开发者不可低估繁体中文手机游戏市场潜力

作者:Jheng Wei Ciao

我是来自台湾游戏工作室Monkey Potion的成员。在过去十年中,MMO游戏在亚洲势头正旺。许多韩国、中国游戏公司就是在此时成立,意在 开发MMO游戏并推出热门之作。在过去数年中,网页游戏和Facebook游戏开始兴起。今天MMO游戏已经不再像当初那样盛行,游戏市场的重心转向了移动平台。

中国是一个庞大而发展迅速的市场,虽然中国用户的ARPU值并不像美国人那样理想,但来自中国App Store的下载量已经排名世界第一。所以如果你想施行全球化战略,你就应该认真考虑将游戏转化为简体中文版,以便更好地虏获中国大陆用户。

但包括台湾、香港、澳门等使用繁体中文而非简体中文的地区该怎么办?你可能会认为推出简体中文版本就能够满足所有讲中文的用户需求,但事实并非如此。

开发者不可低估繁体中文手机游戏市场潜力

google-play-taiwan(from App Annie)

让我们先来谈谈台湾的手机应用市场规模。据Newzoo报告显示,在2013年12月份,台湾位居iPhone App Store市场收益榜单第10名,在iPad App Store榜单则是第14名。App Annie在2013年第三季度报告也指出,台湾在该时期的Google Play市场收益榜单位居第5名。

游戏是台湾手机应用收益增长的主要动力,该类应用在台湾Google Play收益中占比超过80%。

除了Google Play的官方支付渠道之外,台湾地区的普遍支付方式之一就是第三方预付卡。如果算上预付卡所创造的收益,台湾地区的整体Android应用收益还可能排到第4名,甚至更高名次。

在2013年,台湾App Store和Google Play游戏收益榜单第一名均是《Tower of Saviors》这款来自香港的P&D类游戏。其下载量超过800万次,有70%下载量和收益来自台湾用户。

开发者不可低估繁体中文手机游戏市场潜力

jade-ninja-numbers(from gamasutra)

乍一看,《Twoer of Saviors》不过是一款P&D克隆游戏,但它却拥有出众的繁体中文本土化支持。他们还向用户推出了许大网络营销活动以及离线活动。据称《Tower of Saviors》月收益可能达到300万美元,其中多数来自台湾用户。

在我看来,与相邻地区比较,台湾手机游戏市场具有更大的收益潜力。此外,在讲中文的地区中,台湾对娱乐和时尚行业的影响不容小觑。如果你的游戏在台湾市场反应良好,那么就有很大可能吸引香港、新加坡、马来西亚和其他亚太地区用户的眼球。

糟糕的是,简体中文在台湾一向不甚流行,而好消息则是,将简体中文转换为繁体中文却相当容易,只是有些动词和名词有所不同。

《Jade Ninja》是我们在App Store发布的首款手机游戏。虽然它的销量很不济,但我们却从中发现台湾玩家在手机游戏中的付费愿意远超过我们的想象。

《Jade Ninja》下载量不足12万次,这真令人沮丧。因为它是一款免费游戏,其转化率和ARPPU是游戏获得商业成功的关键因素。尽管转化率相当之低(低于1%),其ARPPU却达到5.8美元,其中台湾用户对ARPPU和收益的贡献最大(在收益中占比54%)。

鉴于上述原因,海外开发者应该认真考虑将游戏转化为繁体中文的问题,如果执行得当,就会取得良好的效果。

另外,我还想向各位介绍一下独立游戏领域在台湾的发展情况。由于手机游戏市场的迅速发展,有不少人辞掉工作,成为全职独立游戏开发者。

我们在台湾有数个本地定期举办游戏开发者会面活动的社区。其中一个甚为活跃的独立游戏开发者组织就是IGDShare,专注于分享经验以启发游戏开发者。去年11月台北游戏开发者论坛召开,Alexander Bruce和Aaron Isaksen受邀进行演讲。在2013年12月举办了第2届GDC台北峰会,Simon Carless也获邀发表演讲。

坦白而言,独立游戏在台湾仍然处于未成熟的发展阶段。独立游戏是一个相当小众的市场,尚未被广大台湾玩家所认可。许多独立游戏开发者确实在努力制作富有吸引力的游戏,但目前就我所知,多数开发者无法通过自主开发游戏而谋生。尽管目前处境艰难,仍然有一小部分独立开发者坚持了自己的信念,并推出了包括《A Ride Into Mountains:》、《Axventure:》、《Bonnie’s Brunch 2》等在内的一系列出色的本土独立游戏。(爪游控

Why You Should Not Undervalue Traditional Chinese Mobile Gaming Market

by Jheng Wei Ciao

The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.

The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of the writer and not Gamasutra or its parent company.

Hello everyone, I’m Jheng Wei-Ciao from Monkey Potion, a Taiwan based independent game studio. You might wonder where “Taiwan” is. To many westerners not familiar with this country’s geography, Taiwan is often mistaken for Thailand, and vice versa. Taiwan (formerly known as Formosa) is located in the Pacific Ocean off the southeast coast of mainland China with the Taiwan Strait in between. It is a beautiful island nation with more than 23 million residents.

Over the past decade, MMOs certainly had their glory days here in Asia. At the time, many Korean, Chinese, and Taiwanese game companies were founded, aiming to develop MMOs and successfully made a hit. Through the last couple of years, there was a tendency towarding creating web-based games and Facebook games. Nowadays MMOs have gone out of fashion, and the prevalence in gaming markets has shifted to mobile platforms.

As you know, China is a huge thriving market growing insanely fast. Although the ARPU in China may not be so good as in USA, downloads from China on App Store has reached world #1. So if you want to go global, you should seriously consider localizing your games into Simplified Chinese to have a better chance to acquire users in China.

What about other Chinese-speaking areas, such as Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau, where people use Traditional Chinese rather than Simplified Chinese? You might claim to deliver a Simplified Chinese version would be sufficient to cater to all Chinese-speaking users. But it is actually not.

Let’s begin by discussing the market size of mobile apps in Taiwan. According to Newzoo’s Monthly Top 20 report,  in December 2013, Taiwan ranked #10 in terms of revenues generated on iPhone App Store and #14 on iPad App Store. Also, as shown on App Annie’s market report of Q3 2013, Taiwan has climbed to become the #5 country by Google Play revenue in Q3 2013.

The Gaming category primarily drove Taiwan’s revenue growth and accounted for over 80% of their Google Play revenue, which was on par with the worldwide average in Q3 2013.

In less than half a year since the reinstatement of paid apps on Google Play, Taiwan generated enough app revenue to join the Top 5 countries by Google Play revenue in Q3 2013.

In addition to the official payment channel on Google Play, one of the most common methods of payment in Taiwan is through third party pre-paid cards. If the revenues generated by pre-paid cards could be counted in, the overall Android app revenue in Taiwan might rank #4 or even higher.

In 2013, the #1 top grossing game on both Taiwan App Store and Taiwan Google Play was dominated by Tower of Saviors, a P&D-like game from Hong Kong. It has managed to reach over 8 million downloads, and 70% of its downloads and revenues are contributed by Taiwanese users.

At first sight, Tower of Saviors looks like nothing more than a P&D clone, but it has a superior Traditional Chinese localization. They also held a lot of online marketing campaigns and offline events for its users. It was said that the monthly revenue of Tower of Saviors could reach 3 million dollars, which mostly generated from Taiwanese users.

In my opinion, Taiwanese mobile gaming market has greater revenue potential compared with its neighborhood countries. Furthermore, among Chinese-speaking countries, Taiwan has been very important and influential in the entertainment and fashion industry. It is true that if your game performs well in Taiwan, it would also stand a better chance of catching the eyes of players from HK, Singapore, Malaysia and other APAC countries.

The bad news is that simplified Chinese characters have always been unfavorable for Taiwanese people. The good news is that translating Simplified Chinese into Traditional Chinese is rather simple, except that some conventional terms, including nouns and verbs, may be a bit different.

Jade Ninja is our first mobile game released on App Store. Although the sales figures of this game reflects an (un)epic failure (but that’s another long story), we were amazed to learn that Taiwanese players are more willing to pay for mobile games than we thought.

The download number of Jade Ninja barely reached over 120,000, which is quite frustrating. Since it is a free to play game, the conversion rate and ARPPU are both critical factors for financial success. Even though the conversion rate is pretty low (less than 1%), the ARPPU is $5.8, of which Taiwanese users has contributed the highest amount of revenue (54%) and ARPPU.

Therefore, for all the reasons mentioned above, you should seriously consider localizing your games into Traditional Chinese. It will payoff if you do it right.

Secondly, I would like to introduce to you the indie gaming scene in Taiwan. Lately, with the rapid growth of mobile gaming market, there are quite a few people who quitted their jobs to become full-time indie game developers.

Here in Taiwan we have several local communities holding regular meetups with fellow game developers. One of the lively indie game developer organizations is IGDShare focusing on sharing experiences to help inspire game developers. Last November Taipei Game Developers Forum was held, with Alexander Bruce and Aaron Isaksen as invited speakers. In December 2013, there was the 2nd GDC Taipei Summit, and this time Simon Carless was invited to give a speech.

Honestly, the indie scene in Taiwan is still premature in current stage. Indie gaming is a rather niche market and not being able to be recognized or appreciated by most Taiwanese players. Many indie game developers have indeed struggled to make fascinating games, but as far as I know, most of them can’t make a living just by developing their own games. Although the circumstances are tough, there’s still a small tribe of indies who persist in their faith to make games. Below is a brief list of some awesome Taiwanese indie games( gamasutra