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Updated: Is the United Kingdom the next emerging soft launch market?

A growing trend of games soft-launched in the UK

Updated: Is the United Kingdom the next emerging soft launch market?

There appears to be a growing trend of developers soft launching their games in the United Kingdom.

6 of the games we currently track in our Soft Launch list are available in the UK:

  • Goodgame's Legends of Honor,
  • Glu Mobile's Frontline Commando: Rivals,
  • Bandai Namco's Tap My Katamari,
  • Wooga's Warlords,
  • Bandai Namco's Fortress Legends, and
  • King's Rise of Tyrants.

Uniquely, Legends of Honor is currently only soft-launched in the UK – although there is a Polish language version available in Poland.

Expensive tastes

Historically, soft-launching in the UK would be considered a bad move.

As it's a mature market, CPI costs are generally more expensive than developing markets with English-speakers available, such as the Philippines.

However, Peter Qumsieh of Bandai Namco told us that "as Australia and Canada are the two major countries to soft launch in, acquiring players there is the most competitive throughout the world."

So for Tap my Katamari, "we soft launched in the UK as well to lower the overall cost of acquiring players," he says.

Native tongues

It could be the case then that CPIs are now lower in the UK compared to other traditional soft launch markets.

For some, however, soft-launching in the UK is just a way of getting English-speaking players.

Wilhelm Österberg, Head of Studio at Black Anvil Games, told us that Warlords made its way to the UK because "it was simply a straightforward way to get access to a good amount of fresh English-speaking players."

"After having been soft launched in Canada for quite some time, we're seeing some attrition there."

Wooga's Warlords is one game that's soft launched in the UK

Whatever the case, one thing is clear – the traditional soft launch markets are now becoming less desirable for developers, and we could see more games soft-launched in the UK and other mature markets in the future.

Editor

Ric is the Editor of PocketGamer.biz, having started out as a Staff Writer on the site back in 2015. He received an honourable mention in both the MCV and Develop 30 Under 30 lists in 2016 and refuses to let anyone forget about it.

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