China Daily (USA) - - ANALYSIS - Karl­wil­son@chi­nadai­lya­pac.com

Within a few short months of its re­lease on July 6, Poke­mon Go has be­come one of the big­gest mo­bile games of all time. The game’s phenom­e­nal suc­cess has made mil­lions for the Ja­panese game pi­o­neer Nin­tendo, owner of a stake in Niantic, the US-based game stu­dio be­hind Poke­mon Go. Nin­tendo first in­tro­duced Poke­mon video games to the world over 20 years ago.

How­ever, for ev­ery Poke­mon Go suc­cess story, there are hun­dreds of mo­bile games that crash and burn ev­ery week in what has be­come one of the most com­pet­i­tive busi­nesses in the world.

The global mar­ket for mo­bile games gen­er­ates around $3 bil­lion a month in rev­enue, ac­cord­ing to Wil­liam G. Daddi, pres­i­dent of New York-based con­sul­tancy Daddi Brand Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

“Asia rep­re­sents roughly half of that (global mar­ket), and the Chi­nese mo­bile games mar­ket earns $700 mil­lion a month, just slightly lower than Ja­pan,” he said.

“By com­par­i­son, the mo­bile games mar­ket in the United States is worth around $400 mil­lion a month.”

Daddi said play­ers have be­come more so­phis­ti­cated in their ex­pec­ta­tions of both game me­chan­ics and pro­duc­tion val­ues.

“In the early days of mo­bile gam­ing, au­di­ences were happy to play rel­a­tively sim­ple games with­out a lot of ab­stract think­ing or char­ac­ter build­ing,” he said.

“If you com­pare games from then to the ones we see now, there’s a no­tice­able in­crease in what is ex­pected from the player.”

Sim­i­larly, pro­duc­tion val­ues have in­creased amid the “pur­suit of a greater per­ceived value of games, par­tic­u­larly in seg­ments where there are many copy­cats and clones”.

The com­bi­na­tion of these mar­ket forces has in­creased the cost of de­vel­op­ment and mar­ket­ing for mo­bile game devel­op­ers, he added.

The mo­bile games mar­ket has be­come one of the most com­pet­i­tive busi­nesses in the world, said Jelle Koois­tra, head of prod­uct de­vel­op­ment at New­zoo Mo­bile, a di­vi­sion of re­search firm New­zoo.

The mo­bile games mar­ket is boom­ing and Asia-Pa­cific has be­come the world’s most com­pet­i­tive mar­ket, Koois­tra said.

The pro­jected rev­enue for the re­gion this year will ac­count for 58 per­cent of the global to­tal, with China alone ex­pected to gen­er­ate $10 bil­lion in mo­bile gam­ing rev­enue.

While there is strong growth in the mar­ket, suc­cess is un­pre­dictable.

New ti­tles can come from any lo­ca­tion to dom­i­nate the down­load mo­bile gamers in China, around 62 per­cent of all these in Asia charts, while suc­cess­ful ti­tles can also fall from grace with­out ex­pla­na­tion, ac­cord­ing to Nielsen.

In a pa­per this year, the con­sumer analysis firm said pub­lish­ers of mo­bile games flood the mar­ket with several ti­tles and then “retroac­tively review their down­load rates and us­age to de­ter­mine which ti­tles to sup­port go­ing for­ward”.

At the same time, know­ing why mo­bile gamers change their be­hav­ior of­ten re­mains un­clear. The dy­nam­ics also make “gamers’ fu­ture pref­er­ences un­pre­dictable”, it noted.

“The na­ture by which ti­tles in the mo­bile mar­ket grow their owner base and us­age is part of what makes pre­dict­ing suc­cess so chal­leng­ing.

“Some ti­tles achieve this by in­creas­ing vis­i­bil­ity through pro­mo­tions,

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