xsolla
Behind the Idea Gametech Paytech

Behind the Idea: Xsolla

Since 2005, Xsolla has been on a mission to offer payment solutions for gamers around the world.

Last month, the company teamed up with Mastercard to bring frictionless, secure, and rewarding payments for gamers worldwide.

To learn more about the commerce company and the games industry it operates in, we spoke to Chris Hewish, president of Xsolla.

As an avid gamer, Hewish turned this passion into a successful career. He has direct experience in designing and producing over 50 games that generate more than $1billion in sales.

Here he talks about levelling the playing field for developers, while keeping up with consumer demands.

Tell us more about your company and its offering
Chris Hewish, President of Xsolla,
Chris Hewish, president of Xsolla

Xsolla is an innovative video game commerce company that offers payment solutions to more than 500 million gamers worldwide. Our mission is to solve the inherent complexities of global distribution, marketing, and monetisation to help our partners reach more geographies, generate more revenue and create relationships with gamers worldwide.

Established in 2005, with headquarters in Los Angeles, California, as well as offices in multiple cities including Berlin, Seoul, Beijing and Kuala Lumpur, it provides platform-agnostic analytics tools to help developers understand their players better, and enables publishers to create comprehensive monetisation strategies that support their growth plans. Xsolla also offers unique value-added services such as fraud prevention, customer experience optimisation, and loyalty rewards programs that help maximise revenue potential.

For many game publishers looking to grow their businesses, Xsolla has become an invaluable partner, working with major well known gaming titles such as Valve, Twitch, Roblox, Ubisoft and Epic Games, to name a few. And with multiple high profile partnerships, has become one of the most recognisable names in the gaming business. The most recent collaboration with Mastercard means gamers can enjoy frictionless, secure, and rewarding payments, with enhanced checkout experiences including credit card loyalty points, in-game currency gifting and improved creator payout processes.

What problem does your company solve?

Developers should have the freedom to focus on making great games. We remove the complexities of global payments and business management, empowering development teams to generate more revenue and reach new players in more regions than ever. Our platform provides access to over 700 payment systems worldwide, including localised options, fraud protection, subscription billing solutions, and analytics tools designed specifically for game developers. With Xsolla’s help, developers can keep their overheads low while achieving maximum profitability with minimal effort.

We want to level the playing field, so developers of any size have the tools to maximise their business globally and at scale. We saw how hard it was for developers to develop direct-to-consumer relationships with their players, so we stepped up and provided everything anyone would need to run their own games business, just like they were one of the biggest companies in the world. Our goal is to make monetisation easy so developers can return to doing what they do best – creating incredible gaming experiences.

Since launch, how has your company evolved?

Since we launched in 2005, Xsolla has evolved into a comprehensive product suite that serves the entire video game ecosystem. Our solutions work in 200+ geographies, with 700+ payment methods in 20+ languages which makes game payments accessible for all; no matter the region.

Whether through our integrated payment processing platform, Cloud Gaming, Web Shop, or NFT Checkout, the sky’s the limit. Xsolla is committed to providing developers of all sizes the resources they need to succeed in today’s ever-changing video game landscape.

What has been the biggest challenge or most ‘tricky moment’ to overcome?

The biggest challenge that Xsolla has faced over the years is adapting and evolving to different market trends. As the gaming industry constantly changes, we have to keep up with consumer demands and ensure our products meet their needs. This can be tricky as there will always be a gap between what customers want and what technology can offer at any given time – finding ways to bridge this divide so we can provide them with a seamless experience.

We’ve also had to become more agile in our operations, allowing us to adjust quickly to stay ahead of the competition. Finally, staying on top of regulatory requirements has been essential to our success, ensuring that we remain compliant with all applicable laws and restrictions. We have successfully overcome these challenges through the hard work of our talented team who understand the problems and with knowledge, skill and experience can provide solutions, with a constant commitment to innovation.

How would you describe the culture of the company?

Our culture is one of collaboration and innovation. We strive to foster an environment of open dialogue, trust, and mutual respect where employees feel empowered to bring their ideas forward and impact the business. Our core values – integrity, humility, ambition, and accountability – form the foundation for working together daily. We’re passionate about making meaningful contributions to our industry, so we are constantly challenging ourselves to push boundaries and develop new solutions that will benefit our clients and our company.

We believe in creating an atmosphere of continual learning where everyone can contribute their knowledge and skills for the growth of Xsolla and their personal development. As a team, we embrace change and welcome fresh perspectives, which helps us stay ahead of the competition and be successful. In short, Xsolla is a diverse community of passionate professionals devoted to each other and our success.

What’s in store for the future?

Xsolla is well-positioned to benefit from the ongoing move away from platforms, which continue to crumble in the face of regulations, lawsuits, and changes to ad networks. Our central value proposition is helping partners generate more revenue by evolving their businesses beyond the platforms and app stores and going directly to consumers.

This strategy becomes much more critical during a recession, as companies look for anything to improve their margins. In addition to a direct to consumer strategy that will help video game companies succeed through any recession, Xsolla is also looking to the future with new solutions related to Web 3.0 and the Creator Economy. We’ll also continue expanding our global footprint as we build our regional presence to provide even better support to our partners worldwide.

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