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The most recent EEDAR report “Deconstructing Mobile & Tablet Gaming 2015” states that the global market for mobile gaming is worth $25 billion. It’s dominated by the US, Japan and China. These regions generate $5.41 billion, $5.16 billion and $5.01 billion revenues, respectively. South Korea gives about $1.37 billion.
Asia Pacific countries generate the biggest part of world’s mobile gaming market: 50% of world’s mobile gamers and 56% of global revenues. There’s a lot of money there for sure, but is there enough place for smaller game developers, who want to make games and sell them through App Store?
Discovering Games in Various Regions
The most important information in this report for indies at least is the hints about the best ways people discover new games. For example in US/Canada gavers seek direct recommendations from users. This includes social media posts. Advertising also works but not as much. Seems like US, as the most mature market, has the best potential for indie game developers. If you work hard on your social marketing, if you grow your community, there’s a high chance people will share information about your game and more people will buy it. Other countries have completely different ways of discovering new games.
Chinese gamers watch only Top Charts, gaming websites and TV ads. In Japan number one source of new games is TV ads, as well. South Korean gamers rely on storefront, so if you’re not on the main page, you might as well not exist.
Get More Press
Sadly, there’s no way you can promote your game outside of US without a sustainable marketing budget, which means, that it’s impossible to push game without a publisher. I actually do not believe you can launch a mobile game in US and gain traction without at least some marketing.
One of the best ways to get more views and more players is to get more press. The more interview, the more previews you do before the release, the higher the chance that you’ll get featuring from Apple. Not a little people really talk about it, but this is how it works really. It’s super important for indies and I can’t stress that enough. So if you want to see your game fly, be like Vlambeer or Phil Fish (ok, maybe not EXACTLY like Phil). Get yourself noticed and get more press. Just look ar Brothers: A tale of Two Sons? It’s an art-house projects that did extremely well. Or Monument Valley, but it’s not exactly indie.
What do you think? What are the best ways to promote your mobile game? What do you do if you’re strapped for cash and don’t have a publisher by your side? How do you get your game out there?