New research from Coda, a leading content monetisation solutions provider for gaming, and Niko Partners, an expert in video game industry market intelligence, delves into the swiftly changing dynamics of the gaming landscape, offering insights into the wealth of opportunities surrounding digital distribution and monetisation strategies for mobile game publishers. The newly released whitepaper also explores the complex and diverse payments landscape, contrasting market dynamics, along with strategies game publishers can employ to maximise their returns.
The conventional approach to app discovery, distribution, and monetisation, centred around primary app stores, has been commonplace for over 15 years. However, a turn towards more holistic strategies, designed to reach across diverse markets and present a more robust view of consumer insights, is instigating the emergence of first-party and third-party web stores. Offering alternatives to traditional app store fees and expanding the reach of content monetisation beyond standard stores has opened the gaming landscape to a vastly larger audience, particularly in markets where credit card usage and access are low.
Lisa Hanson, President and CEO of Niko Partners, highlighted the enormous potential inherent in emerging markets, stating, "Video games are a great way to unite the world, with gamers from all nations playing many of the same games. We need to recognise that purchasing power varies market by market, and that consumers like to have a choice about how they access desired content. Out-of-app monetisation helps to unlock revenue in markets where gamers have different options compared to Western markets, from alternative payment methods to tighter budgets for game spending."
Out-of-app monetisation strategies are increasingly instrumental in markets with diverse payment method preferences. The research shows that these strategies are responsible for 21% of all mobile game revenue in Southeast Asia. The figure is substantially higher in China, where 53% of all app monetisation is attributed to third-party distribution due to the absence of Google. As Western publishers become more proficient in adapting their monetisation strategies to the preferences of these markets, the potential for growth is vast, particularly in light of shifting regulatory landscapes in nations like Indonesia and Thailand, where alternative payment methods are being more widely facilitated.
Shane Happach, CEO of Coda Payments, elaborated on Coda's future ambitions, "The gaming market is poised for continued growth, with projections to generate billions of dollars in Southeast Asia alone. At Coda, our goal is to catalyse this growth globally by partnering with publishers to diversify their monetisation strategies beyond primary app stores and beyond borders."
Increasing numbers of gamers in the market, expected to rise from 286 million in Southeast Asia alone to 326 million in 2027, underscores the sheer scale of under-served users relying on primary app distribution and payment methods. Recognising the potential spanning this vast landscape, publishers stand to benefit immensely from implementing broader payment options and localised marketing strategies.
The Niko Partners whitepaper underscores the necessity of diversifying strategies outside of primary app stores for publishers who are set on tapping into the burgeoning markets such as Southeast Asia. As the gaming landscape evolves, the ability to adapt swiftly and respond to upcoming trends will serve a vital role in fuelling global growth.