The mobile game publisher plays an essential role in transforming mere concepts into viral sensations in the exhilarating world of mobile gaming. The comprehensive guide offers a guide to navigating the intricate web of publishers, opportunities, and insights that shape the vibrant mobile gaming industry for developers, marketers, and enthusiasts alike. Let’s get into it!
A mobile game publisher is responsible for envisioning dreams, connecting aspirations, and catalyzing success. Game developers depend on them to elevate their creations from obscurity to ubiquity. In addition to financial support, these companies offer strategic guidance, global reach, and an in-depth understanding of the ever-evolving gaming industry.
Publishers of mobile games play a crucial role at the intersection of creativity and commerce. Developers paint their visions with imagination, but publishers create the canvas upon which they rest. To ensure a seamless journey from design to app store, publishers coordinate distribution, marketing campaigns, monetization strategies, and quality assurance.
Mobile Game Publishers: Criteria for Selection
There are many strategic decisions to be made when choosing a publisher. You should evaluate potential collaborators based on their track record, portfolio, alignment with the genre and target audience of your game, distribution capabilities, and monetization strategies. A well-matched partnership is a springboard to success, enabling you to leverage the publisher’s strengths for mutual growth.
How to choose the right publisher?
There are many strategic decisions to be made when choosing a publisher. You should evaluate potential collaborators based on their track record, portfolio, alignment with the genre and target audience of your game, distribution capabilities, game localization and monetization strategies. You can leverage the publisher’s strengths for mutual growth when you have a well-matched partnership.
Let’s explore some of the top global players in the mobile gaming industry and highlight their popular titles, market reach, and other key information.
Top Mobile Game Publishers List Around the World
Azur Games, founded in 2017, is among the top 3 mobile publishers worldwide by downloads. They achieved the 3 billion download milestone in 2022, and continue to rise. Their portfolio includes over 150 projects from hyper-casual to midcore.
Crazy Labs is known for its hyper-casual, simulation, and ASMR games. When publishing with Crazy Labs, you get to consult over 300 gaming professionals in various fields like game product, design, and analytics. Crazy Labs runs detailed tests on iOS, GP, Facebook, TikTok, Google Ads and SDK networks to ensure your game’s marketability potential is there. They look at metrics such as Day 1 and 24-hour playtime along with CPI.
The CLIK Dashboard is a user-friendly, transparent dashboard that allows you to view your game’s performance.
With 1.82M downloads in 2022, Homa Games has become one of the key players in the publishing industry. They combine data and expertise to make sure a game’s potential is truly unlocked. After submitting your game and contacting a publishing manager, you can start building your games with Homa’s SDK which helps you iterate based on crucial metrics. When everything is on track, your game is out and about in the right channels at the right time, so you can put your game in the top charts.
Kwalee is a British mobile game publisher that has more than 1 billion installs and over 50 hit games. Kwalee has a global reach, with a strong presence in both the iOS App Store and Google Play Store with hypercasual, hybrid-casual and casual titles. You can start by submitting a video of your game, getting a demo from a publishing manager, receiving feedback and getting your place in the charts! Kwalee offers a world-class UA and marketing team, full monetization support and a collaborative ‘family’ attitude.
Rocket Game Studio, founded in 2015, is a leading mobile game publisher in Southeast They have more than 500 million downloads, have launched 200+ games and have 5M+ daily active players.
Rocket Game Studio offers a competitive UA marketing capacity of up to $250,000 per day, a transparent & data-driven approach, the invaluable support of in-house developers and a favorable profit share. The process goes as, ‘’Evaluate, test, cooperate, optimize and push.’’
Rollic is a Turkish mobile game publisher that was founded in 2018. They focus on hyper-casual games and have quickly gained a reputation for producing addictive and engaging titles. Rollic’s publishing community is a big network of talented game developers and designers that work with you to share industry know-how and scale your game.
Say Games has a good track record of 4 billion downloads and +350% IAP revenue growth in 2022. They are known for their focus on hybrid monetization, a dedicated marketing and advertising team and product expertise that supports you with analytics, testing tools, ad campaigns, ASO optimization, developer support team and more.
Supersonic is a leading hyper-casual publisher that has a strong focus on user acquisition and monetization. You can start by submitting your game, and if eligible, get your hands on amazing A/B tools and analytics products (testing on TikTok and Facebook) to help you improve your game. You’ll also receive creative support, monetization guidance, market analyses, best practices, and an ideation kit along with professional feedback.
TapNation is a key player in the industry with over 950 million downloads, 40M monthly active users and 30 hit games. They value the developer and publisher relationship and support studios every step of the way. Tapnation starts with testing and analyzing your game’s potential with an expert team. Then, you are provided with analytics tools that will help you understand your game better and more profoundly. You also have the chance to try A/B tests, Custom Events and ad implementation tools. When everything is ready, it’s time to hand it over to the UA and monetization team to skyrocket your profitability.
Voodoo is a French mobile game publisher that was founded in 2013. As one of the leading publishers in the world, they have 6 billion downloads and 150 million monthly active users. As a developer, you can utilize Voodoo’s tools such as the Voodoo Academy to find and prototype your ideas while receiving feedback from industry experts. When it’s time to launch, Voodoo supports you with a transparent and smooth process accompanied by a publishing manager and UA team.
If you already have a game or several games, have a R7 above 10% and maximum 3-month payback then you are eligible for Voodoo Live to scale your game.
Voodoo’s most popular games include Helix Jump, Paper.io, and Snake vs. Block. Helix Jump, in particular, has been a massive success, with over 500 million downloads worldwide. Voodoo has a strong presence in both the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, with their games being downloaded in countries across the globe.
Mobile Game Publishers Summary and Comparison Table
|Azur Games||Founded: 2017 |
3 billion downloads
|Stack Ball, World War Heroes|
|Crazy Labs||Hyper-casual, simulation, ASMR games |
Extensive market tests and analytics
|Homa Games||1.82M downloads in 2022 |
Strategic SDK utilization and iteration
|Merge Master, Fight for America|
|Kwalee||1 billion installs, 50+ hit games |
Global presence, UA and monetization support
|Rocket Sky!, Draw It, Overtake|
|Rocket Game Studio||Founded: 2015, 500M+ downloads, 5M+ daily players |
Competitive UA marketing, leading the SEA market
|Space Shooter, Stick Hero|
|Rollic||Turkish publisher, hyper-casual focus, hit addictive and engaging games||Tangle Master 3D, High Heels!|
|Say Games||4 billion downloads, +350% IAP revenue growth |
Hybrid monetization and dedicated support
|Sand Balls, House Paint|
|Supersonic (Unity)||A/B tools, analytics, creative support |
2.5 billion installs and user acquisition focus
|Sort It 3D, Bazooka Boy|
|TapNation||950 million downloads, 40M monthly active users |
Deep analytics and monetization support
|CraftMine Idle Merge, Thief Puzzle|
|Voodoo||Founded: 2013, 6 billion downloads, 150M MAU |
Global presence, support tools and UA
|Helix Jump, Paper.io, Snake vs. Block|
It’s Creativity’s Turn: Indie and Niche Mobile Game Publishers Redefining Success
The mobile gaming universe is a sprawling expanse of giants battling for attention and blockbuster games reign supreme. However, there’s a quiet revolution happening. The unsung heroes of innovation and artistic expression are indie and niche mobile game publishers.
It’s refreshing to witness indie and niche publishers carving a niche for themselves through sheer ingenuity in an industry dominated by big budgets and marketing blitzes. Let’s take a look at “Annapurna Interactive.” They have created masterpieces such as “Florence” and “What Remains of Edith Finch,” capturing players with emotionally moving narratives lasting a lifetime.
“Devolver Digital,” another indie publisher, has disrupted norms with its eccentric titles. They redefine the gaming experience, proving that innovation trumps extravagance in games like “Reigns” and “Downwell.”
The publishers understand that gameplay mechanics alone cannot tell a complete story. A game leaves an indelible mark on players’ hearts and minds because of its soul-stirring stories, audacious gameplay concepts, and thought-provoking designs.
Opportunities Galore: A Playground for Indie Developers
Indie and niche mobile game publishers offer unprecedented opportunities for indie developers. There was a time when extravagant marketing campaigns and massive budgets were prerequisites for success. But now, these publishers are like nurturing mentors, opening their doors to emerging talents and embracing the raw potential of indie games.
Indie and niche publishers provide developers with more than just a platform; they give them a canvas for experimenting, innovating, and bringing unconventional ideas to life. Due to their smaller scale, these publishers encourage closer collaboration, allowing you to express your creative vision without it being diluted.
Additionally, their unique niches give them the chance to cater to specific player communities. Do you want to create an RPG that pays homage to a bygone era? Are you dreaming of creating a visually stunning puzzler that defies traditional logic? You can breathe life into your artistic dreams with the support and space provided by independent and niche publishers.
Tips for Indie Developers
Suppose you’re an indie developer with a vision that’s ready to blow the gaming world away. What is the best way to navigate this path to stardom? Here are some insights to guide your journey:
- Research and Connect: Explore the world of indie and niche publishers. Find out about their portfolios, values, and success stories. Seek guidance from those who have already experienced success and connect with like-minded developers.
- Craft a Compelling Pitch: It’s your game’s pitch that will captivate publishers. Make sure you highlight your game’s unique selling points, its emotional resonance, and its target audience. Publishers looking for innovative experiences can be piqued by a well-crafted pitch.
- Embrace Collaboration: You shouldn’t think of niche and independent publishers as distributors; they are your partners in creativity. Your game will improve if you accept feedback, collaborate to improve it, and are open to constructive criticism. Your vision can be transformed into a masterpiece when you work together.
- Stay True to Your Vision: Keep your artistic integrity intact while collaborating. Authenticity is important to niche and independent publishers. You should stay true to your unique voice and vision throughout your entire game.
- Leverage Your Niche: Use your niche or audience as a strength if your game caters to a particular audience. Publishers in the niche and independent space thrive on diversity and celebrate games that speak directly to passionate audiences.
Top Indie Mobile Game Publishers
A funding source connecting investors and indie developers. Indie Fund aims to support the growth of indie games and helps them be financially independent. You get started by deciding on your budget, getting your funding, and when the game is released paying back the investment as well as sharing 25% of the revenue. Developers have until double the initial investment or 2 years after the initial launch to pay back. What if your game doesn’t generate enough revenue? Then your agreement expires, and you keep the revenue to yourself.
Indie Fund has funded 52 games with 34 investors so far.
A publisher based in Texas working with independent developers worldwide to produce and promote unique games. Devolver Digital is known for its skill to recognize ‘’eccentric’’ games that have potential and works on them with expert developers.
Now a part of Xbox Games Studios, Double Fine has been a strong player in the indie game industry for over two decades. Their passion for making and publishing indie games have set them apart from their competitors. Even though they have concluded their publishing wing, they have helped games such as GNOG, Everything Gang Beasts and Knights and Bikes to grow and thrive.
It all begins with an approach to a mobile game publisher – the first step on the road to app store glory. But how does one distinguish themselves from all the other developers out there? The key to success lies in a meticulously crafted strategy.
Your compass is your research. Identify the synergy between your game and the publisher’s vision by getting a detailed understanding of the portfolio and target audience of the publisher. Put your best foot forward by showcasing your creation’s essence rather than just its mechanics. Let them know what makes your game unique, how it resonates with their existing products, and how it can help them grow together.
First impressions matter. Make your presentation engaging so that your audience is captivated within seconds. Your approach should be professional and reflect the identity of your game, whether it is a visually appealing email or a compelling presentation.
Negotiating the Future: Contracts and Agreements
A publisher’s interest has been piqued, and now it’s time for the negotiation dance. Contracts and agreements serve as blueprints for your collaboration. To navigate this terrain, assemble a legal team or a single expert with experience in the gaming industry.
Make sure the terms are clearly defined. It is imperative to clearly delineate revenue sharing, intellectual property rights, post-launch responsibilities, and marketing efforts. Foster a trusting and understanding environment by striking a balance between your expectations and those of the publisher.
Negotiating isn’t just about finances; it’s about long-term success. Specify what you expect from updates, customer support, and future iterations. It is essential to remember that a harmonious collaboration benefits both parties and the cornerstone of that harmony is a well-drafted contract.
Ethics, ethics, ethics
In light of the evolving mobile gaming landscape, ethical considerations are becoming more important than ever. As well as safeguarding the industry’s integrity, ethical practices foster a nurturing environment for developers, publishers and players.
Understanding Intellectual Property Rights: The importance of respecting intellectual property cannot be overstated. Follow copyright regulations and ensure that all assets used in your game are properly licensed. To avoid future disputes, clearly define ownership of in-game elements in your contracts.
Ethical Business Practices: Maintain transparency in all business dealings. Engage publishers, developers, and other stakeholders in open communication. Beware of practices that exploit players or deceive them through misleading advertisements.
Ensuring Quality and Compliance: The quality of the gaming experience cannot be compromised. It is vital to prioritize game testing, bug fixes, and user feedback implementation. Ensure compliance with app stores’ standards by staying current with platform guidelines.
Evolving Mobile Game Business Models
Nowadays, business models are undergoing a metamorphosis, giving rise to innovative ways of engaging players and monetizing games.
Subscription services have emerged as a powerful avenue, offering players access to a curated library of games for a fixed fee. Platforms like “Apple Arcade” and “Google Play Pass” usher in an era where players can explore a diverse array of titles without the interruption of ads or in-app purchases.
Hybrid monetization is another burgeoning frontier. You can make more of your game by combining several monetization models such as IAPs + in-app ads, IAPs + subscriptions, or all three. This helps spark the players’ curiosity and increase your paying customers.
Reward-based monetization is one of the most innovative trends that are rising in popularity. It focuses on rewarding players based on their playtime or different tasks they complete, ultimately boosting session time, retention and LTV in mobile games.
Challenges Faced by Publishers
Despite the abundance of opportunities, success does not come easy. Mobile gaming is saturated, which presents a formidable challenge. It becomes an art to stand out from the crowd when countless games vie for players’ attention. As the lines between different genres blur, publishers need to stay on top of trends and closely monitor user behavior to create quality experiences.
It is also difficult to strike a delicate balance when it comes to app monetization. It is challenging to maintain a harmonious balance between providing an enjoyable player experience and generating revenue from mobile games. Achieving this balance requires finesse and an understanding of player preferences.
Future Opportunities and Predictions
The crystal ball of the future reveals an environment bursting with opportunities. A seamless transition between mobile, console, and PC gaming is just around the corner thanks to cross-platform compatibility. A publisher that masters this transition will be able to reach a vast player base that transcends traditional boundaries.
With the rise of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), immersive experiences are becoming possible, blurring the line between physical and digital. Publishers of mobile games are poised to explore uncharted storytelling and interaction avenues as AR technology becomes more accessible.
The mobile gaming universe beckons to everyone, whether you’re a developer, a marketer, or just an enthusiast. Take advantage of opportunities, embrace trends, and navigate challenges.
Let this guide be your compass, your companion as you start your game’s success journey. Mobile gaming’s future is a canvas waiting to be painted, and you hold the brush. Now’s your chance to shine on stage.