Gaming applications are wildly popular these days, thanks to significant increases in both the accessibility and performance of mobile devices around the world. If you are a developer planning to launch your app in new markets, you first have to localize your application to adapt to the language and tone of that target audience.
It’s especially important to achieve a natural and desirable play experience for each specific cultural context. End users value a localized game in their native language and with their own culture in mind. This greatly enhances their experience and makes them feel that the game was truly meant for them! Here are ten of the hottest international markets for gaming applications.
The birthplace of major video game companies such as Nintendo, Sega, and Konami, Japan has been a leader in the gaming industry since the 1980s. The Japanese market is ideal for localizing your app because its consumer base is chock-full of lifelong gaming fanatics. Japan leads the way with its mobile gaming market worth $5.4 billion!
With over 1.3 billion people, China is the world’s most populous country. More importantly, China’s large consumer base has shown their love for games; it was reported that the Chinese mobile gaming market was expecting to see 93% growth from 2014 over 2013! For 14 years, China experienced a ban on game consoles, but with that ban now lifted, mobile game popularity is expected to skyrocket.
With the world’s largest Spanish-speaking population, Mexico’s gaming market is boundless. In 2014, it was estimated that total gaming revenue in Mexico was greater than $1 billion. Once you have localized your app for the Mexican Spanish dialect, you will want to focus on the more general dialect for the tens of millions of Spanish speakers living in the United States.
Germany is one of the most prominent countries in Europe for gaming and mobile apps; revenues from smartphone and tablet apps saw year-over-year growth of 33% between 2013 and 2014. In 2014 alone, German gamers generated over $600 million in revenues from mobile and tablet gaming apps.
5. The United Kingdom
The U.K. boasts an advanced technology industry, which includes mobile apps. It’s also the second-biggest gaming market in Europe, just behind Germany. If you are an American company localizing your app for the U.K., you obviously won’t have to re-translate everything entirely from scratch. Rather, you will have an expert linguist localize the content from American English to British English.
While the sales of traditional video game hardware and consoles may be slowing in France, digital gaming is on the rise. This is an effect of the worldwide trend: gamers are moving toward their mobile devices. In 2013, the French digital game market grew more than 10%.
In 2014, Brazil’s digital game market reached $1.4 billion. While Latin America held only 4% of the global gaming market in 2013, the region experienced 11% year-over-year growth, indicating a bright future for mobile gaming. For accurate localization, make sure to establish the appropriate dialect. You wouldn’t want the Portuguese mistakenly localized for Portugal!
The United States’ neighbor to the north has a strong gaming culture. In 2014, game research company Newzoo reported that Canada had one of the highest video game revenues in the world. Conveniently, if you plan to localize your app into French for the market in France, you can also arrange for a localization expert to adapt the game for Canadian French.
India is a close second behind China in population. While its internet presence is relatively small compared to its population, mobile device use is growing, providing a great opportunity for gaming developers. With an annual spend of over $90 million, India is an emerging market with a lot of untapped potential. As you consider localizing for India, you will want to research which languages will reach the broadest market: either Hindi, Bengali or Telugu, for instance.
Russia’s mobile gaming market is relatively new, which gives opportunistic developers a high probability of success: Russian game revenues in 2014 were estimated to be over $1.1 billion.