The latest Android and Google Play news for app and game developers.
Posted by Mohammad El-Saadi, BD, Google Play
We know that many developers want to take advantage of growth opportunities in
new regions, but are held back by not knowing the most important areas to focus
on. That's why we wanted to share stories from our partners in the Middle East
and North Africa (MENA). It's a fast growing region for Google Play, and one
that already represents a sizable revenue opportunity. They've shared their
experiences, and some key things to focus on if you're thinking of launching in
Middle East and North Africa overview
MENA is a diverse region in terms of disposable income, access to connectivity,
and smartphone penetration. However, it is possible to broadly group MENA into
two types of market:
If you want to be successful in MENA, localization is key. In Saudi Arabia 19 of
the top 20 grossing apps & games have their Google Play Store listing localized
and the majority of those have their actual app/game localized as well. By
localizing to Arabic, mobile app and game developers have found great success in
When Singapore-based Wego.com
localized to Arabic, they achieved over 200% YoY growth in
MENA, grew their app rating from 3.5 to over 4.5 among Arab travelers
and increased Arab users' retention rates by 200%. Today, MENA represents over
65% of their users.
To do localization well, here are a few things to consider:
Refer to our Localization
Checklist for some best practices when localizing for any language.
Gaming is a high growth and revenue opportunity in MENA. Most countries in the
region have a median age of 30 or lower, smartphone growth will continue to grow
at double digits, which makes gaming a key segment for users in the region.
Today's local top grossing charts and dominated by Midcore strategy games.
Interestingly, GCC countries have some of the highest Average Revenue Per Paying
User rates globally.
International titles, including Clash of Clans, Clash Royale, Mobile Strike and
Clash of Kings, have performed incredibly well in the region. In addition,
titles specifically targeting MENA have also seen tremendous success. Revenge of
the Sultans, by ONEMT, from China, has been the top grossing title across
several MENA countries for many months. Similarly, when IGG.com launched the
Arabic version of Castle Clash, they grew revenue from MENA by
58% within 4 months.
As the market evolves, there is also a huge opportunity for other genres (such
as RPG, FPS, and sports) which are not present at scale in the region yet.
Google Play in MENA
We continue to invest in making sure that users are able to pay for their
favorite apps and games by launching locally relevant payment methods in MENA.
Today, we have carrier billing available with the major networks in Saudi
Arabia, UAE and Kuwait. We plan to expand coverage in more countries, including
Qatar and Bahrain, in the future.
We are also committed to increasing the quality and availability of Arabic apps
and games for MENA users, which is why we launched our Now
in Arabic collection
featuring apps and games that have recently localized to Arabic. This
collection will be regularly updated. If you're interested in being included, submit
your localized app/game.