Big Obstacle for Mobile Game Companies

Mobile gaming is a competitive space, especially in China where there are over 300 app stores that sell Android apps alone. And while hits like Candy Crush or Temple Run don’t come around often, there are steps that game developers can take to stand out in the crowded market. Ethan Collins, business development manager at Beijing-based game publisher Yodo1, spoke with eMarketer’s Man-Chung Cheung about the app distribution challenge in China and how to tackle it.

eMarketer: What are some of the challenges associated with penetrating China’s mobile gaming market?

Ethan Collins: Monetization is a challenge. Because there are so many stores that sell Android apps, the marketplace is fragmented and few ad networks exist. As a result, game developers need to rely on monetization through in-app purchases and microtransactions. Top players in China will drop tens of thousands of dollars in-app without blinking an eye, so games should provide VIP services that cater to this demographic.

eMarketer: Does the fragmentation of the app marketplace make it challenging to launch new games?

Collins: Distribution is a big component of success. However, because there are so many marketplaces, game developers have to target Android app stores that have the biggest reach first, and later integrate the SDKs [software development kits] and payment keys required for other app stores. For example, we had to launch Rodeo Stampede across more than 60 Android app stores in China.