Mobile games branding in China

At the moment, the number of mobile game players in China is increasing. It is a promising market which can reach 356 billion yuan until 2023. Therefore, it is important to pay special attention to mobile games branding in China as a key part of your company’s success.

Data Source: iResearch, Size of the mobile gaming market in China from 2015 to 2019 with estimates until 2023

The specifics of modern mobile games branding in China

Data Source: GPC, IDC Proportion of Sales Revenue of Video Games Market in China in 2019

Short marketing cycle before release

Today, no one knows about most games until they come out. Previously, the studios made an announcement years prior, then six months later the first screenshot went public. The cycle is shorter and shorter these days. Now, if you make an announcement 2 years before the release, people will see thousands of new games and lose interest in it. Due to the fact that the cycle has become shorter, the role of mobile games branding in China has increased – today it is necessary to give people more in a short period of time.

The constant race for new audiences

If earlier after selling the game the main job was done, now, after selling the game your relationship with the audience is just beginning. As a rule, you will have to release many more games in the future. You need to support the audience with a new product, or additions to an existing one.

High quality is essential for mobile games branding in China

The audience has now become very demanding and impatient. In this regard, it is very unprofitable to release a low-quality “raw” game with technical errors, bugs, lags and other things. Therefore, high quality is a crucial part of mobile games branding.

Promotion channels of mobile games branding in China

First of all, it is important to pay attention to controlled promotion channels, that is, to various platforms and events.  For example:

• Game page (App Store, Steam, Google play, etc.)

• Stores opportunities

• Cross-promo

• Viral advertising

• Exhibitions and events

  • Landing page or website that will be required to announce the game, as well as redirect to the store page after the release.

• Official groups in social networks

• Official forum of the project.

Increasing of traffic as a part of mobile games branding in China

Doxaganda team will help you to increase traffic for your mobile game using the following methods:

• Direct purchase of traffic

• Cross-promo (cheap, reliable, profitable, but not always easy to implement)

• Organic traffic (word of mouth)

• Featured on the store page (in the top / favorites)

• PR (own materials for publication in the press)

KOL marketing (we work with opinion leaders, bloggers)

Between 40% and 60% of all traffic for mobile games must be organic. If you follow all of the above points, your project can even rise from scratch to a fairly good level among other projects.

Featuring for mobile games branding in China

Featuring is a technique when your games are highlighted for a certain period using a banner on the main page of the App Store or in a “prominent place”. There are no uniform mechanisms for obtaining it, except for the purchase. At the same time, featured in each of the platforms is different.

There are several factors and actions that increase your chances to get a featuring from the store. The most important ones are:

• Compliance with platform desires

• Use of new technologies

• Having a powerful franchise

• Originality of the gameplay

• High-quality localization

• Press attention

• Lack of errors.

Mobile games branding in China: where to start

The first step begins with finding a reliable local business that can handle the complex Android market and manage Android package updates. Local sources (preferably direct connections with media giants such as Tencent, Baidu and WeChat) will also be helpful in creation your mobile games branding. For example, Thomas Meyer, the co-founder at Mobile Now Group said: “As a mobile company in China, what we see is clients not asking us anymore to build native apps, iOS or Android apps, they ask us for building WeChat mini-programs”.

Source: Quest Mobile, daxue consulting mini-programs official report, the top 10 WeChat mini-games as of June 2019

For the promotion of games applications, the help of agencies is useful, which can take care of constant optimization, local integration and overcoming bureaucratic difficulties.

Market research for the mobile games branding in China

For the promotion to be as effective as possible, it is important to conduct a study of potential customers and users with the help of specialists. A full analysis of competitors, an audit with subsequent recommendations for a mobile application will also be a good start. Based on all the analyzes carried out, specialists draw up a detailed branding plan for promoting the game.

When choosing the best business model, professionals promote the game using various social networks, user support and a site to receive payments.

Analysis of competitors is necessary to understand how you can attract the maximum number of users and what mistakes are best avoided. Only with a competent analysis of competitors there is a chance to accelerate the promotion of a mobile game in China.

Overcoming bureaucratic difficulties

Non-games apps do not require prior government assessment other than the standard app store verification. However, due to rampant game piracy in the country, the Chinese authorities are strict when it comes to releasing new game apps.

What you will need to do to run an iOS / Android game in China:

• Register your organization;

• Fill in the required documents;

• Download your game to your smartphone and send it to the authorities.

If the mobile content is suitable for Chinese citizens, the game will be assigned a publication number. This process can take up to three months.

For Apple’s iOS, the Chinese government has agreed to suspend the publication number requirement. However, it is likely that this situation may change and the standard rules for app stores will apply to the App Store as well. Perhaps it would be better to take the initiative and start issuing a publication number for games products on iOS, as in this case marketers will already be ready if it becomes mandatory.

Localization and monetization of your application

Align your app with local syntax, terminology, and context, while maintaining your brand’s core attributes. It is important to translate all content, otherwise the app may be removed from stores. Note that Chinese has two writing systems: Simplified Chinese (used in China and Singapore) and Traditional Chinese (used in Hong Kong and Taiwan). If your application includes voice messaging, choose Mandarin as it is the official language in both China and Taiwan.

Source: Sekkei Studio, Example of mobile game localization

First of all, you need to prepare the normal operation of the game or mobile application in China. For this:

• translate the game into Chinese;

• adapt the application for the appropriate audience;

• testing;

• connection and verification of the work of the main Chinese payment systems;

After that, you need to embed the application into the Chinese ecosystem, obtain all the necessary local certificates and permits. Experts will help in working and concluding contracts with Chinese companies. The state has a full range of legal services related to the promotion of games in China. This, in addition to obtaining licenses, includes the removal of all clones, registration of game currency, as well as opening a bank account in the PRC.

How Doxaganda will help you with mobile games branding in China

Our services for mobile games branding in China include a full package of marketing activities, such as an advertising ecosystem, forum and conference promotion, video advertising, context and general advertising in China. Experienced branding companies such as Doxaganda will be a good choice to start building your brand in China. We will help to choose a brand naming in China and create a localization strategy.