A Small Island With Big Riches Wants To Play

A Small Island With Big Riches Wants To Play

This series will focus on the overview, challenges, and what you could expect if you bring your gaming app to Taiwan.

Saying that making money in Taiwan is hard would be an understatement. Taiwan has been known to be one of the key grounds for new and interesting gaming from all over Asia, but as I talked briefly about earlier, Taiwan is also open to games from around the world. But what they are not open to is terrible game play, bad monetization schemes, and companies that don’t advertise effectively enough to gain traction.

Though your entry into Taiwan might be hard, there are a few key items that make it easy to get in and start making money than other parts of Asia.

The Good News

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Google Play

Google Play is available here compared to in China, allowing you to list your game and start getting downloads and people spending on your game.

Google Play is the most used marketplace as well, so don’t worry about looking up the top marketplaces to put your game in like you would for China. (If you do need that, here is a story I wrote on that)

They love to eat data

Taiwanese are the biggest eaters of 4G and so people play games, download apps, and do everything else on data. So you don’t need to worry too much about file sizes or data usage as problem points for your game being downloaded.

Facebook Ads and fan pages

If you’ve been advertising your game on Facebook, you are in luck as Facebook is the top social network in Taiwan. So with some work, you can add a Taiwanese fan page to your account and advertise to gamers in the country. Be warned though, many gamers use the page for customer service and so you may need to hire customer service reps in Taiwan to help in vetting questions from gamers.

The Bad News


China a few years ago wouldn’t have been a problem, but as the industry has grown and matured, many of the games being played are centered on both Chinese and Taiwanese game players. Because of the amount of games being released by China to Taiwan, it will be tough to find the best time to release a game in a crowded space and gain traction in advertising.

Big Budgets are Needed

Unless you can prove to a publisher in Taiwan that your game will be profitable, you’re going to have to put huge costs into marketing your game, localizing it, and doing customer service. But even if you get a publisher, you will need to spend on licensing fees and sign profit sharing contracts with a publisher. This could still leave you without cash and out of luck in Taiwan.

Get an Agent

Agencies in Taiwan have been said to have matured faster than the game industry could and the amount of things they provide like customer service, advertising, community management, and marketing can be overwhelming, but necessary for success without a publisher.

To make things more complicated, there isn’t a set place to search for such service providers. So be prepared to do a bit of research or come to a trade show.



Japan’s LINE has become the clear king in social messaging winning 75% of the population. Just as I discussed in Korea with KakaoTalk, casual mobile games that are connected to LINE have seen great success.

Metapps, A Tokyo mobile app services company, had two great articles on the growth of LINE in Taiwan here and here. So be prepared to make your game LINE compatible for an added edge.

The Interesting News

Monetization Models of Taiwan

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Data from Distimo (Now a part of AppAnnie)

When talking to developers in Taiwan, most say it’s either in-game advertisements, or micro-transactions that are bringing in the cash. Most paid games do poorly on iOS, and fall flat for Android.

Be prepared to offer more value for your gamer’s dollar as many stingy developers in the West lost to competition who kept gamers happy by pampering them with lots of items, in-game currency and free gifts.

Pay to win does work in Taiwan as it does in China, but fairness is still coveted to win back mid-range spenders.



Game streaming has been popular for a long time in Taiwan and the growth of Twitch has helped to bring new streamers to mobile. This has brought interest in Taiwan and America in using Twitch to advertise and promote mobile games using the service.


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