Micropayments are a popular way for developers of online games to make money from their products. Players typically get the game for free but must pay for extra levels, upgraded items and the like.
Developers of Facebook games have been able to build micropayments into their products since earlier this year. Now those working on Flash-based games will be able to do the same thanks to a new service from San Francisco startup Heyzap.
Heyzap Payments, launched today, is a platform that allows developers to easily build a standardized payment system into their Flash games. Revenue is shared between the Heyzap and the developer.
A Y Combinator startup founded by two ex-pat Londoners, Heyzap launched in January and already offers a network that allows website owners to easily embed flash games into their pages. Games can also be distributed via RSS feeds or the company’s API. Developers can directly upload their games to the network with the prospect of a share of revenue from advertising and now micropayments as well.
Aiming to be a “Youtube for Flash games”, co-founder Jude Gomila says they already have over 12,000 games which are embedded in 20,000 websites. It certainly is an attractive proposition for Flash developers who often have to arrange their own deals for advertising or, if they’re lucky, clinch an exclusive deal with a big-name sponsor.
Heyzap isn’t stopping there. Gomilla says they’re soon to launch Facebook Connect and Twitter integration for games on their network. This will enable players to use their real identity in games and then set challenges for their friends via Facebook messages and tweets. It’s a great innovation for Flash gaming, if a potentially irritating one for Twitter users who have recently had to endure a vast number of tweets related to the Spymaster game. Imagine the nightmare of 12,000 Flash games all auto-tweeting high scores from players accounts.
That said, it’s good to see Heyzap provide a solid framework for developers to make money in the sprawling, competitive world of Flash gaming. Let’s just hope players don’t get too annoyed with having to pay extra to buy extra levels.