Carrier billing, ultra-broad distribution earning Fishing Joy 2 $1.6M a month in the Chinese Android market


By Kathleen De Vere Comment

It is possible for developers to generate monthly revenues in the six figure range from China’s Android users according to CocoaChina. The company reports its game Fishing Joy 2 is currently earning more than $1.6 million per month in revenue from the Chinese Android market.

The casual title has a free to paid conversion rate of more than 30 percent, and sees average revenue per daily active user (ARPDAU) of $0.40 — numbers that would be high by the standards of the American iTunes App Store, let alone for the Chinese Android market. For reference, during its most recent quarterly earnings report, Glu Mobile reported ARPDAU figures ranging between 6.4 cents and 9.3 cents in its midcore titles Blood and Glory: Legends and Frontline Commando. According to China Mobile’s official monthly gaming report for September 2012, Fishing Joy 2 accounted for 4.5 percent of all gaming revenue generated on the company’s platform.

CocoaChina’s US GM Lei Zhang attributes Fishing Joy 2’s success to his company broad distribution strategy, a stringent anti-piracy policy, and most importantly, access to carrier billing.

Fishing Joy 2 is currently available in over 200 third party Android and carrier stores in China, many more than most international or even Chinese companies typically target. While the distribution strategy increased CocoaChina’s integration, QA and maintenance workload by up to 10x, the move also significantly increased the title’s revenues and visibility according to Zhang. “Revenue doubles, which is worthwhile given its scale we are seeing right now,” he explains. “More importantly, for casual titles that scale is key, it is essential to achieve a complete coverage of a market.”

CocoaChina also aggressively hunts down pirated versions of the game. According to Zhang piracy is still a significant problem in China, with most pirated titles taking the form of a direct upload of a stolen APK, complete with third party SDKs and even malware along for the ride. “For most popular western titles, if they don’t have a local presence or partner, you will be able to find pirated versions with significant downloads in major chinese android markets,” he explains. CocoaChina’s efforts may not be cheap but they have been effective in reducing the impact of piracy on Fishing Joy 2’s revenues.

The most important factor in the title’s success however, is access to carrier billing. CocoaChina has secured Master CP (Content Provider) status from several major Chinese mobile carriers, a designation that allows the company to utilize carrier billing for the game even when users play a version downloaded through a third party Android market.

Zhang tells us that carrier billing accounts for 90 percent of Fishing Joy 2’s total revenue. As our readers are no doubt aware, the widespread use of carrier billing is also what enables Japanese and South Korean audiences to monetize at such a high rate. Combined with Flurry’s recent report indicating China will soon overtake the U.S. as the world’s largest smartphone market, CocoaChina’s report is  good news for both domestic and international developers looking to expand to the Chinese market.