How to get featured on Google Play and adapt ASO to different countries

How localization affects the downloads?

Full HP Ltd is an international mobile game development company with 40+ employees and offices in Russia and Cyprus. Their portfolio includes 8 games, among them Mad GunZ (a Google Play Editors’ choice) and Blocky Cars (a Catappult Editors’ choice). Mad GunZ has over 12 million downloads on all platforms, and Blocky Cars has over 32 million.

The Full HP Ltd team translates texts for Blocky Cars and Mad GunZ using Nitro professional online translation service, and agreed to share some of their lifehacks with us:

  • How to maximize ASO optimization results
  • How to get on the home page of Google Play
  • The benefits of releasing a game on alternative platforms — and much more!

Mad GunZ and Blocky Cars are accessible in 12 languages. Could you tell us about your approach to the localization process?

Our process is as follows: 

  • early access in Russia;
  • early access in the MULTI-5 countries (English, French, Spanish, German, and Italian);
  • ASO localization from English into the other MULTI-5 languages;
  • a global release in Arabic, Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and Thai, with subsequent ASO localization.

Gradually, all the game pages in the stores are localized into new languages, since this lets us reach the most users. It is easiest for us to translate these texts using Nitro, since the translations are frequently ready within a few hours.

While the translation is being readied we analyze keywords and select the most relevant keywords for the game, making sure that these words can be organically inserted into the text.

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And where do you localize the game itself?

Previously we worked with a translation agency, but due to the time-consuming paperwork involved (an invoice had to be submitted and payment made via bank transfer before the translation work began) the process was quite lengthy. 

For that reason, we switched to Nitro completely. Our games don’t have all that much text, so Nitro suits us both for translating store pages and for localizing the game itself.

When we were featured on Google in Korea we had to translate the user agreement into Korean. The text was long and of a legal nature, and we translated it through the managers at Alconost

One lifehack we use is this: standard phrases such as “play” and “menu” are used from one game to the next, so we save them in a translation memory. That way, instead of translating them over again each time, we simply use the existing translations.

New texts appear when game designers introduce new content into the game. For example, ten new phrases are created that have to be translated for the next release. We send them off to Nitro and add our comments for the translator. As a rule, no issues arise, but if the translator isn’t clear on something we explain via a manager in Nitro online chat.

You mentioned keyword analysis. Tell us how you work with ASO.

We are constantly rewriting ASO for specific countries if we find it necessary. For example, here is a screenshot with data for Germany.

Conversion prior to page localization (Germany).

When we translated the page into German and selected German keywords instead of English, not only did conversion increase (by 25%), but also the number of visitors to the page.

Conversion rate after page localization into German.

Localizing the page, and especially the screenshots, is important. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money on translating the description, it’s worth at least translating the screenshots and a couple of phrases from the description into the users’ native language. That alone is a huge improvement.

Let’s talk about profitability. Your games are translated into 12 languages. Was it worth it? Wouldn’t the 5 most popular European languages have been enough?

Here are our five most profitable countries:

The same countries top the charts for both games, and the numbers differ but little.

We have many paying users from the countries for which we’ve translated the game. I can cite our localization into Portuguese: the language is not one of the MULTI-5, but players from Brazil are some of the best-paying in our games.

When we released Mad GunZ on an alternative platform, Catappult, at the time of release the game had only been localized into English.

Growth after localization into Portuguese. The chart shows featuring and localization into Portuguese. Top countries: Brazil, Mexico, Portugal, USA, and Vietnam.

We were featured (the largest jump on the screenshot), after which our numbers dropped back. Since most of the players are from Brazil, it was decided to localize the game and the app page into Portuguese. After that the numbers started to climb again.

Check out our article about Brazilian gaming market

Your games have been featured on Google Play. What do you think helped accomplish that?

We try to maintain a certain level of profitability, with minimal bugs (crashes, etc., which prevent the user from enjoying the game), and to produce quality content, and all this led to Mad GunZ being selected.

As for Blocky Cars, here we reached out to the experts: we submitted a request stating that we had a quality game and that we wanted to attract more users by being featured. The requirements were the same: a specific profitability level and minimal bugs. 

We also had to add gameplay screenshots with no captions or processing — scenes of how the game actually looked. If a company wants Google to notice them, they should absolutely add at least one or two clean, non-Photoshopped screenshots.

Our thanks to the Full HP Ltd team for sharing their fascinating experience!

Would you like to enjoy fast translations for your game content too? Take advantage of Nitro, human translation platform and have your texts translated by native speakers. Click this link to get a $20 welcome coupon for translations on Nitro!

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