Outblaze, a Hong Kong developer with an unusual strategy of launching as many as two to three games per week, says it has reached about 30 million installs across its titles. When we talked to the company in July, it had one larger hit, Pretty Pet Salon, which was doing well on both Android and iOS.
Now its 60-person mobile games unit is doing about 5 million downloads a month, with 1.5 million of those installs coming from Android and 3.5 million from iOS. Both are growing at roughly 20 to 30 percent month-over-month. Right now, the company’s titles are 80 percent on iOS and 20 percent on Android, but the goal is to get them to 50-50.
Android however is producing an average revenue per user that’s 30 percent higher than on iOS. Yat Siu, the company’s chief executive, attributes this to the intense amount of quality testing the company does. Because Android Market is relatively less competitive and there are many more devices that have to be compatible with a game, any titles that actually function on a user’s Android phone stand out and consumers gravitate to them.
“We don’t have a superb, magic formula,” he said. “We are just more compatible with devices.”
“People say Android monetizes poorly, but I’m honestly just not seeing what they’re seeing,” he said, echoing comments from DeNA’s Gameview Studios, which also recently said it was seeing 30 percent higher ARPU on certain games on Google’s platform.
They also update their games aggressively, having pushed 36 updates so far to their hit Pretty Pet Salon. Siu said users don’t get tired of this; they appreciate new gaming content.
The company’s also still using the same channels to acquire users with the usual array of companies like Flurry, Tapjoy, W3i and Mdotm, even though these networks don’t work as effectively as they used to on iOS after Apple cracked down on offer walls. He said they’re de-emphasizing AdMob.
“We do find that iAd is performing better now. It’s not a platform for big spending though,” he said. “You have to start low and then let the iAd team optimize your campaign for you over several weeks.”
Like other developers, the company is seeing China become the second largest source of traffic. But so far, the company is mostly doing basic localization and hasn’t fine-tuned a distribution strategy for the country yet because monetization in China is poorer than in Western markets.
“China is actually quite favorable toward people paying for content. It’s just that the current system relies too heavily on credit cards,” Siu said.
To address the Android Market in China and avoid the extra layers of fragmentation there, Outblaze is going for pre-install deals with various Android app stores. Siu said he also expects that China’s Ministry of Culture will eventually regulate mobile app stores more closely, mirroring what it does for web-based games. In the past, Chinese government officials have asked that bodies, skulls and blood be toned down in games like World of Warcraft.