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The Appcharge Manifesto

When we launched Appcharge in 2022, we knew we wanted to not only bring positive change to the mobile games industry, but also do things differently. 

Taking publishers into the direct-to-consumer (DTC) ecosystem is a big responsibility, one that can achieve an elusive win-win combination for players and publishers alike. 

A win for players, who get more value for their money plus a fun experience to complement their gameplay; and a win for publishers, who increase their financial resilience, their autonomy, and their game’s retention rates and user LTVs. 

Recognizing the sheer value of the DTC opportunity we could unlock for the industry, and the shortcomings of existing solutions in the market, myself and my co-founders sat down and, over many brainstorming sessions, refined Appcharge’s core manifesto. 

Our non-negotiables, our principles, and the value we knew we had to unwaveringly provide our customers with. Here they are.

A vibrant web banner featuring the bold statement 'Publishers Must Own Their Audience' in white against a vivid orange background. The banner integrates circular portrait cut-outs of diverse individuals engaged in gaming or possibly streaming, emphasizing the human element of digital content publishing and the importance of direct audience connection.

The days of being totally at the mercy of the traditional gatekeepers are over. 

It’s not only a right, but also a strategic imperative for mobile game publishers to truly own their audience, to sell to players on their terms, to not lose 30 per cent on every transaction, and to take back what’s theirs. 

It feels quite revolutionary in spirit, but it shouldn’t be. 

We’re just facilitating what should have already been possible: the right to sell directly to players.

2 The Web Store Opportunity Must Be Democratized 1

The strategic advantage publishers gain by going direct-to-consumer with web stores is clear.

The biggest publishers like Rovio, Supercell, Moon Active and Scopely have all built web stores in-house, pouncing on the DTC opportunity early. 

But here’s the thing: most other publishers can’t afford to build a web store internally. It simply takes too much time and costs too much money, when their manpower needs to be razor focused on existing development and game design tasks.  

With the gap already widening between the biggest publishers and the rest – a quick look at the top grossing charts shows the domination of legacy games and studios – it’s clear that the industry needs a more level playing field in the realm of web stores.

That’s why we created a white label web store platform, to enable mobile game publishers of all sizes to access the DTC opportunities that the largest companies are already capitalizing on. 

3 A Personalized Ux Must Be Prioritized

Our team’s background at mobile gaming titans such as Moon Active, one of the most sophisticated publishers in terms of their data centric culture and use of segmentation, helped us crystalize our product strategy and vision:

For a web store to be fun, it must provide a personalized, relevant experience to every user. 

And so we set off to build a robust segmentation tool that lets publishers serve their players the most relevant offers and web store UI, in real time. 

Whether the user is entering the web store for the first time or they’re a long-time spender, whether they’re entering the store for the fifth day in a row or returning after a month away, we give publishers the tech they need to serve a personalized experience that delights players and maximizes their LTV.

4 Web Stores Should Be Fun

We saw how existing game web stores looked and felt, and we wanted to help publishers do things better.

Too many web stores focused too much on selling, while forgetting a crucial part of the puzzle: fun. No publisher would launch a game that isn’t fun, and we firmly believe that this ethos extends to web stores too. 

Players should enjoy spending time in web stores – it should feel like an extension of the game experience. That’s why gamification mechanics are a core feature of Appcharge’s web store builder. 

5 Web Stores Platforms Should Be Transparent

Breaking out of the walled gardens maintained by the gatekeepers is all about retaking control of your games business. 

A web store platform that is secretive, vague, or misleading with its fee structure goes against the very ethos of leading publishers into the direct-to-consumer ecosystem.  

That’s why Appcharge will always be clear and reasonable with our fee structure. 

We’re here to help publishers win, not to empty their pockets. 

6 Web Stores Should Be Built By Gaming Experts Not Suits

Great products are built by people who truly get the needs of the niche they’re serving. 

Appcharge’s platform was built by product and monetization veterans from leading companies like Moon Active and Rovio, where they had hands-on experience building a web store internally.

And we believe that for a web store platform to truly meet the needs of games publishers, it must be built by experts who’ve been in the trenches of mobile gaming. 

This ethos permeates our customer success strategy: we work as an extension of our customers’ monetization team, consulting them in order to push their DTC strategies forward. 

7 Handling Payments Shouldnt Eat Into Your Margins

Those who try to justify the 30 percent tax taken by Apple and Google point to the payment complexities they take care of.

It’s true: managing payments is a complex, intimidating task. 

However, publishers shouldn’t have to sacrifice such a significant chunk of their hard-earned profits just for payment technology and Merchant of Record services. 

We believe there is a fairer way, a way that leaves publishers with a feeling that they have a partner to grow with, not a giant to shake them down.

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