Micropayments Drive Asian Games

By now it’s expected that major multiplayer games like World of Warcraft will charge customers a monthly subscription fee. But the news out of Asia’s booming gaming market suggests a different approach may be more lucrative, according to an article from Wired News: Throw open the gates to your online world, while tempting users with small purchases that help them look good while they’re visiting.

Some of the most popular games in Asia are given away for free and charge no subscription dues, but collect micropayments for custom avatars and other items. Social networking is a key feature of the games, and it turns out players are quick to fork over yen and yuan to tweak their appearance to their liking.

At Hangame, Japan’s number one internet game portal, customers wind up spending between 30 cents and $10 an item to customize the look of their avatar, visible during social interactions and in the otherwise free games.

Payments with credit cards may not be the answer for these small amounts of money. Mobile payment might be the answer. Bad news for the european market: All attempts to establish a common mobile (micro) payment standard have been to no vail, and micropayment basing on credit cards or other standards is still only in the fledgling stages.

More infos at Wired’s article.

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