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Mobile Gaming in Taiwan : Transcending global barriers with InMobi

Arun Pattabhiraman
VP & Global Head of Marketing
5 min read
Posted on December 10, 2012

The 2012 Game App Developer Conference held last week in Taipei brought together over 250 attendees across mobile game developers, investors and other industry stakeholders to discuss some of the opportunities and challenges that the Taiwanese developer community faces. The Taiwanese digital gaming industry began to emerge in the early 1990s when personal computers gradually replaced television as the common platform on which games were played. The trend of online gaming continued into the early 2000 as online gaming became a craze amidst the Taiwanese youth. Today, with the proliferation of smartphones that offer greater mobility, Taiwan sees a burgeoning market for mobile games amidst newer segments of consumers including women, daily commuters and the elderly. While Multiplayer Online Role-Playing games have remained the most popular amidst Taiwanese gamers, the market is slowly opening up to all kinds of games with new segments of users emerging in this space. Taiwans greatest asset is its pool of high quality local talent that provides easy access to software developers, artists and game designers. Despite the availability of local talent and a robust demand for gaming apps, running a successful mobile gaming business in Taiwan comes with its share of challenges. In a market where the winner-takes-all, large cash rich game studios make it difficult for smaller game developers to survive, urging them to look outside the country to expand their business. However, the lack of cultural understanding of the west prevents several app developers in Taiwan from pursuing global opportunities, forcing many of them to look towards markets closer to home ground such as China. Adding to prevailing challenges, there is growing competition from gaming platforms from neighboring countries, such as Korea and Japan. For instance, just two months ago, Japanese Social Gaming behemoth DeNa forged a strategic deal with TW.yahoo.com to open up its gaming platform to users in Taiwan by launching a traditional Chinese version of Mobage. Earlier this year, Tokyo based Nexon publicly acquired stakes in Gamania, a Taiwanese gaming studio that is publicly listed on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. While this has been a controversial move, it reflects the growing interest in Taiwan from competing game developers in neighboring countries.

Earlier this year, Google decided to pull back its paid apps section in Taiwan in retaliation to the local governments mandate to provide a seven-day free trial to consumers. This has left app developers with monetization options that are limited to in-app payments and ad-based revenue. Considering that the ad market in Taiwan is still in its nascent stage, Taiwanese developers look for expert advice in understanding the nuances of ad monetization. This was evident in an enthralled audience when InMobis Regional Director and General Manager for India, Southeast Asia , Hong Kong and Taiwan- Phalgun Raju presented the keynote speech on Mobile App Monetization and User Acquisition + Activation at the conference in Taipei last week. By providing end-to-end solutions for app developers across user acquisition, monetization and engagement, we are here to help Taiwanese developers succeed in their app business. Our recently opened sales office in Taipei stands as a testimony to our commitment to this cause. Our dedicated team of mobile experts has ever since helped several Taiwanese developers effectively monetize their mobile apps across categories. In case you are interested, you could reach out to us at Developers-asia@inmobi.com and we will get back in touch with you in a jiffy!    

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