Most mobile games have the potential to reach a global market. Yours too :-)

English language support will only enable your mobile game to reach a certain number of people, but Mobile Game Localization will significantly increase your potential market. Think bigger and aim for world dominance. Game localization will help your mobile app reach a wider audience.

Here are some insights on the app market and tips on mobile game localization.

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Plan for mobile game localization

When developing your game, try to not limit it to a single market during game development. Plan for game localization. This way a future localization will be easier to implement. If you want a successful game localization, then you need to develop for a flexible keyboard, make space in hud elements for longer words, and make sure that support for time and differing date formats in other countries are included in your app.

At a later point you should look into images such as icons and backgrounds. A good thing to consider is to adjust them for specific markets. If you want guidance then ask a localization expert like LocalizeDirect.

localize app china


Uber for instance embraced the Chinese app market by using red cars as icons in the app, instead of the traditional black or blue ones seen in the Western version of its application.

Uber’s also adapted the Chinese wording when calling the taxi service a people’s taxi.

To get the right terminology, help from translation experts is necessary. Localization experts know how to fine tune the wording, and in this case Uber managed to refer to China’s communist history without offending anyone. That’s a delicate skill.

To add more to the importance of having great game localization experts: they know the strength of having red as a symbol in China. Red symbolizes joy, fortune and good luck. And who doesn’t want to symbolize that? In China you’ll find the color red whenever there’s something to celebrate.

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Minimum Viable Product

If you want to localize your mobile game and try new markets, then you can localize parts of your game. This is referred to as Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

Perhaps you should start with only localizing your app store description, metadata and keywords?

If you test 10-15 languages, then you’ll be able to find out which markets to choose when you decide to translate the entire game. But yes, some downloaders might be unhappy when they discover that the entire app isn’t fully localized, and that might lead to negative reviews. And as we all know: Negative reviews aren’t good for your ASO. But localization is! So make sure you state this in your app store description to avoid bad comments.

Games - Leading Generator

According to App Annie, games often serve as a leading indicator for developer and consumer readiness. The same goes with Mobile Apps. Early adopters start with downloading games and then other segments follow.

App Annie predicts that game downloads will hit 102B in 2020. Emerging markets in Southeast Asia and India are influencing these high numbers.

After the games, downloads of other App genres will grow faster. App Annie forecasts a growth of 182B downloads by 2020. Take your chance to be a part of this download explosion.

mobile app downloads translation

Mature markets vs. emerging markets

The US and Japan are considered matured markets. Here the trend is that downloads are about to flatten.

Emerging markets, like India and Brazil, are in their infancy, but they are experiencing rising app downloads. The new markets are the ones driving growth.

App Annie App downloads

Examples from three Asian countries


China is huge. If your mobile app isn’t ready yet for the Chinese App Market, then it’s really time to localize your mobile app and make it ready for the Chinese App Market.

Chart China vs US

We have experts working with the Chinese app market. Ask us to obtain some valuable insights.

Rule #1 to make it in the Chinese Mobile Game Market is to keep it simple. Speak personally to your users in a helpful tone of voice.

China is number 1 in the world when it comes to iOS App Store Revenue. Yes, China is bigger than the US. According to App Annie, China leads the US by 15%.

75% of the market share comes from Games. But, consumer behaviour is maturing. Revenue from non-games will increase in the following three years. So, make room for mobile apps in the following genres:

  • Entertainment
  • Social Networking
  • Books
  • Photo and video


The increase in revenue arises from different sources.

  • In-app subscriptions is one thing that has pushed users towards App Store and increased revenue in new genres like Entertainment and Social Networking.
  • Video streaming is finding new segments, especially in Social Networking; changing traditional television and increasing revenue in the Chinese app market.

In China, contests, mini games and coupons are effective ways to engage users and drive user attention towards your mobile app.

E-sports - not a trend anymore. Game publishers will find e-sports to be a beneficial revenue stream.

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Flash your discounts. In China, this will drive attention towards your mobile game.

South Korea

The ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism announced that the Korean game market grew by 7.5% from 2015 to 2016 thanks to the mobile game segment.

The Korean online game segment decreased a little, but the mobile game segment increased by 19.6% compared with 2015.


South Korea leads Digital Adoption. The digital evolution connects people all around the world, narrowing down the distance between Europe and Asia.



According to App Annie, the mobile economy in India has seen a tremendous growth with mobile app downloads. Time spent in-app has more than doubled since Q1 2014.

The fastest growing mobile app sector in India is retail. In-app time is 11 times higher today than Q1 2014.

Software innovations from Asia, and in particular India, are increasing. One reason for this is that these countries have unique challenges that need to be solved.

What’s unique with India is that they (in the main) skipped PCs and jumped directly online with smartphones. An issue though is that in India, parts of the country still lack consistent internet connections.

The Zombie Effect in India arises from installs on cheaper cell phones with less power and storage. Downloading apps and games on these devices leaves the user bored and left with the feeling that nothing is working as it should, so they tend to uninstall the app instead.


Do you want to know more about new markets and app and game localization? Contact LocalizeDirect today.