Bringing Play games to the gamers
Challenges are a daily part of working life at Google, where teams try to reach billions of users globally with new and/or existing products. Our Business Development team is staffed by creative, can-do Googlers who thrive on designing innovative solutions to complex problems, and they were integral in helping our Play team build awareness of our brand in a vital market.
When our Google Play gaming team in Taiwan wanted to build the brand in a saturated market, where more than 50% of the population of 24 million are gamers, they turned to Business Development. Though Taiwanese spend an average of 108 minutes a day on mobile games and few countries can match Taiwan’s enthusiasm for mobile gaming, the Play team still faced a couple of obstacles in beefing up our brand presence there.
“We faced two big business challenges,” explains Kevin, the head of the Google Play Games business development team for the area. “First, most Taiwanese are only casual gamers who are unaware of the full range of games (both free and paid) available on Play. And, second, the majority of Taiwan’s local developers were just getting started with mobile games, and they needed help connecting to users.”
As a result, the Taiwan Play team’s collaboration with Business Development, as well as Marketing, PR, Legal, and Policy, was essential to driving users to the Google Play store. The partnership set up Playtown, an innovative, temporary gaming space in Taipei. Playtown allowed users to explore Play, and it hosted more than 70 games from more than 50 up-and-coming local and global developers. The Business Development team also worked with local gaming publishers and developer partners to set up additional pop-up spaces that brought Play to the streets. This included a touch-and-try candy factory for the ultra-popular Candy Crush, where users could indulge their sweet tooth while showing off their skills.
During the four weeks Playtown was open, more than 70,000 people played their hearts out. The activities also had a positive impact on our developer partners, whose app installs increased during Playtown’s run.
The success of the experiment taught us a lot. The global gaming market is an integral part of our Google Play business and offers us great opportunity for growth. And as long as we continue to develop our brands in new and emerging markets, we will also seek people who jump at the chance to bring their creative minds to dreaming up opportunities for expansion, or who are keen to develop more partners in emerging markets.