Gaming industry is global. That’s why we create games in English. To maximize the chance that the person that plays your game will understand it. But just because people can undrestand what your game is “saying” doesn’t mean they wouldn’t prefer to play it in their’s native language.
If you haven’t already localized your games, then start doing it now. While we still get most of our sales from English speaking territories, it looks like German, French and Spanish speaking territories can earn you a few more bucks. The good thing is that Big Fish Games will help you translate your game into German, French, Spanish and Japan (for free, but it’s up to them to decide whether they’ll do it or not). Casual games are not text heavy so it shouldn’t be that hard to get your game translated.
Those markets are not soo crowded so it is much easier to stand out and get into the Top 100 or even Top 10 charts. Runes of Avalon 2 launched on June 9, 2008 on BigFishGames.de and made much bigger impact on the site than it had on global BFG website. Some say they like match-3 games in Germany, but my guess is that it is smaller market and new games due to the spike of sales during launch have it easier to get high positions. Runes of Avalon 2 got into Top 10 and reached position #9, while on BFG.com it has reached “just” #32.
Another good thing about European versions of your game is that those games are sold to game club members for 5.99 EUR which converts to a little bit more than 9 USD (instead of 6.99 USD) so actually you’re earning 30% more. Most probably you would not be able to get into those markets on your own (do you have a dedicated website for each language?) so it doesn’t hurt your own direct sales.
I don’t know yet how much you can earn on those language versions, but I am sure it’s less than you can earn on English version (global vs local market). Still, it’s worth getting those extra bucks.
Another good thing is that once you get translated version of your game it can be much easier for you to get a retail publisher for that market.
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