I’ve released a series of puzzle games on mobile (you can check them on the sidebar). Don’t Feed the Trolls and Hashi Puzzles: Bridges & Islands were localized in English and French; Battleship Solitaire Puzzles in ten languages (English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese/Brazilian, Russian, Japanese, Chinese and Korean); and Hashi Extreme Puzzles in eleven languages (same as Battleship with Dutch).
I compare here Hashi Puzzles and Battleship Solitaire as they both have been released for a few weeks and are both puzzle games with a similar monetization strategy: games are free to download and I sell additional level packs.
I focus of the 21 first days after release for both games. For sales data, I use iOS and Android numbers. I don’t use Amazon numbers as Amazon is only available in a few stores and sales are very low. Also note that even though I took into account Android sales, Android sales are only 0.45% (not a typo, read more!) of the revenue for Hashi, and 11.9% of the revenue for Battleship. For ads, I only used iAd numbers, so it’s iOS only.
Revenue per country per game (Ads and Sales)
This first chart is about Hashi Puzzles, translated only in English and French.
Not much surprise here: the game sold in USA and France. The other countries with at least 2% of the sales are also speaking English (or French for part of Canada).
Have a look now Battleship Solitaire, translated in 10 languages.
We still have USA as the top country but we can see new interesting countries, Switzerland (mostly German language but also French and Italian), Germany, Russia, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Japan, South Korea. I’m surprised to see Switzerland ahead of France as it’s a small country. But the game as been in the top charts on iOS in Switzerland, and that probably kept the downloads high for some time there.
The only language not visible in this chart is Chinese. I’ve read it’s a huge market but nothing shows up here. It’s important to know that Google Play is not available in China, though. I had a few downloads on iOS but no sales.
Top countries per platform
Here are the top countries per downloads on Android and iOS, for Battleship Solitaire Puzzles. For this statistics, I use all the data since release, on both platforms (22 days on iOS, 28 on Android).
With this first chart about downloads, you can see United States is not on the podium in both platforms, and only 9th on Google Play. Let’s see the sales, now.
United States are back on the podium when considering revenue.
Was it worth it?
Yes, it was. I think it also gives more possibilities for the game to show up in local charts for added visibility (top downloads or top grossing). For my latest game (Hashi Extreme Puzzles, released on Android a few days ago, and coming soon on iOS), I first though of dropping Chinese but finally decided to keep it. I added Dutch, too.
Here are two drawbacks of localization, though:
- You may receive customer emails or store ratings in a language you can’t read or write. I could not get the overall meaning of some emails, even with google translate.
- Every time you want to make an update with a description of the changes, you need to pay new translations.
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