App developer Halfbrick (privately owned) has demonstrated the size of China’s mobile gaming market, after it revealed that its Fruit Slice title racked up 40 million downloads in just three months, netting the firm an impressive USD 6 million in revenue, according to Technode.
The success of Fruit Slice in China is testament to the local approach adopted by Halfbrick. The game was given a distinctly local flavour with a dedicated Chinese theme, images, fruit and even special blades that represent Chinese history and culture. The Fruit Slice figures were disclosed at the China Unicom Mobile Internet Application Industry Summit, where Halfbrick announced that it will work closely with the operator, as part of Unicom’s new focus on mobile web, content and apps.
Just last month, China was found to the world’s second biggest users of apps but Apple and Android get a far smaller piece of the pie than they enjoy in other markets. Chinese app users download from a vast number of places — free app store, operator app stores and, for a minority, official app stores — although Apple’s recently introduced support for local currency and pre-loaded payments is a step towards increasing legitimacy. As we have reported on December 9th, download volumes in the Apple App Store China have grown significantly since the introduction of the Yuan as allowed currency. The download volume of paid applications in the Chinese top 100 has almost doubled after the 18th of November, the day Apple introduced the Yuan. The growth rates in this top 100 vary between 40% and 80% over the last week compared to two weeks ago.
Halfbrick’s success with its Fruit Ninja shows the already existing magnitude of the Chinese market. As the following chart shows, the games has been extremely popular. In the period September 1st until November 3oth, the game has been among the top 30 grossing apps in China (selling for USD 0.99 for iPhone).
Looking at G5 Entertainment’s rankings during recent weeks and months, we get the impression that China is the country where G5 games do relatively best compared to the other main countries. Why that is, we do not know but it’s encouraging that G5 is doing well in a country that is expanding fast, both in terms of overall downloads and in terms of willingness to pay for apps. Here is a selection of some of G5’s bestsellers in China during the period September-December as seen on www.appannie.com:
I am long G5 Entertainment and you should be too!