One of the things that has emerged from analysis of the global application market is this: the most popular categories of apps tend to be the same regardless of market or region. And, in general, the most popular category of app around the world is Gaming applications. The underlying opportunity here is that if you’ve developed a popular game for (say) America, there’s no reason it can’t also sell in China. And so PapayaMobile is announcing a “Gateway to China” program for Android developers looking to expand to China.
What’s the story?
PapayaMobile is a mobile social gaming network – and it works around Android gaming. It’s trying to build a serious services platform for Android games devs. Rather than just plug social features into existing games (like leaderboards, achievements, chat, etc.), it is trying to build a comprehensive monetisation platform. So PapayaMobile has signed deals not only with devs, but also the mobile money companies and marketing agencies that can help monetise an application through advertising and in-app purchases. And there’s a pretty good audience there for devs to hit: PapayaMobile claims to have 19 million users.
What’s the news?
The “Gateway to China” programme provides Western developers with a lot of the resources they’ll need to make a go of cracking into the colossal Chinese market. PapayaMobile will provide assistance with:
- The crucial localisation services that games will need to be enjoyed by Chinese gamers
- Access to marketing channels, including getting their games reviewed
- Distribution of games through Chinese app stores
- Introductions to Chinese OEMs, with the hope of getting games pre-installed
- Access to Chinese billing solutions through Papaya’s own systems
There are already a bunch of developers signed up, which PapayaMobile refers to as “the first wave”: BulkyPix, Kiloo, Connect2Media, Mindstorm Studios and Digital Prunes
Si Shen, CEO of PapayaMobile said “with three years of experience working in China, PapayaMobile has established relationships with key handset manufacturers, app stores, wireless operators and press, making Papaya the most widely distributed mobile Social Networking Service in this territory.”
Jacob Moller, CEO of Kiloo said “given the complexities and fragmentation of Android in China, it would have been extremely difficult and resource intensive for Kiloo to enter the China market alone.”
What we think?
One of the truly beautiful things about applications is that they’re technically the easiest thing in the world to sell internationally. There’s no actual produce to move, and you can sell them anywhere. There are other problems, though, and those are the ones that Papaya is moving to intercept: local knowledge, contacts, localisation… these are all things that will see an app that’s being sold outside of its home market sink without trace.