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Localisation isn't everything if you want to crack Asia, says David McCarthy

Metaps man on moving on China, Japan and Korea
Localisation isn't everything if you want to crack Asia, says David McCarthy
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How can Western developers crack the Asian markets? It's a question that's become increasingly important as the markets in countries such as Japan, China, and South Korea have come into their own, and it's a question that, unfortunately, doesn't seem to have a concrete answer.

More often than not, all we have to go on are opinions, and at this year's Pocket Gamer Connects conference in Helsinki, David McCarthy, of Asian-focused monetisation and UA specialist Metaps, explained how he believes developers can find friends in the East.

"Everyone on this stage will tell you that you have to get localisation right [to make it in Japan]," opened McCarthy.

"I'm going to say I don't think you need to worry. The closer you get to perfection, the more your games imperfections will stand out. The fact is, Japanese gamers like foreign games."

Even focus

It's crucial not to get hung up on localisation. Sure, it's important, but it isn't necessarily the biggest hurdle developers will have to jump over. It's easy to forget that there are other ways to successfully launch a game in Asia, explains McCarthy.

"In Japan, in terms of user acquisition, the only way to reach a high volume of high quality users is to do a boost campaign," he continued.

"These are kind of out of fashion in the west, but if you do good live events and time it around that, you can get a good boost."

"You need to be prepared for gamers to leave, and you need to be prepared to try and find new gamers as a result." 


Pocket Gamer Connects is the biggest mobile games show in Europe, which brings together the best speakers and delegates from across the industry and from all over the world.

To-date, Pocket Gamer Connects has been held in London and Helsinki, and the show will be heading back to the UK in January 2015. To find out more about the latest show, head on over to