Taiwan is an island of only 23.5 Million citizen’s and a population of 12.8 Million Gamers who generated nearly 700 Million dollars in revenue last year. This tiny island is in top 15 Gaming markets and when you look at mobile Gaming they are in the top 10 countries in terms of revenue. With strong purchasing power it’s no wonder that at the Taipei Game Developer Forum (TGDF) we saw so many international gaming houses speaking and exhibiting.
The Vive was born in Taiwan from Smartphone manufacturer HTC and with the legacy of desktop PC manufacturers it makes sense that we’d see a strong interest from the gamer developer community.
Virtual Reality has given birth to an entirely new world of interface design as well as unlocked a whole new dimension of human expression. To gain some insight on what it takes to make it in VR, we decided to catch up with LA based Eddie Lee who currently creating industry leading VR Games
While being US born and raised, Eddie is ethnically Taiwanese who looks for any excuse to visit Taiwan to visit with family. A familiar story for how Taiwan gets on anyone radar, though the enthusiasm for VR at TGDF paired with a selection of common cultural traits could make Taiwan an interesting launch pad to the the Chinese market.
Canalys predicts vendors will ship 6.3 million VR headsets worldwide in 2016, of which 40% will be in China. VR has the potential to thrive and competition will be fierce, however, barriers to enter the VR market have been lowered. When it comes to hardware local vendors are releasing VR headsets that overcome the quality and performance issues of simple viewers, such as Samsung’s Gear VR or Google’s Cardboard.
What Makes Taiwan Favorable for Mobile Game Developers?
App Annie has pegged Taiwan as the next billion-dollar market for app publishers. While Asian markets typically prefer Asian-developed apps – for their cultural awareness and sensitivity to Asian UI tastes – Taiwan stands out as a big market that also happens to be quite amenable to Western apps.
As App Annie notes, “some app economies, like Asia, tend to favor locally produced apps, as their publishers are more attuned to cultural preferences and references. This can make it much tougher for Western apps to see success in Asian app markets, as the level of localization and culturalization required to succeed can be cost-prohibitive”.
It can be much tougher for Western apps to see success in Asian app markets, as the level of localization and culturalization required to succeed can be cost-prohibitive.
For developers looking to break into a new market, low risk entry with potential for high yields is critical. Localizing apps can be massively expensive, and even then there’s no guarantee of success. Having a single app that appeals as broadly as possible is a much better approach, and Taiwan looks to be the next big market on which app developers should focus.
The Western apps with the strongest success stories of entering the Taiwan market are all games.
The Taipei Game Develop Forum was attended by 1100+ developers from Taiwan, Mainland China, Hong Kong, Japan and the US.