Web Monetization

Web Monetization is an open technology that allows someone viewing a webpage or playing a web game to stream very small payments (micropayments) to the creator in real time. It is an exciting new and non-intrusive way for game developers to monetize their web games while at the same time offering premium content to their paying players.

Web Monetization is being proposed as a W3C standard. It is based on the Interledger protocol which is an open, neutral protocol for transferring money of any currency, including digital currencies such as Bitcoin.

How does it work?

Three things are required in order to send and receive payments:

  1. A player must have an account with a Web Monetization Provider - The provider streams payments from the player.
  2. The developer must have a Web Monetization Wallet - The wallet holds received payments.
  3. The developer must add a Payment Pointer on the webpage containing content that should be monetized - The payment pointer tells the provider which wallet to send the money to.

Web Monetization Providers

Players must have an account with a Web Monetization Provider to be able to stream payments to game developers:

Coil logo

Coil is currently the only provider but others will likely be available in the future

Web Monetization Wallets

Game developers must have a Web Monetization enabled wallet to hold received payments. There are several different services which provide wallets with support for Web Monetization:

Uphold logo

GateHub logo

Stronghold logo

Payment Pointers

The wallet provider will assign a payment pointer to the wallet. The payment pointer is a public address for a wallet that can be shared with anyone that wants to make a payment to the owner of the wallet. Learn more at paymentpointers.org. The format of a payment pointer is similar to a URL, but starts with a $:

$ilp.uphold.com/QkG86UgXzKq8

The payment pointer is added to the website content using a <meta> tag in the <head> of the website:

<meta name="monetization" content="$ilp.uphold.com/QkG86UgXzKq8">

How to set up Web Monetization in Defold

Enabling Web Monetization in a Defold game is a straightforward process. The steps involved depend on if you are adding Web Monetization to an existing project or if you are starting a new project.

Starting a new project

If you are starting a new project it is recommended that you use the Web Monetization project template from the Defold editor Welcome screen. The Web Monetization template includes the Web Monetization extension and it will automatically set up the payment pointer in the generated webpage for your game:

Web Monetization template

Next step is to register for a Web Monetization enabled wallet and add your payment pointer to the Web Monetization section of the game.project file:

Adding payment pointer to game.project

Adding Web Monetization to an existing project

Start by registering for a Web Monetization enabled wallet and add your payment pointer to the webpage:

<meta name="monetization" content="YOUR_PAYMENT_POINTER">

Next you need to add the Web Monetization extension as a project dependency. Open the game.project file and in the Dependencies field in the Project section add:

https://github.com/defold/extension-webmonetization/archive/master.zip

How to use Web Monetization in Defold

When you have the Web Monetization extension and payment pointer added to your project you are ready to start using Web Monetization in your game. The API consosts of only two functions:

Check if a player is monetized (ie is streaming payments to you):

local monetized = webmonetization.is_monetized()
if monetized then
	print("The user has an active payment stream")
end

Set up a listener to get updates on the current monetization state of the player:

webmonetization.set_listener(function(self, event)
	if event == webmonetization.EVENT_PENDING then
		print("The user is trying to make a first payment")
	elseif event == webmonetization.EVENT_START then
		print("The user has started paying")
	elseif event == webmonetization.EVENT_PROGRESS then
		print("The user is still paying")
	elseif event == webmonetization.EVENT_STOP then
		print("The user has stopped paying")
	end
end)

Best practices

  • Offer exclusive content to web monetized players. What you offer depends on the type of game. Some examples:
    • New skins or other cosmetic changes such as unique in-game decals or stickers
    • New game modes
    • Additional levels
  • If your game contains ads you should also consider removing the ads for web monetized players

Did you spot an error or do you have a suggestion? Please let us know on GitHub!

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