Google Plus: Monetizing games

Kabam was part of the initial launch of Google+ Games with two game titles, Dragons of Atlantis and Edgeworld, and we recently added Global Warfare. For these games, we integrated Google In-App Payments and we’re pleased with our games’ monetization to date. There are a couple things we learned along the way that we’re happy to share with the community.

Integrating In-App Payments

Integrating In-App Payments in our games was very simple, especially when compared to other payment platforms. There is excellent documentation available, complete with examples for each step of the purchase flow. We also used open-source libraries such as ruby-jwt to generate the tokens required for each purchase option.

We designed our games and purchase pages around the expectation of instant feedback, making sure to incorporate page loads or refreshes wherever possible. For example, in Edgeworld, a player attacking an enemy base can load the list of Platinum options instantly, without waiting for the list of payment options to load. After their Platinum purchase, the player is immediately brought back to the game, with their new currency and items waiting for them.

Pro tip: strive to reduce purchaser friction

One of the keys to maximizing revenue is to remove as much friction as possible from the purchase flow, making sure as many people as possible get from one step of the flow to the next. Many payment platforms send players to their own website and multi-page checkout flow. The Google In-App Payments approach allows us to keep players on our game page for the entire flow, making sure we can manage more of the process and reduce abandonment.

Additionally, the player’s credit card information is stored securely, so once a player has made a purchase anywhere using In-App Payments, their information is available for future purchases without additional data entry. Finally, JavaScript callbacks provided by In-App Payments allow us to show the effects of the purchase immediately, improving customer satisfaction.

New Google Shopper 1.5 for iPhone

We’ve recently made a few new changes to Google Shopper for iPhone that makes it easy to find nearby deals when you’re on-the-go.

In the latest version of Google Shopper, in addition to the ‘Shop’ tab, you’ll now see two new tabs at the bottom of the app: Offers and My Offers. The Offers tab displays a list, or map view, of nearby offers which businesses have submitted through Google Places – from restaurant and movie theater deals to discounts on tennis lessons or a round of golf.

Let’s say you come across an offer for free dessert at a nearby restaurant, but you won’t have time to use it until the weekend. You can save the offer for future use, then later view and redeem it from the My Offers tab.

Additionally, if Google Offers are available in your city, you’ll be able to view and redeem your purchased offers on the My Offers tab. Google Offers are currently available in Portland, Oregon, the San Francisco Bay Area and New York, with other cities to follow.
Google Shopper 1.5 is currently available for iPhone users in the US and UK with iOS 4.0 and higher. If you’re a current Google Shopper user, you’ll automatically receive an update. Download Google Shopper 1.5 by visiting the App Store. To download Google Shopper for Android, visit Android Market.

Google Wallet: Make your phone your wallet

Today in our New York City office, along with Citi, MasterCard, First Data and Sprint, we gave a demo of Google Wallet, an app that will make your phone your wallet. You’ll be able to tap, pay and save using your phone and near field communication (NFC). We’re field testing Google Wallet now and plan to release it soon.

Google Wallet is a key part of our ongoing effort to improve shopping for both businesses and consumers. It’s aimed at making it easier for you to pay for and save on the goods you want, while giving merchants more ways to offer coupons and loyalty programs to customers, as well as bridging the gap between online and offline commerce.
Because Google Wallet is a mobile app, it will do more than a regular wallet ever could. You’ll be able to store your credit cards, offers, loyalty cards and gift cards, but without the bulk. When you tap to pay, your phone will also automatically redeem offers and earn loyalty points for you. Someday, even things like boarding passes, tickets, ID and keys could be stored in Google Wallet.
At first, Google Wallet will support both Citi MasterCard and a Google Prepaid Card, which you’ll be able to fund with almost any payment card. From the outset, you’ll be able to tap your phone to pay wherever MasterCard PayPass is accepted. Google Wallet will also sync your Google Offers, which you’ll be able to redeem via NFC at participating SingleTap™ merchants, or by showing the barcode as you check out. Many merchants are working to integrate their offers and loyalty programs with Google Wallet.
With Google Wallet, we’re building an open commerce ecosystem, and we’re planning to develop APIs that will enable integration with numerous partners. In the beginning, Google Wallet will be compatible with Nexus S 4G by Google, available on Sprint. Over time, we plan on expanding support to more phones.
To learn more please visit our Google Wallet website at
This is just the start of what has already been a great adventure towards the future of mobile shopping. We’re incredibly excited and hope you are, too.