Breaking into Asian mobile games markets is no cakewalk. While some games, like Clash of Clans, enjoy multi-year runs of wild popularity, they are the exception rather than the rule. Most mobile games release quickly, gain popularity fast, and fade away to make room for the next game just as quickly. Time is of the essence, but there’s good news: Since mobile games usually rely on action-oriented game play with simpler graphics, less text and character restrictions, and little or no voiceover work, they don’t take very long to localize!
That’s a good thing, because to stay on top of the market, you have to come in already localized with a system in place for simultaneous delivery (which a full-service localization company can facilitate). You’ll also need a local partner for distribution and/or monetization.
From there, you’ll need to master the finer points of what makes each country’s mobile players tick – or tap, as the case may be.
A few top-tips on what makes who tick (or tap) in Asia
Japanese players expect in-game social interaction, like combat between guilds.
South Korean gamers have come to expect frequent game updates and special in-game events.
China has more than 15 app stores – which is a significant change from just dealing with two (Apple and Google’s) – as well as networks selling games, and middlemen at telecom companies and hardware manufacturers.
In general, Asian gamers are better conditioned for more complicated games than Western audiences – your game might be too simple for them. There’s a reason Angry Birds took off in the U.S. and not so much in Japan!