Having released 18 successful mobile games in a 7 month period, JoyPac is proving that hyper-casual titles can make it big in Asia.
The founding team at JoyPac has decades of experience releasing mobile games across the globe, including throughout Asia. They have first-hand knowledge of the pitfalls that most Western game developers face when trying to break into these markets. That’s why JoyPac was founded on a strong belief of improving transparency, clear communication, and building close partnerships with game developers looking to break into Asia. GameAnalytics helps JoyPac deliver on that promise with uncapped access to global performance data, giving their partners the ability to analyze and optimize their stats – for free.
JoyPac’s Western team is based in Copenhagen, which helps them address a lot of the problems that developers often encounter when dealing with publishing partners based in APAC. Their Eastern office is located in Beijing, where a team of local experts in game design, user acquisition, and monetization work hard to localize JoyPac’s portfolio of partner titles. With this setup, JoyPac has many unique advantages, including closer time zones, less of a cultural divide, and as a result more efficient communication – both during partnership negotiations and with any ongoing live-game optimization.
They’ve now released a string of hit titles in China, including Skip School, Radish Girl, Master of War, and one of their most successful releases, Fluffy Fall, published by the Paris-based What(Games) and created by the talented developers at Kilosaurus.
Fluffy Fall was first produced in the West and became quite the hit there in 2017, but interestingly it wasn’t as successful in Asia initially. However, JoyPac saw potential in the overall design and style of the game. After more closely evaluating the metrics and the opportunity, JoyPac and What Games went into a collaboration. JoyPac localized and culturally appropriated the game, simultaneously integrating GameAnalytics, which is now a key component in growing the game further. Since launching in China as 绒球历险记 (meaning roughly Pom Pom Adventures), Fluffy Fall has seen more than 700,000 downloads in China alone.
This isn’t to say that the process of launching games in China is easy – far from it. JoyPac has to navigate many hurdles to get a game successfully published in China…
The Great Wall of Challenges
Launching games anywhere in Asia can be tough, but doing so successfully in China is even more difficult. China has many cultural and legislative differences that must be considered for your game to even be seen, let alone successful.
When discussing this with JoyPac, they highlighted some of the main challenges that they often face when launching each new title in China.
- Government licensing – The Chinese government recently imposed a blockade, preventing licenses being accepted for many new games.
- Cultural sensitivity – Censorship laws in China are considerably different to many other countries, particularly when it comes to violence.
- Publication licenses – Only a Chinese entity with the appropriate commercial license is allowed to apply for one of these, so a partnership is key.
- IP theft protection – Copycat games are a big issue, but a partner company should know your rights as a game developer, and have a good understanding of China’s IP law.
- Fragmented app stores – In China, the Android market is fragmented, so developers need to cater to well over a dozen app stores in order to reach the vast majority of players.
- Changing legislation – Due to concerns about IAP costs and time spent playing games, the Chinese government often updates regulation to govern the way players can be monetized.
For more info, have a read of this article – JoyPac’s key things to note when launching games in China
These are just a few common but frustrating issues that game developers are likely to face when trying to launch in China. They’re challenges that have inspired publishers like JoyPac to build cross-cultural teams, effectively bridging the gap between West and East.
With all of these challenges present, plus the added pressure of an ever more competitive gaming market, analytics plays a vital role for the success of JoyPac’s games. Their expertise in APAC, combined with a data-focused approach that respects key metrics and KPI’s, means that both JoyPac and their partners have a much higher chance of finding success when tackling the East.
Some words from the JoyPac team…
JoyPac’s team is as diverse in expertise as it is in location. That’s why we reached out to several of their employees to learn how GameAnalytics helps them in specific ways. We talked to experts in many fields – from design, to advertising to publishing (based East to West), to learn more about how GameAnalytics helps them with their day-to-day roles.