EghtesadOnline: Mobile games developed by foreign firms dominate Iranian Android market Cafe Bazaar and only 28% of video games published on the platform are made locally.
Researchers with Iran’s Digital Games Research Center (DIREC) studied 37,148 games published on Bazaar from which 1,145 have been installed more than 10,000 times each. The 1,145 games were downloaded over 92 million times from Cafe Bazaar.
In a report published on the center’s website (direc.ir), the games are categorized into three groups: locally developed, foreign and those developed by international studios which have been modified for the Iran market by local teams.
Some local firms dub or subtitle video games and publish them on platforms like Bazaar. These are categorized as locally modified, Financial Tribune reported.
According to DIREC, only 28% of the games published on Bazaar are locally made. Close to 58% of the games are made by foreign firms and 14% are classified as locally modified.
Established eight years ago Cafe Bazaar is the most popular Android market in Iran. It has over 40 million active users.
Games published on Bazaar are categorized into 12 groups, namely casual, racing, word and trivia, action, driving, sports, strategy, family, puzzle, educational, simulation, and adventure.
Most games published on the platform fall in one of the following five groups: casual (18%), racing (16%), word and trivia (13%), action (10%), and driving (10%).
Over 72% of the games are free, 26% are freemium and hardly 2% are sold. Freemium is a business model, especially on the Internet, whereby basic services are provided free of charge while more advanced features must be paid for.
Some of the popular foreign games published on Bazaar are: Cut the Rope 2, Clash of Clans, Swipe Break Breaker, Candy Crush Saga, Clash Royale, Machinarium, and Soccer Stars.
Strategy game Pesarkhande (Stepson), action video game Hey Taxi, racing game Motori (motor biker) and word game Amirza are among the popular Iranian video games on Bazaar.
The top three popular mobile games in Iran are Clash of Clans, Baghlava, and Clash Royale, a nationwide survey carried out earlier by DIREC shows.
According to data published on DIREC.ir, 24.7 million Iranians play mobile games. On average each player spends 890,000 rials ($6.7) on mobile games every year. The annual turnover of Iran’s mobile game market is 2.3 trillion rials ($17.4 million).
Through the survey, 8,000 people were questioned. The most popular mobile game genres in Iran are puzzle, platformer/runner, arcade, driving, and sports.
Top three popular mobile games among women were locally developed word game Baghlava, virtual pet game Pou, and Clash of Clans. This is while men said Clash of Clans, Clash Royale and Baghlava are the games they enjoy most. In recent months the locally developed word game Baghlava has gone viral.
Results show 64% of the gamers are men. People on average spend 73 minutes playing mobile games every day. Men spend 78 minutes playing and are more into their cellphones compared to women who play 63 minutes.
Two mobile strategy video games developed by Finnish game developer Supercell, namely Clash of Clans and Clash Royale are vastly popular.
Clash of Clans, a mobile strategy video game, was released for iOS platforms in August 2012 and on Google Play for Android in October 2013.
Released in March 2016, Clash Royale combines elements from collectible card games, tower defense, and multiplayer online battle arena. It made $1 billion in revenues in less than a year in the global market.
Clash Royale is a tower rush video game that pits players in games featuring two or four players in which the objective is to destroy the most amount of opposing towers. In the game, players are ranked by their number of trophies, which are won or lost through multiplayer battles.
Iranians who are advanced in the games and have established “strong virtual clans” or have won many “trophies” sell their accounts online. The market for such accounts is relatively heated among teenagers.
The average age of gamers is 18. Some 67% of the players are younger than 19 years, 7% are over 35, and only 1% are over 60. Some 47% of those surveyed said they totally disregard the age rating of the games and only 25% always check age ratings.
Data also indicates that 78% of the gamers are single, 6% are married but have no children and 16% have kids.
Education-wise, 67% of the gamers do not have a high school diploma while 18% have some form of academic background.
Close to 89% of those surveyed said their preferred platform for gaming is the smartphone compared to gaming consoles and computers.