苹果去年3月在应用商店每个页面添加了一个“Offers IN-App Purchases”的声明，最近又通过iOS 7.1.1为这些应用增加了标签，当应用出现在苹果App Store分类页面以及热门榜单之上时就会显示其含有“In-App Purchases”的标签。
据App Annie数据显示，《Candy Crush Saga》目前在日本iPhone游戏畅销榜单位居第14名，在下载量榜单为第25名。
1）No more excuses: Apple now labels apps with IAP on App Store charts
By Alex Wawro
As first reported by MacRumors and verified by Gamasutra, Apple has taken steps to better highlight games and other apps that offer in-app purchases with a new IAP label that appears in the App Store charts and lists.
Apple added a small “Offers In-App Purchases” disclosure statement to the individual store pages of IAP-capable apps last March, but today’s iOS update — version 7.1.1 — adds a similar “In-App Purchases” disclaimer to those apps when they appear on the Apple App Store category pages and Top Charts lists. The image above is taken from the Top Grossing list on the App Store.
Since many iOS users find new apps for either themselves or their family members by checking those lists and category pages, it seems likely that Apple has quietly appended these IAP labels in an effort to minimize those users’ opportunities to complain about being charged for IAP without the “informed consent” of the account holder.
Back in January, Apple agreed to pay up to $32.5 million in refunds to any Apple account holder who could prove they were billed for in-app purchases made by children without their knowledge or consent.（source：gamasutra）
2）For the first time, the majority of Americans are using smartphones — even seniors
Don’t look now, but the transition to a mobile-centric computing culture in the U.S. is now certified.
Let’s check some new data points that represent several crossed Rubicons in the march toward Mobile Nation:
For the first time, most Americans in every age group are smartphoners. According to new stats reported today by Nielsen, the age group threshold was crossed in the first quarter. Fifty-one percent of the holdout group — those over the age of 55 — now possess a smartphone, so age is no longer the big factor it was in smartphones’ march to dominance.
Seventy percent of people in the U.S. now own smartphones, Nielsen said. This meshes with another Nielsen study in February, which pegged ownership at 65 percent, and with a Pew Research study in January that found 58 percent ownership.
That growth is being driven by people choosing smartphones when it is time to upgrade from a feature phone or an earlier model smartphone or to buy any mobile phone. Nielsen found that eighty-five percent of handset purchasers in the U.S. are choosing smartphones.
What does this across-the-board wholesale adoption of smartphones mean? For one thing, continued growth for social networks and a shift of social interaction to mobile.
The Nielsen report in February found that 47 percent “of smartphone owners visit social networks every day.” And here’s the relevant Rubicon: eMarketer announced today that, for the first time, “social network usage has made the switch to majority-mobile this year,” with half of all social networking conducted on smartphones in 2014. Another 15 minutes per day on average is spent on social networks through tablets.
eMarketer also reiterated today that “time spent with mobile devices continues to grow much faster than usage of all other media.”
Viewing of video on mobile (33 minutes) is still only a small portion of video viewing across all media, eMarketer said. But the trend line favors – you guessed it – mobile, increasing 50 percent year over year. Time spent with online video and TV is essentially flat.
Given stats like these, it’s odd that some marketers are still discussing how their strategy puts “mobile first.” If there was ever any doubt, mobile is now officially in the driver’s seat.（source：venturebeat）
3）Make it Candy Crush Saga time: King opens Japanese office to better serve the important market
A good King keeps their coffers filled, and few countries pay more to crush candy than Japan.
This week, social developer King, which makes the mobile match-3 puzzler Candy Crush Saga, opened up an office in the Japan to cater to the nation’s game-crazed player base. The Japanese smartphone market is worth $5 billion, and player acquisition costs are relatively low compared to how much developers earn per install. King will want this new division to focus on providing content specifically for the Eastern audience. Ken Edahiro, former chief marketing officer of mobile developer Gloops, will oversee King Japan as general manager. He is currently only working with two other people, but Edahiro told CNet that he is looking to expand the staff of the Tokyo-based office quickly.
This is King’s 10th office, and it’s the first new location since it went public in March. King is currently trading at $17.47, which is down from its initial public offering of $22.50
“What’s interesting is that according to Edahiro, [these new] employees would not only take care of localizing King-produced content for Japan, but they may also be developing original games specifically made for local players in the mid- or long-term,” Japan mobile-gaming analyst Dr. Serkan Toto wrote in a blog post.
King isn’t only investing in Japan with a physical presence. It is also starting up a new television marketing campaign.
The series of commercials feature boy band heartthrob Junichi Okada of the group V6 and actor Kenichi Endo of The Raid 2. In the ads, the men stare down the camera with black-and-white faces and … well, I don’t speak Japanese. But it all seems very serious. According to Toto, the various spots go for a mixture of edgy and funny that he thinks is “pretty good.”
Check ‘em out in the video below:
Above: Candy Crush Saga’s placement on the iTunes App Store this week in Japan.
This is King’s second wave of television advertising for Candy Crush Saga. In December, the company ran a commercial that featured actress Mikako Tabe playing the game as candy rains down upon her from the sky.
The marketing doesn’t end with television, King is also featuring Okada and Endo on the iTunes App Store. Apple has Candy Crush Saga in its featured-app spot on the store, and the two Japanese men — again in black & white — eyeball you while flanking the game’s logo.
King’s interest in Japan makes sense. In February, industry-intelligence firm Distimo reported that the country’s mobile software industry is thriving. Mobile games in Japan have by far the highest average revenue per download at $6.36. That’s compared to $2.52 in the U.S. and $3.82 in Korea. Despite that huge amount of spending, player acquisition is also among the lowest in Japan at an average of $1.86 per install. In the U.S., developers spend $2.17 for that and spend $1.98 in Korea.
The bottom is line is that every install in Japan is worth about $5.
Candy Crush Saga is the 14th highest-grossing iPhone game in Japan, according to data-tracking company App Annie. It’s also the 25th most downloaded. Those numbers will very likely see an increase thanks to King’s new battery of TV ads and the iTunes placement, but King Japan will likely immediately start looking forward to new ways to leverage the lucrative market.
King isn’t the only mobile company making an effort like this. Finnish-based Supercell, developer of Clash of Clans, is also working to establish a strong presence in Japan.（source：venturebeat）
4）Mobile addicts launch their apps 60 times a day
SAN FRANCISCO — Are you a mobile addict? You probably are if you open apps more than 60 times a day.
That’s how Flurry, the mobile marketing and analytics firm that monitors data from 500,000 apps across 1.3 billion devices, defines a mobile addict. Simon Khalaf, the chief executive of Flurry, described the characteristics of mobile addicts in a talk today at the company’s Source 14 mobile conference today.
On average, a typical consumer launches apps about 10 times a day. Mobile addicts would probably suffer from the shakes if they tried to limit themselves to that level of activity.
Khalaf said that the mobile-addict segment is growing the fastest, posting 123 percent growth from 2013 to 2014. In March, the world had 176 million mobile addicts, up from 79 million a year earlier. Another category called “super users” grew 55 percent, and regular users grew 23 percent (for 16 times a day or less on opening apps).
The most addicted are teens, college students, and middle-aged parents. Mobile addicts are 52 percent female and 48 percent male, compared to 48 percent female and 52 percent male for average mobile users. It found 15 million more female mobile addicts than there are male mobile addicts.
Middle-aged consumers are 28 percent of mobile addicts, but only 20 percent of the average mobile consumer. Female mobile addicts fall into the categories of mothers, parents, gamers, and sports fans. Among males, mobile addicts are car fans, parents, gamers, and catalog shoppers.
“We were not surprised by teens being part of the group. Their youth coincided with the mobile revolution – they are not just accustomed to mobile, they expect their mobile device to handle nearly every type of task and communication,” Khalaf said in a blog post. “The same is true for college students who are noticeably avid users of messaging and gaming apps. We were also comfortable with young adults under-indexing. They have just entered the workforce, are predominantly single and are likely out and about more often than older and younger segments.”
But the results from older people were startling.
“What surprised us most was the overindexing of the middle-age segment and by a margin that beats that of teens,” he said. “But when we inspected that segment and their app usage, we came to the conclusion that these middle-aged consumers are probably part of a family and their devices are likely shared among multiple family members, including their children. Males and females in the middle-age segment both over-indexed on parenting and education. Males over indexed as catalog shoppers and females over indexed on sports. The picture we formed is a family of four, with two phones, one tablet, and all three devices shared by the family for education, entertainment and more utilitarian functions as well.”（source：venturebeat）
5）Brazilian gamers turn their attention — and spending — to free-to-play
In Brazil, a PlayStation 4 costs nearly as much as a decent used Toyota, so gamers in that nation are turning to the free-to-play business model to get their fix.
The market for free PC games with microtransactions is growing in Brazil, according to market-research firm Interpret (as first reported by Yahoo Finance). The South American nation has 51.5 million people between the ages of 13 and 65 that play games. And 33 percent of them, more than 17 million, play free-to-play PC releases. That’s up 20 percent from 14.1 million in the previous year. Interpret estimates that Brazil’s consumers spend $470 million on free PC games like League of Legends and Team Fortress 2 that feature in-app purchases. Publishers are investing more in Brazil as its economy is quickly coming online and is potentially worth billions.
“F2P PC games are an ideal middle ground where motivated developers and publishers stand to gain from their efforts in Brazil,” said Jason Coston, Interpret’s research manager. “The free-to-play business model aligns uniquely with the needs and resources of Brazilian gamers. Our data show that, in Brazil at least, the F2P PC market continues to offer great opportunities.”
The Brazilian model that Coston cites refers to the large number of people looking for gaming entertainment but who can’t get it from the expensive traditional consoles. The country charges a steep import tax on consumer electronics like the PlayStation 4, which Sony released in the country last year. That means retailers must sell the powerful box for the equivalent of $1,800 in U.S. dollars. The PS3, meanwhile, still costs around $1,000 — although Sony has plans to start manufacturing its consoles in Brazil, which will bring down the price significantly.
Gamers can avoid those tariffs by purchasing PCs with parts made domestically. That makes Windows-based systems the logical choice for a huge number of Brazilians.
The country is also seeing a fair amount of spending on mobile apps that use a similar in-game purchase scheme, but Interpret explains that is slightly less welcoming to foreign developers. Localization costs and a large amount of competition makes it more difficult for studios to see a return on their investment in Brazil on Android or iOS.
Brazil is a part of an unofficial collection of nations known as “BRIC,” which includes Brazil, Russia, India, and China and that have fast-growing economies. A huge number of people in these populous territories are coming online and spending more of their income on internationally produced digital goods.
Free-to-play titles like World of Tanks and Dota 2 have already established a strong presence in Russia and China; the world’s largest nation saw $8.7 billion in spending on subscription-based and free-to-play PC games. Brazil lags behind those countries, but it is still one of the most-important emerging markets to establish a presence in as it has the potential to generate billions in game-related revenue.（source：venturebeat）
6）Marketers have to adapt as half of all console game sales go digital
By 2018, about 50 percent of console game sales will be sold via digital downloads, according to a forecast by market research firm EEDAR. And that will have a lot of consequences for how they are marketed in the future, said Greg Short, chairman of EEDAR, in an interview with GamesBeat.
In 2014, the digital share of console game sales is less than 20 percent. But downloads are growing much faster than physical store sales. That means marketers will have to change how they promote to keep pace with where the gamers are engaging with the products, Short said.
“The question becomes how relevant will traditional marketing be in the long term,” said Short. “And how will advances in advertising, like programmatic ads, change the game? Marketing is becoming more of a data-driven game.”
Short will make his forecast on the changing landscape of marketing at the Game Marketing Summit on Wednesday in San Francisco. The whole conference will be about how marketing professionals have to adapt to world full of social, mobile, and online games in addition to the traditional consoles. Short will moderate a session with marketing executives from Sony PlayStation, Microsoft Xbox, and publisher Ubisoft.
The demographics for games are changing as social, mobile, and online games continue to grow, and console products absorb the features of those new platforms.
“We have a new generation of hardware, and we’ll look at how that is changing marketing, too,” said Short. Most games are now launching with microtransaction digital content on the first day that the games are available on the consoles.
“Emerging business models are changing the way marketing is done,” said Short. “It used to be a three-month campaign and then you are done. Now it is all about targeting ads, retention, and lifetime value of a customer.”
One of the big roadblocks for console game companies is that the cost of marketing blockbusters has risen dramatically. There are a handful of billion-dollar franchises such as Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed that command so much attention every year that they drown out competitors.
“It’s getting too expensive, so we are seeing fewer games and they have to be bigger,” Short said.（source：venturebeat）