Third-party game markets increasing; Asian games gaining traction

by Kristen Nicole

Mobile games have revolutionized the industry, and there’s no signs of this slowing down. With technology’s ability to connect more devices, and advertisers ready and willing to take every advantage of this trend, mobile games represent an intersection of several industries tapping into the most widely adopted form of entertainment.

As television sets come ready with Internet connectivity, Exent is looking to bring Android games to your TV’s set-top box. Exent has penned a deal with Android set-top boxes made by Vestel, a European company. It’s a broad expansion for Exent, as it already has the GameTanium subscription service. This is an independent marketplace for premium games, a model that’s gaining traction amongst publishers and advertisers. It nicely circumvents direct interaction with the Android Market, and can even move Android games beyond a single platform. GameTanium will be included in the Vestel subscription service, and gamers can use their Android devices to control the games, which could look great on a 55” HD screen.

GetJar is also pushing a new model for premium Android games, publicly launching its new GetJar Gold program. In beta testing for the past month GetJar Gold is another alternative marketplace, giving you an entire selection of free game downloads. GetJar earns revenue from the developers, who gain visibility through GetJar’s Gold network. Whether this is sustainabile can only be determined in time. Amazon has done well with its daily free app offering, and GetJar Gold competes directly with this initiative.

Global growth

While third-party marketplaces are growing, the global reach of some Android games is evident, especially as the US catches up with a smartphone ecosystem that’s been building in Asian markets for years. Kairosoft has launched an English version of Pocket League Story, bringing a popular time-management game to more users. Elemental Knights, a 3D MMORPG game written in Japanese, is also preparing an English version, taking advantage of another successful game genre in the Android Market.