Publishers are capitalizing on the rise in mobile gaming by expanding their reach into new, lucrative markets. But finding international success means overcoming some important hurdles. Join experts from Riot Games and Facebook Audience Network to learn more.
One of the most important factors driving the push for mobile game publishers to expand is reach, says Marcio Freire, Publisher Solutions Manager, LATAM & Scaled, at Facebook Audience Network.
“More than 2 billion people are mobile gamers across the globe,” Freire says. “That’s why gaming is an export business, and it’s important to build an international presence.”
The LatAm opportunity
The opportunity is particularly ripe in Latin America. The region today has a population of around 650 million people, with smartphone penetration a little above 50%, or around 325 million people on smartphones today, an even bigger market share than the U.S., he says.
And Latin America as a whole is the fifth biggest market in terms of revenue, behind China, the U.S., Japan, and Korea. The language barrier, always a major hurdle when launching internationally, is also significantly smaller than, for instance, in the Asia region, because there are only two main languages in the region: Portuguese and Spanish.
Latin Americans are also highly engaged within their games, and highly engaged within the ad space, which is a big source of revenue generation gaming, Freire says. Players in Latin America are highly receptive to in-game ads, with 87% preferring to watch an ad rather than pay for an experience within a game, he says.
It’s also a highly social part of the world, as demonstrated by Facebook penetration numbers within the region, which are the highest globally. This includes the amount of time spent on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram, and the social interaction on these platforms, which has skyrocketed, he adds.
Tapping into that social element of games is essential – gamers like to interact with their friends and will invite them to play games. Engaged users make that marketing strategy significantly more cost effective.
Developing a strategy
But wherever you launch your game, there are some key factors to consider when developing a strategy.
First thing is to find the reasons it makes sense for you to go global. For most, that includes reaching a significantly larger population of new users. However, it could be the need to test your title in more cost-effective markets. It could also be the need to take advantage of the seasonal differences in another region – for example, players in one region may engage more in the summer months, while in others, it may be less.
You also need to understand the markets you’re entering. It sounds like a no-brainer, but this is one of the biggest places developers find themselves stumbling. You can’t build a casino game in a country where casinos are illegal, for instance, or even just frowned upon. Those kinds of cultural nuances are important to chase down before you launch a game.
You should also take steps to address cultural differences — not only the language piece, but customizing game experiences so that you’re building for that market, not just building for the globe and expecting that gamers will automatically like your experiences.
Understanding the market also means understanding the area’s trends and how to monetize in the market you’re entering. For example, in Latin America, users lean more toward in-app ad experiences versus in-app purchases, so you need to adapt your title to have more advertising experiences, rather than transactions within the game itself.
Another piece is understanding where the players discover new games. Of course there are the app stores, but you also need to think about places that users spend time outside of gaming. There are many platforms and channels where people discover new games, and you need to be aware of them when you’re expanding into a new market so you can acquire users properly.
And finally, you need to build long-term, sustainable growth — so you need to monetize well. And to monetize you need to know how people like to interact within your game and how you’re going to be able to do that effectively with your partners in a new market.
For more insights into what it takes for American publishers to build an international audience and vice-versa, the strategies that developers need to put into place, and how to mitigate risk, join experts from Facebook Audience Network in this VB Live event.
Don’t miss out!
From a NA/LATAM lens, this session will cover:
- What is influencing publisher motivations to expand internationally?
- What should publishers ask themselves when looking to expand?
- What are the key insights and trends publishers can leverage when planning to expand?
- Marcio Freire, Publisher Solutions Manager, LATAM & Scaled, Facebook Audience Network
- Martin Bradley, Research Director, 2CV
- Jennifer Poulson, Head of Publishing & Product, SEA, Riot Games (moderator)
Source: Mobile Games Advertising Report 2020, 2CV (commissioned by Facebook Audience Network) – a quantitative and qualitative study in UK, US, DE, FR, TR, BR, AR, KR, JP, RU and VN between March to May 2020 on the changes in the mobile game advertising since 2017 and how advertising impacts players, July 2020