šŸ’°ļø PaymentsKit

Monetize your game on Trail

What is PaymentsKit?

PaymentsKit allows you to easily monetize your game on Trail without having to deal with VATs, currency exchange and the usual hassles that come with this process. Under the hood, PaymentsKit takes care of all that for you. Not only that, but we streamlined the entire payment process for players too, making it as frictionless and easy as possible to pay for any product on Trail.

PaymentsKit at the moment offers two methods of monetization; In-App Purchases (IAPs) and trial-based premium (i.e. offering a free portion of the game and then requesting payment at a certain point to continue playing the game). More on both later.

The purchase journey

Regardless of which method you choose to monetize your game, at one point in time, your player will encounter a paywall; this could be an item that they need to pay for with real money or reaching the end of a trial and they need to pay for the full game to continue. An example of IAP is below:

A view of an IAP menu.A view of an IAP menu.

A view of an IAP menu.

When the player interacts with this paywall, a pop-up will appear similar to the one below:

The purchasing pop-up.The purchasing pop-up.

The purchasing pop-up.

Depending on the region the player is in, different payment options may be available. In this example, we have credit/debit card as the method of payment available for this player. Once the player enters the relevant information and completes the purchase, they receive the product they paid for and the money is deducted from their account. Easy.

What is a product on Trail?

All products on Trail are created as "consumable". A "consumable" product is basically a product that can be used up (i.e. consumed) and can be repurchased again multiple times. For example, let's say we have a premium currency called Coins in our game, and we've created a product on Trail that allows the player to purchase 100 Coins. Upon creating the product, a unique "product ID" is generated for this product. Now a player can come along and decide to buy our product (100 Coins) when they complete the purchase; Trail sends over an "entitlement" to your game. Think of the "entitlement" as a purchase order or a "contract" that acts as proof to our game that the player is entitled to 100 Coins. Our game would then take the "entitlement" (contract) and hand over 100 Coins to the player, as promised by the purchase. After that, the game would consume the "entitlement" as it had already completed the purchase.
The act of consuming the "entitlement" -- in addition to completing the purchase, allows the player to purchase the same 100 Coins again.

This is in direct contrast to "unconsumed" products. An "unconsumed" product is one that you can't buy multiple times and can only exist once per account. In this scenario, the "entitlement" issued by the purchase is not consumed and the "entitlement" lives on forever on the player account. A good example of a "non-consumable" product is a DLC or perhaps a game's chapter or a character class.

Pricing your products

One of the issues developers run into when monetizing a game is pricing and how to deal with VAT, taxes, currencies and regions. It is usually a hassle to go through it. However, as mentioned, Trail handles that automatically.
Usually, when you're selling a product, you calculate the cost of the product, calculate taxes, calculate your markup and finally come up with a price. Since we aim to make it easy for developers to deal with pricing, we use a tiered price listing (displayed below) - we have over 100 tiers. When you create a product on Trail to sell, one of the steps to is to choose its price tier. Based on the price tier, we automatically calculate any tax or VAT required and handle conversion to local currency (if supported) for you.

US - USD

Europe - EUR

Sweden - SEK

Japan - JPY

Tier 1
0.99
0.99
9.00
99.00
Tier 2
1.99
1.99
19.00
199.00
ā€¦
ā€¦
ā€¦
ā€¦
ā€¦
Tier 50
49.00
49.00
490.00
4900.00
ā€¦
ā€¦
ā€¦
ā€¦
ā€¦

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Pricing in unspported regions

When the system detects that the user is purchasing a product in an unsupported region, it automaticmatrix. defaults to using USD as currency and pricing based on the USA price matrix.

That said, we currently working on increasing the number of regions supported. If you would like to support a specific region that we do not have, please reach out to us on Discord.

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Where do I get the latest price matrix?

At the moment the matrix isn't posted online. However, you can obtain the latest matrix if you reach out to us on Discord.

IAP vs trial-based premium

Before we can start the monetization process, you need to decide how you monewill tize your game. As mentioned above, Trail offers two methods of monetizing a game; IAPs and trial-based premium.

Since Trail's mission is to offer high-quality, ultra-accessible, zero friction play experiences to players, offering games free is one major feature. This means, unlike Steam, your game will be free to play but can then lock certain features behind a paywall. The two methods that we offer to do this (as mentioned above) are; IAPs and trial-based premium.

In-App Purchases (IAPs):
Using this method, your game usually will be completely free to play. Thus any player can load up the game and play almost all of its content for for free. However, certain items within the game can only be obtained by buying them with real money. An example of a game that uses such a method is Slapshot; you can play the entire game for free and buy premium currency that be used used to purchase cosmetic items. Another example would be Neurodeck; you can play the game using the base character for free, while while other characters are locked, requiring you to purchase them using real money.

Trial-based Premium:
Using this method, you offer only only a portion of the game for free (essentially a demo of the full game). This can be a couple of levels or a timed trial where the player can only play for 5 minutes (old Resident Evil 2 demo anyone?), and then the player has to buy the full game to continue.

Given the process to implement each of the methods is different, we recommend you make a decision before moving forward with the guide. Based on the decision, you can then choose which method to follow.

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This guide assumes that you are familiar with the Game Manager and will not discuss its different components. If you'd like to learn more about its different features, we suggest you check out the Setting Up Your Game and The Game Manager articles first.

Testing payments

We understand that you will need to test payments during development, so we've set up any payments done through The Game Manager to be sandboxed; you will not need to submit any financial details to do so. Moreover, we've provided two test cards that you can use to pay with and, as such, lose no money while testing.

It is worthy to note that payments made in sandbox mode are highlighted using in_sandbox: true in the entitlement as shown below to help your backend identify it:

[
  {
    "entitlement_id": "xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx",
    "product_id": "xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx",
    "in_sandbox": true
  },
    ...
]

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Tracking sandbox payments

At the moment, we do not offer a way to track payments mamamamade through sandbox mode. However, since you're performing a purchase, you'll receive a receipt email for every purchase mamamamade as if you were a player. These receipts are what players receive after they've paid for a product on Trail.
This might get a bit spammy if you test a lot and suggest that you create a custom email filter to deal with them (i.e. direct them to a specific folder in your email).

Updated 4 months ago


šŸ’°ļø PaymentsKit


Monetize your game on Trail

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