A Quick Brief on Taiwan’s Mobile Game Industry

A Quick Brief on Taiwan’s Mobile Game Industry
Taipei Game Show is coming next week and those who will be attending will find some great offerings from everywhere in Asia including TestBird.
Taiwan is seen as one of the biggest gaming countries in the world with 66% of the population playing at least 30 minutes a day according to the Taipei Times.  Taiwan, in my opinion, has to be the most savvy gaming country outside of Japan and for many, a jumping off point into making money in Asia’s game industry.
This series will focus on the overview, challenges, and what you could expect if you bring your gaming app to Taiwan.

Looking inside the numbers

A recent report shows that Taiwan has over 23 million people with 26 million devices subscribed with 3G in 2014. There are 4.54 million 4G users currently and an additional 3.18 million were forecast by the end of 2015 according to Nico Partners, a consulting firm.  That pretty much tells you what you should expect from Taiwan.
The country is saturated with mobile devices and it seems everyone is using them for games, watching videos, and chatting. Revenue was estimated early last yearto make $474 million by end of 2015, with a 226% increase in revenue at the end of 2014.

NewZoo shows that 47% of people are spending money and with $116.60 per year on games, second highest in Asia outside of Japan. Over half of the population sees themselves as a gamer and revenues continue to build.

AppsAsia, a Korean research firm shares a great infographic on Taiwan. Some key-points to know:

  • Most Games in the top 25 are Taiwanese based but more open to English games
  • RPG is the biggest genre, but Android developers have a lot more wiggle room for other genres to enter the country.
  • Android is where you the gamers are, but iOS is where the money is with 3X the ARPU


What is selling?

Taiwan is in a very strange space by having so many bigger brothers all around making mobile games and selling it to Taiwanese gamers directly. So it’s not expected to see the best of Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Western games hitting the top 25.

Taiwan’s economy is mostly in technology services and the tech industry, and so many gamers are very keen to new and innovative gaming. Most games you will see on AppAnnie are very polished, leaving a lot of developers in China and smaller Asian countries having to increase quality to enter the market.
The three biggest takeaways from my research on popular genres in Taiwan are:
1. MMORPGs, a focal point in Taiwanese games industry, with better tech in mobile devices, will continue to grow with mobile.
2. Cute games (i.e Games with cute characters, cute art, cute music, etc.) are also very popular as much of Japan’s culture has infiltrated and mixed with Taiwan’s culture in the past few decades.
3. There is a continued interest in “wuxia” games, which are games based off Chinese kung-fu novels. We’ll discuss these in-depth in our next article on the challenges of entering Taiwan’s market.

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