Pinoy app developers urged to aim for global market

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By Rizal Raoul Reyes

Local mobile app and game developers should first target the world market to ensure they can earn huge returns for their product.

Photo shows Pinoy developers during a Google developers forum at the Google head office in Taguig City
Photo shows Pinoy developers during a Google developers forum at the Google head office in Taguig City

?All the big money is in the global market. Tong-Its and Pusoy Dos were the only local apps that earned money because they were also purchased by Filipinos overseas,? Howard Go, co-founder of Mochibits, pointed out in a Google developers forum held on September 27 at the Google head office in Bonifacio Global City.

Together with Go, Kyle Yamamoto established the game development company Mochibits in 2010. They released SwipeTapTap in March 2011 and a word game called Word to Word in 2011. Hexar.io, one of their products, achieved over 7 million downloads across multiple platforms.

Erick Garayblas, game designer and co-founder of Kuyi Mobile, Choo Choo Apps, and Popsicle Games, stressed that the local market has a unique element that is highlighted by the complicated character of the average consumer.

Furthermore, economics is a big factor why Filipinos are reluctant to pay for downloads compared to their wealthier counterparts in Southeast Asia and the rest of the world. ?I got 1 million downloads in the local market but the Filipinos didn?t pay for it,? he pointed out.

Vineet Tamwar, business development manager for Google Play Southeast Asia, is aware of the situation because the Filipino?s buying power is weaker compared to the Malaysians and Singaporeans. ?To counter this challenge, sub-dollar pricing has to be enhanced and developed to broaden market coverage,? he said.

Tanwar said the typical Filipino consumer behavior is not only unique in the Philippines as a large portion of global consumers are reluctant to spend if they think the price does not have right value for a certain product.

?The Philippines is a good test for retention of a product. You could use the local market as a barometer if your product is good enough for the global market,? Go said.

Meanwhile, Tanwar urged developers to link up with Google Play in marketing their apps and games. ?The number of developers with more than one million installs grew 35 percent in the last 12 months alone,? the company said in a press statement.

He said Google continues to enhance its platform capabilities to allow developers to reach to more users around the world. For instance, the Goole PlayStore is now available on platforms like Daydream, VR, and Chromebooks.

To get started, Tanwar urged developers to develop alpha/beta tests for their products, understand conversion analytics, and test store listing.

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