users pay for games with calling cards that can be found in over 10,000 stores nationwide. Ted Sorom of Rixty expects multi-functionality gift cards to become prevalent, stating, “there’s not enough shelf space to have a card for every game online.”

As credit cards become more difficult to obtain, partly due to the newly legislated 21 year old age limit, alternative payment platforms will become increasingly popular. Despite the onset of Facebook Credits, alternative payment platforms are keeping hopes high. From minimizing fraud to chargeback handling, there is much value to be received by working with one of these players.

Payments will extend beyond Facebook into the open web. Vikas Gupta of SocialGold sees Social and Casual MMOs taking a lot of uptake, stating, “One of the biggest things we’ve seen is activity away from the Facebook platform itself.” The prevalence of the social gaming and rise of the virtual currency business model together will allow gaming companies to push experiences and increase monetization like never before.