Chart of the Week

Why game file size remains critical for success in China

20 MB is your soft limit

Why game file size remains critical for success in China

We all know the Chinese mobile games market is different from other markets. But is that really so?

Perhaps it's more correct to say that the Chinese mobile games market just reflects more extreme consumer behaviour than other markets.

Certainly these graphs from literature we picked up at the GMIC Beijing 2014 conference from app distribution company Sky-mobi demonstrates some intriguing facts.

Many - if not most - consumers don't have access to fast wifi connections and hence are limited to a cellular network, with 4G speeds only available in the big Tier 1 cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.

Network access

But, this being China, the situation is changing quickly as this graph shows.

Impact of file size

Yet, it's these sort of technical issues that mean file size remains a key issue in terms of distributing games. That's why so many of the big Chinese Android app distribution channels are based around sideloading from PC.

Chinese connections are just not reliable enough even for downloads of 20 MB. That's one of the reasons Sky-mobi has built its business around pre-installing content in retail locations.

IAP willingness

Chinese consumers might not like to pay for IAP in their mobile games - who does? But this graph shows that if they do, that make that decision very quickly.

Initially I thought the time axis was measured in days. It's not. It's minutes.

4-8 minutes is the peak period for willing to pay for your first IAP, apparently.

Peak promotion events

And finally, what are the peak times during the year in terms of using promotions to drive usage? Note this graph isn't really to scale. There are 52 weekends in the year, making it the best time to engage with players - much like the rest of the world then.

Contributing Editor

A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon is Contributing Editor at which means he acts like a slightly confused uncle who's forgotten where he's left his glasses. As well as letters and cameras, he likes imaginary numbers and legumes.