A missing destination for game goes overseas.
Iran has been an easily overlooked market for a long time, especially the gaming market. Howerver as a matter of fact, the annual revenue of the Iranian game market has exceeded $600 million.
In terms of mobile games, Iran not only has a large number of players, but also has a higher payment rate.
In Iran, Android phones are the main mobile devices. For some special reasons, users have to download apps and games through third-party app stores. This means that if Chinese publishers have the intention of going overseas to Iran, cooperation with local app stores is very important. Cafe Bazaar, the largest mobile application store in Iran should be taken great notice if Chinese companies want to go overseas to Iran.
Cafe Bazaar (Persian: کافه بازار) is an Iranian Android marketplace founded in April 2011and its services specifically to Persian-speaking users and offers more than 25,000 downloadable Iranian and international apps for gaming, social media, messaging and other uses.
In April 2019 Cafe Bazaar announced it has surpassed 40 million users, according to Financial Tribune.
By far Cafe Bazaar is most popular app store among Iranians, controlling 97% of the market.
Cafe Bazaar provides It gets roughly 20 million visits a week within Iran and its value is estimated at €380 million.
According to the latest annual report of the Bazaar, as of the end of the Persian calendar this year, 31361 games have been launched on the digital market of the Bazaar.
As a platform for a large number of high-quality games, the digital market in Bazaar has become a central hub favored by Iranian mobile gamers.
Although the Bazaar store is mainly for Persian users, many foreign games have achieved great success in the local market after localization. According to statistics, about 120 non-Iranian publishers and developers have provided about 800 products through the Cafe Bazaar. Foreign game developers, including Finland’s Supercell and China’s Tap4Fun, Elex, etc., have used the Bazaar store as a springboard to successfully enter the Iranian market.
Although Google Play can run in Iran, it does not provide services such as financial transfers. Therefore, in the Iranian market, the only way to monetize game publishing is to trade with local platforms, among which Bazaar is by far the largest Persian third-party platform.
According to official data, over 35% of the monthly downloads of the Bazaar store come from game downloads. The head game ARPPU (average contribution per paying user) is US$20, and the monthly revenue of the head game is US$200,000.
Over 670 million game downloads and updates
Among the 12 different game categories, casual games have the largest number and contributed the most downloads and updates.
The number of game ratings is 30 million times
Among the 78 million ratings posted by users of Cafe Bazaar last year, the game received 30 million ratings. Word games, strategy games and arcade games have the highest scores, each with 5 points; education, adventure and sports have the lowest scores.
User payment rate of various types of games
Users who made purchases in action, adventure, and racing categories are most likely to make purchases in multiple games of the same category, while arcade games, simulation games, and puzzle games have the lowest percentage.
Paid game share of various types of games
Free games account for a large part of the games in Cafe Bazaar. Free games account for the largest share of arcade games, puzzle games and casual games. Publishers of word games, family games and adventure games are the least inclined to publish free games.
Therefore, MENA area which is represented by Iron is a great market for game going overseas. Due to some religious reason, the players in this area has a less choice for games, which mean light games including
Casual/Hyper casual games have a bigger player base, and it also means the competition in this genre is more fierce. For Chinese game companies going to Iran, that should also be a factor to consider.