Today, living in China, we don’t get many trick-or-treaters coming to my apartment door. But the sweet rewards for some western companies coming to Asia, can be better than a hundred full-size candy bars.
There are a lot of great opportunities in Asia. From China, to Japan, to India, to the growing markets in Southeast Asia, there is a lot of growth for mobile app development and revenue. The numbers don’t lie.
NewZoo announced an estimated $38.5 billion in revenue in the big three countries of Japan, China, and South Korea. In China many companies are moving to growth in Southeast Asia as the younger population starts to use mobile devices more frequently and purchase more on their phone (est. $321 million in revenue in Indonesia, $217 million in Vietnam, and $336 million in Thailand in 2015).
So why aren’t you targeting Asian countries? We know a lot of the complaints. Our games aren’t working in Asia, we don’t know the market, localization is too expensive, China is too competitive. Let’s look at these issues one by one.
“Our games aren’t working in Asia”
This could be many reasons, one reason we found at TestBird is phone compatibility can lead to poor reviews for your game in the marketplace and very low retention rates due functionality issues. We’ve been helping Chinese developers by testing phones through our labs to make sure that you will be able to take care of many of these issues during the end of their testing cycle with logs discussing when and where the issues occurred.
“We don’t know the market”
For most of Asia, they are using the Play Store from Google, so there isn’t really an issue. But if you are looking to work with specific marketplaces in some countries, you may need help. In China you may want to talk to an agency like one at You Xi Cha Guan (http://www.youxichaguan.com/) that will add your game to all the major marketplaces in China. For Vietnam, it’s best to work with publishers like Appota (https://appota.com/) who are well known in the country.
“Localization is too hard”
Localization into China can be very difficult. So much so that only less than 15% of the games in the top 20 in most marketplaces are western games. TestBird has helped by supporting western and Chinese companies with crowdsource testing available only for the Chinese market. We’ve been able to work to find out the major issues gamers had with a game and send those responses to the companies.
“China is too competitive”
That’s very true. With a lack of console gaming until this year and the cost of entry with a mobile phone, mobile gaming has become a titan in Asia for mobile games and apps. Tencent already has 50% of the market according to Niko Partners. But the opportunity to have over 440 million people playing your game is something to strive for and can achieve. We recommend following the trends of China today with a flair of western style.