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Level-Up : Conversations with Friends & Developers

Kaavya Kasturirangan
5 min read
Posted on December 11, 2014

At InMobi we love games. Interestingly, we are also a collection of people who love talking and conversations. Put the two together and you'll know what our new blog series "Level Up : Conversations with Friends and Developers" is all about. We intend to create a cozy nook on our little blog where we catch-up and talk shop with our developer and non-developer friends. Do chime in; did I mention we love participation as well? ☺

This week, we sit down and share a cup of coffee with Owen Soh at OneSky, a startup that helps gamers and app developers with translations. Between friendly banter and competing on how many languages we each spoke, we discussed success mantras for acing global markets, localizing content and ensuring zero loss in translation.

Kaavya: Tell us a little about your company and what you do

Owen: OneSky is a translation startup that help apps and games localize with high quality translations. Our typical client would be a US/EUR based app or game expanding into Europe, Asia and Latin America. I'm heading the operations and marketing here in US.

Kaavya: Is there a country/an audience segment of gamers within a country that has been ignored so far by developers or at least less targeted? Why?

Owen: There are 1.3 billion very legitimate reasons to go to China but it's also one of the toughest markets to crack especially for an indie developer. I would give Indonesia a serious look - 250 million population, rising mobile / internet penetration, increasing middle class, familiarity with western culture, English works well but localizing into the local language (Bahasa) is a straightforward affair given the language structure.

I'm not saying it's a bed of roses as well, it'll take patience to get the monetization / payment / distribution perfect but right now is a good time to get in, test ideas and build user base.


Kaavya: The app store is only getting more crowded. How can an indie promote their game without spending too many marketing dollars?

Owen: After working with a multitude of indie developers, here's a simple tip that I think is surprisingly under-utilized - localizing app store description.

The concept is similar to translating your Google Adwords and not the website, which allows you to quickly and cheaply test out click-through and download rates. Each app store description would cost you $50~$80 per language and you can test out 8-10 main markets in under $500.


The app economy bends the traditional supply chain rules and flattens the classical paradigm of being local to win locally. While markets like China (cross link to our app insight report) Russia, India and Indonesia are seeing the highest growth in app downloads, Western developers need to contend with adapting their app to the new culture, language and demands of every market they enter. Likewise, Eastern developers wanting to take their app beyond their local market, have to adapt their app to seamlessly appeal to the western sentiment and preference. Stay tuned to this space for more tips and tricks on taking your app global.

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