LINE platform reaches nearly 75% of Taiwan population, dominates app charts

Taiwan remains a market of particular interest to app developers looking to break into Asia. As profiled in a previous Metaps blog post, Taiwan provides a strong gateway to Asia because of its chart similarity to Japan, regional influence on the Greater Chinese market, and its comparitively high level of English ability. With the Taipei Game Show later this month, we took a look at recent trends in the Taiwan app market in the month of December.        

LINE dominating Taiwan charts

"LINE Everybody's Marble" (Local naming is LINE 旅遊大亨, also known as LINE Get Rich or LINE Let's Get Rich in other regions) was the top grossing app on both the App Store and Google Play in Taiwan in December. Released in October 2014, it rose to become the top grossing app on Google Play for the month of November, and then for both stores in December including spending the entire month at #1 on Google Play.

One big reason for Everybody's Marble's success is the strength of the LINE platform in Taiwan. The "LINE" communication app originated in Japan and they announced surpassing 400 million users worldwide last year, including 17 million in Taiwan. With a population of only 23 million people, this means that nearly three-quarters of Taiwan is on LINE.

The "LINE Everybody's Marble" game play is very similar to the board game "Monopoly". A board game standard in the US, Monopoly is also well known throughout Greater China, making the concept of the game rather self-explanatory for potential users in Taiwan. You can see this approach by LINE Taiwan in their TV advertising for LINE Everybody's Marble, which opts to focus on the game play itself and not use any celebrities in the ad.

We can see a contrasting approach to marketing LINE Everybody's Marble in Japan, where Monopoly is not nearly as well known. In this TV ad in Japan, LINE relies upon the use of a well-known cast featuring Dewi Sukarno (was wife of former Indonesian President Sukarno known affectionately in Japan as Debbie "Fujin" (meaning wife in Japanese)) , a well-known celebrity throughout Japan.

A look at the user reviews for LINE Everybody's Marble in Taiwan reveal some discontent from users that have been unable to play since a recent app update, as well as issues with the quality of the app localization. There appears to still be room for improving the game, which means that LINE Everybody's Marble can potentially perform even better than it is right now atop the charts.

Multiple LINE titles in Top 10

Based on metaps data, we produced the Taiwan App Store and Google Play Top Grossing charts for the month of December. 

LINE has three titles in the Top 10 for both the App Store and The Top Grossing charts, including LINE Everybody's Marble at #1 on both charts.

 

RPG card battle game "Dot Arena" (released by Taiwanese branch of mainland Chinese developer LemonGame) edged up to #2 on the App Store, and bumped from the #1 spot on Google Play to #2 behind LINE Everybody's Marble.

"Puzzle & Dragons" (GungHo) entered the App Store Top 10 Grossing chart for December with a strong move up to #9, up from #19 in November.

RPG title "Pili Heroes" (WeGames) was released in November on Google Play and December on the App Store, entering the monthly Top 10 charts for both stores in December.

 

In addition to Top Grossing, here are the Top Free charts for the Taiwan App Store and Google Play for December, where LINE and Facebook have apps in the Top 5 for both charts.

 

RPGs and Strategy popular

Looking at the popular app categories on the App Store and Google Play reveals that 98% of the Top Grossing chart apps were games, compared to 89% games for the App Store.

Likewise, we looked at the Top Free charts for both stores, and found that a total of 56% of Top 100 ranking apps on the Taiwan Google Play Top Free chart were games, compared to 18% for the App Store. Games hold a greater share of both best-selling and most downloaded apps on Google Play.

While the App Store does not break down rankings into game sub-categories, we took a look at the most popular game sub-categories on Google Play. On both the Top Grossing and Top Free charts, RPG and Strategy are the two most popular categories.

Metaps has offices throughout Greater China (Shanghai, Taiwan, Hong Kong) and worldwide (Japan, Singapore, Korea, San Francisco, London), staffed with regional expert consultants with the expertise to deliver app developer monetization. Metaps will be at the Taipei Game Show B2B Zone (booth #7, Jan. 28-29th) with representatives available for a free consultation.

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