With millions of downloads per day and the ever growing gaming population, the saturated market makes it extremely difficult for the small and medium sized companies to enter the market. As a result, many Chinese developers are seeking opportunities overseas.
However, if you look at the chart of top mobile games provided by App Annie, one can’t help but wonder: why don’t Chinese games perform well internationally? For example, ‘The Journey of Flower’, one of the most popular Chinese games recently is nowhere to be found in the iOS store.
Before you introduce your game to the world and work your marketing magic, make sure you are fully ready and prepared. Below are a few tips that might afford Chinese developers the leverage necessary to gain a head start in the global gaming arena.
Localization, localization and a little more localization
Localization is the first and probably the most important step if you are thinking about taking your game abroad. People enjoy having a good laugh when they see a bad / funny translation on a menu or a public sign, ‘three the head fish’ for salmon, ‘beware of missing limbs’ for watch your steps, etc. It is not funny anymore when your target gamers just couldn’t figure out what your game is about and what they are supposed to do. There goes all your budget money.
First of all, a skilled Chinese – English or Chinese to other language translator is needed. It is not only to translate the game, but also to make it user / cultural appropriate. A skilled translator might not be a skilled gamer. Therefore, intensive research on target country’s gaming language, habits and ideology has to be done.
It takes the one to have the other. Changing mindset is inevitable. There are always linguistic features that cannot be translated no matter how skilled the translator is. You need to be ready to give up certain aspects of your game, such as word play, humor and localize them even if it comes out less witty and funny. Design your game with western gamers in mind if your target is North American and European markets so that you don’t end up reworking your entire game.
Chinese culture isn’t that well known outside China
If you have a game, which is all about ancient Chinese culture, history and literature, you are in for some tough decisions, say your marketing and business model. Yes, we get it that the ‘Three Kingdoms’ and ‘Journey to the West’ are valuable essences of the Chinese literature and it is also undeniable that such game genres often lead to success in the Chinese market. However, most non-Chinese gamers are unfamiliar with the stories and would rather just play games that make sense to them.
One of the recommended strategies for Chinese developers is to take the game to Hong Kong, Taiwan or Macao first as those areas share great similarities with mainland China. Then adjust and localize your game into Japanese, Korean and Southeast Asian markets. If your game turns out to be successful in the countries listed above, you have a better chance at winning in the Western markets.
It is admirable that some Chinese game developers are overcoming obstacles and testing the international water while the majority of them are content making buckets of money by only making their games available in the expending Chinese market. That’s why good game localization is the first step leading you onto the right track.
What do you do once your game is out there?
Mobile developers love numbers. Knowing who is clicking on your game and which advertisements bring in revenue helps you save time and money while making a better profit.
With all the confusing numbers sent back from your network partners, it is difficult to figure out what to do with them and how those numbers can help you improve your marketing strategies.
Being able to access more numbers will help you know more about who your users are. Most ad networks could only give you a few numbers and not the full picture. Mobile attribution analytics gives you the whole picture with better tools to help you understand your users.
TestBird Mobile Attribution Analytics is a way to help mobile developers understand the numbers that advertising companies give them to better understand their ad revenue.
TestBird Mobile Attribution Analytics is a new-generation advanced analytics for mobile user acquisition. It provides customers with real time tracking reports, users’ retention rate, identifies the sources of quality users, analyzes users’ behaviors, optimize advertising strategies and maximize ROI.
What make TestBird special and valuable to Chinese mobile game developers besides the reliable technology are the facts that TestBird understands both Chinese and the Western markets, Chinese – English speaking service and years of experience with games and advertising.