Mobile Game Development Tips To Help You Succeed In The Chinese Market

As the Western app market becomes increasingly crowded and competitive, many developers are looking for some mobile game development tips to help them market games overseas. With the right marketing strategy, you can take advantage of the booming app market in China to increase your revenue. The first thing you need to know about China is that Android is the top player.

As Western app stores grow crowded and competition for users heats up, top mobile developers are searching for ways to increase their revenues, and many studios are looking to capitalize on booming mobile markets overseas, especially in China. Succeeding internationally, however, is not just a question of letting your game loose abroad and picking up a check. To be successful, games need to be designed with a foreign audience in mind: platform, publishing partners, and player preference all play a crucial role in determining whether a game will be a hit.

Tip 1: Build for Android

While iOS has outpaced Android in the western app market by key monetization and revenue metrics, in China the script is very much flipped. Android is estimated to hold close to 80 percent of revenue in the Chinese mobile gaming market, which is expected to be worth a total of nearly $1.2 billion in 2013. Due to the wide availability of low-cost Android devices, some reports indicate that Apple devices account for less than 10 percent of Chinese smartphones, but more importantly in China the Android platform offers a more frictionless payment process for users compared to iOS.

In the West, the iTunes music business prompted many users to associate their credit cards with Apple accounts years ago, making gaming purchases much easier today. In China, Apple was not able to enter the music business, and few consumers have credit cards in the first place. These factors make the iOS payment process tricky, while seamless payment on Android devices via carrier billing is much easier for Chinese consumers. Users have been accustomed to purchasing mobile content like ringtones, wallpapers, and virtual goods via SMS payment gateways from services including China Mobile, China Telecom, and China Unicom for some time. With this precedent set, developers can more easily prompt Chinese consumers to purchase new level packs from Where’s My Water or coins for Fishing Joy through their phone carriers.

Furthermore, in games we publish at CocoaChina, Android provides a payment conversion rate that is 10 times higher across the board compared to iOS. It is true that the ARPPU (Average Revenue Per Paying User) can be greater from iOS users who, in general, have higher incomes. However, looking at the bigger picture, the Android platform offers 5 times the ARPDAU (Average Revenue Per Daily Active User) to iOS for the same game in China.

For developers looking to succeed overseas, Android compatibility is therefore essential. While mid-core and hardcore iOS games can also do very well in China, the Android market’s complete dominance makes it a far more lucrative proposition, especially for casual titles. Click this link to finish reading Pro Tips: Building your Game for the $1.2 Billion Mobile Apps Market in China.

With 80 percent of the gaming market, you’d be shooting yourself in the foot if you didn’t build your game for an Android. You’d also be wise to find the right Chinese partner in order to develop your game specifically for the market. Without changing the core fundamentals of your game, a partner could help you to tweak some areas in order to appeal to a Chinese consumer.


Author: Jay Fisher

I'm a product guy focused on building great consumer experiences. Gathering quick feedback and building internal consensus by iteratively improving on minimally viable products. My background is in consumer products and finance, I greatly enjoy tackling the challenges involved in financial services and technical product management I love making new professional acquaintances. Reach out ( if you want to talk technology, business, product management, or agile.

One thought on “Mobile Game Development Tips To Help You Succeed In The Chinese Market”

  1. Thanks for sharing these useful tips in mobile game development. It can be a challenge to break into the Chinese market, because of the number of competitors in this field. However, the tips you have provided will definitely give an edge to mobile app developers against their competitors.


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