Sometimes the best things in life are the result of a simple formula: you take the algorithm from a practically unknown game (Ingress), add the flavor from a franchise that was popular a decade ago (Pokémon), let a company that prefers its own hardware do the talks (Nintendo) et voila: 6 weeks after launch you have the biggest online platform in the world.
When you play Pokémon Go, or any other major game on your smartphone, you will notice that you can make faster progress when you decide to “splash some cash”. And of course these games have their own currency. The same system applies for example for a cashless festival like Tomorrowland, and there are some good reasons for this.
The exchange rate for these coins is never easy to remind or calculate. For example you receive 5200 coins for 39,99 EUR. When you buy 100 Poké Balls for 460 coins, what is the actual price in euros for 1 ball? You never have the feeling that you are spending actual money, so you will spend more and more often.
You can acquire coins during regular gameplay or as a reward, so you will get used to spending the coins anyway and quickly learn the benefits. You need a certain amount to buy your items or upgrades, so before you have enough coins to buy the cheapest item, you will get that agonizing feeling of unspent money. This will encourage you to go to the store and buy your first bag of coins.
When you are in the store, you will see that all the popular games apply a system of volume pricing. You will receive a discount when you buy a larger quantity of coins, and when you have more coins, you will use them more frequently. Just like when you buy a larger tube of toothpaste, you will use more toothpaste for brushing your teeth, because you have the feeling that you have more than enough.
And every time you buy an item in these games, we call this a micro-transaction or micropayment. The architecture from a platform like SAP Hybris Commerce supports this business model and the micro-service platform yaaS (Hybris-as-a-service) is highly suited because of the security, scalability and extensibility of the solution.