Com2uS on how SK Telecom's Tstore is boosting its already buoyant Android sales

High spenders in undiluted waters

Com2uS on how SK Telecom's Tstore is boosting its already buoyant Android sales

18 months ago, Korean publisher Com2uS was on the slide.

Slow into the global free-to-play smartphone explosion, it lagged domestic rival Gamevil.

No longer, however.

2012 has seen it bounce back, regaining its position as Korea's largest mobile publisher in terms of revenue, and seeing half year income up over 500 percent year-on-year to around $9 million.

In this respect, Android has been a particularly strong platform for the company; something we discussed with US GM Don Lim and PR manager Lydia Heitman.

Pocket Gamer: You've recently announced an embed deal for the PlayMG Android device. Why?

Although game discovery has, historically, been an issue for most Android users, we've found with the advent of the Google Play store, it's become exponentially better.

The main issue that we, as a game company that includes many parents as well, have observed across all mobile platforms relates to how users access and purchase content, especially with children and teens.

PlayMG claims parents will 'get their smartphones back' with the device, which allows users to download any Android game without a phone or data plan as we know it.

With the number of children, teens, and other users who cannot or do not want to pay premium and exorbitant prices for a phone, data plan, or let their children make unwanted purchases, the PlayMG is the a terrific and viable option.

Com2uS games, especially the ones that will come pre-loaded on the device, all appeal to a younger crowd and it seems like a perfect opportunity to showcase our games to a great demographic. It's a win-win for us, and we can't wait to see the PlayMG spread further across many different types of users, as well.

Do you do a lot of embed deals on phones, or is this a one-off?

OEMs are not actively reaching out for embed deals as much as they used to. They are instead providing additional layers such as recommendation menus to direct users to the Google Play store, which we try to do as much as possible.

PlayMG was unique because they were specifically targeting the kids' market and wanted to partner with us as much as possible. A pre-load deal was a easy solution for both companies, and we're excited to be able to do one again.

How is Android developing in terms of generating revenue?

We've been pleasantly surprised with how well our Android titles are doing. Our revenue over the last year has seen a huge increase.

Your Q2 figures showed massive growth in terms of sales from Korea. Which games and platforms has that come from?

Our most popular game in Korea is Tiny Farm. Currently, we have a few others in the top 100 free and grossing: Derby Days, Three Kingdoms series, Come On Baby! and others. These spans both iOS and Android platforms.

With Samsung as a huge presence in Korea, we see more Android sales there.

In addition to Google Play, [SK Telecom's] Tstore also adds to our overall sales boost that we've seen over the last year.

Korean users are very high spenders within mobile and especially within the rather undiluted water, so to speak, of the Tstore. Therefore, we see higher numbers from Tstore, then Android, then iOS within Korea.

What advantages do you receive in terms working direct with an operator?

We believe that the Tstore is one of the best operators for us in Korea. It provides a lot of marketing and promotion for our titles, and are well-managed overall.

They also support something called Brand Zone for our Com2uS Corp, so all our games can be exposed separately. And, they all keep on changing and are affected by our sales promotions and events.

Com2uS is releasing a lot of games; both internally and externally developed. How do you balance these different demands?

Our team has expanded in Korea, and we are trying to add new elements to our upcoming social games as well as managing a consistent influx of special features and updates to our top games.

We are focusing on fun content and superior graphics for the rest of the year, and pushing our in-game titles to focus on the new operating systems' advances, processors and what our users are demanding in terms of fun ways to play with their friends.

Are you worried about releasing too many games into the market?

Saturating a market is a worry, but the mobile games market is so very busy and saturated with a lot of similar titles that we feel our titles can give users the confidence and satisfaction knowing it's a Com2uS brand product.

We have a long history with Korean mobile users, which we are committed to continuing with excellence, and expanding into the global markets with titles that appeal to each community.

What are your key releases for the rest of 2012?

We have an amazing golf sim GolfStar that is in final stages of development. It is amazingly realistic, and raises the bar for any golfing game on mobile today. Com2uS also has a terrific fishing simulation, with beautiful environments and true-to-life physics.

And as always, fun updates for our top titles: Derby Days and Tiny Farm, the latter which will be getting a visit from Hello Kitty!

Thanks to Don and Lydia for their time.
Jon Jordan
Jon Jordan
A Pocket Gamer co-founder, Jon can turn his hand to anything except hand turning. He is editor-at-large at which means he can arrive anywhere in the world, acting like a slightly confused uncle looking for the way out. He likes letters, cameras, imaginary numbers and legumes.