Top 10 mobile games markets for localization

What to consider before translating and adapting your project? The company All Correct Games, which deals with the translation and scoring of games, wrote  an article on the profitability of mobile games markets based on its analytical material and open sources.

It looks at regions for which it may be advantageous to localize games.

mobile games markets globe

In early 2017, several reports on the state of the mobile games market for 2016 and forecasts of its growth in the near future were published.

The basis

As a basis for our own rating, we took data from Statista (as, on average, the most conservative of the known). It should be noted that for some countries data from other sources, for example, NewZOO, may differ at times. However, exactly how all these companies received their data, remains unknown.

mobile games markets leverage

Statista presents data on 49 countries. Revenue for the mobile games market in 2016 in them was 27 billion dollars. As a rule, in such studies, countries are grouped by region (North America, Asia, Europe, etc.), and it is for the regions as a whole that they calculate the revenue of the mobile games market. We considered each country separately.

In addition, in our ranking we tried to take into account the costs to enter each market. We calculated the cost of installing the application by all users and took it away from the total revenue in a particular country. So we got data on marginal profit from the market.

The 10 largest mobile games markets (according to Statista version):

top 10 mobile games markets


1. Data on revenue, ARPU and the number of players are taken from Statista.

2. The CPI (Cost Per Install) data was obtained by Chartboost in November 2016 as average for Android and iOS users by country, given 100% (without taking into account other platforms), except for the numbers marked with green fill – they are led by Geenapp in January 2017.

3. Data on the proportion of mobile OS users StatCounter published in November 2016.

4. ARPU, marked with a blue, will fall in perspective, the rest grow at different rates.

Thus, we have obtained a rating of mobile markets in terms of attractiveness for the developer, covering 49 countries. Up to the 23rd position, the rating on revenue and profitability coincides, then there are discrepancies. This happens if the mobile players in the country have a low ARPU and a high installation cost.

In this article we will focus on 10 markets, the most attractive for mobile developers, and tell you about their features.

The top 10 markets generate 50-80% of revenues from mobile games sales. To applications have gained popularity in these markets, they have to be localized in 15 languages. For localization in Chinese, two variants of local writing should be used. And still it does not hurt to take into account the differences between American and British English.

Insights about the markets

Interesting facts about the mobile markets of these countries:

– In most countries, they prefer Apple tablets.
– In Indonesia, BBM’s BlackBerry messenger is common.
– To make the application popular in India, it needs to be translated into five languages.
– To reach the Android platform in China, it is advisable to negotiate with 20 (or at least 10) local Android-markets.
– The most stringent legislation in the field of games – in China, Germany and South Korea.
– Indonesia is the country with the largest number of people / citizens professing Islam.
– The Japanese prefer social networks to Twitter.
– Hacking a game in South Korea is punishable by a fine of up to $ 43,000 or five years’ imprisonment.
– According to statistics, in 2015, 707 languages ??were spoken in Indonesia, 454 in India.

The most common localization languages for mobile games are encrypted in the abbreviation EFIGS + CJK. The main language from which localization begins is English, followed by French, Italian, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

However, it seems that it is time to reconsider this list. Localization of games in the languages of the 10 most promising countries will allow to enter other markets (for example, Mexican Spanish will be understood by some US residents, and Bengali – to the natives of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh).

At last, our Top 10 mobile games markets

These are the Top 10 countries and languages ??of localization:

1. Chinese in simplified and traditional writing (982 million speakers).
2. US – English (American version).
3. India-English, Hindi (650 million speakers, state language), Telugu (more than 89.7 million), Bengali (83 million in India, 215 million worldwide), Tamil (native to 66 million Indians, also one From the official languages ??of Sri Lanka and Singapore), Kannada, the language of Bangalore – the Indian “Silicon Valley” (more than 40.3 million).
4. Japan – Japanese (127 million speakers).
5. South Korea – Korean (78 million carriers).
6. Great Britain – English (British version).
7. Mexico – Mexican Spanish (125 million speakers).
8. Indonesia – Indonesian (about 20 million use in everyday life), Javanese (80-100 million), Sudan (more than 27 million).
9. France – French (79 million).
10. Germany – German (105 million).

Mark Twain wrote that there are three kinds of lies: lies, blatant lies and statistics. We hope that our alternative rating will help game developers better navigate the situation on the market and earn more money.

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