Cherry Mobile Pinoy Appshop, home of 100 percent Pinoy-made games

Xairylle

The Philippine game development industry is still young, with a good number of game development studios working hard to produce fun and high-quality games. But no matter how good your games are, it won’t matter if no one is playing them. The presence of app markets such as Google Play and the App Store are helpful, but they are also saturated with games from across the globe, and it’s difficult for new indie studios to get their games noticed, let alone downloaded and played.

The Cherry Mobile Appshop

With that in mind, Philippine smart phone company Cherry Mobile has introduced the Cherry Mobile Pinoy Appshop. The local-apps-only store aims to give Philippine mobile app and game developers a less-competitive platform on which to sell their games. Following a soft launch in April this year, the Pinoy Appshop now comes pre-installed on Cherry Mobile smartphones, and is also available as an app on Google Play. It presently has 40 registered developers, with a 60 to 40 ratio of regular apps to games. There are approximately 30 games available on the store.

screen
screen

The numbers do seem a little low for a four-month old platform, considering the number of developers in the country. But it’s likely that this is because the Appshop’s back-end has yet to be sorted out. Right now, developers need to submit apps to Cherry Mobile representatives, who will then manually upload them to the store. It’s tedious, but the back-end portal will eventually automate this process. Of course, it won’t be a free-for-all once that’s done; developers will still need to go through an approval process to verify that they are Philippine developers.

(See: Zeenoh Games: what’s it like to be a small indie game developer in the Philippines)

But all the processes will be worth it. Unlike Google Play and the App Store, the Pinoy Appshop supports mobile billing, which allows apps to be purchased via phone credits. This is a very viable option for Filipino players because the Philippine economy makes it difficult, or sometimes even impossible for people to get a credit card. All developers who register for the Appshop before this year ends will receive 80 percent of their apps’ net revenue, while those who register after this year will receive 60 percent.

rate
rate

Compared to Apple and Google’s rates (both offer devs 70% of the sales from apps) Cherry Mobile’s offer is better, though only if you register before this year ends. The 60 percent revenue you receive if you sign up late is comparatively lower than Apple and Google’s rates, though it is worth considering if that 10 percent of revenue is a fair exchange for visibility on a platform with small competition and a dedicated player base. Nonetheless, there is no registration fee, though, so there also is no loss incurred for signing up early.

Finding an audience for developers

Aside from providing local developers with a market where they can sell their apps and games, Cherry Mobile also aims to bring an audience to them. This is where Cherry Mobile becomes helpful as a smartphone and tablet manufacturing company.

Cherry Mobile is known for its line of value-for-money smartphones. This affordability is a major reason why many Filipinos who can’t afford high-end phones turn to it. Just recently, the company released the Cherry Mobile Flare 3, a 5-inch phablet with a 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 1 GB RAM, and 8 GB HDD with the rather affordable tag price of PhP 3,999 ($91.05). The company has also embraced the budding local games industry, with Anino Games’ Cherry Dots pre-installed in Cherry Mobile smartphones. It also recently released the Cherry Mobile Tegra Note 7, an Nvdia-powered gaming tablet priced at PhP9,999 ($227.66).

tegra-note
tegra-note

Aside from offering a more affordable line of smartphones and tablets, it also helps that Filipinos are take pride in their nationality. While this characteristic has gained Pinoys notoriety in some contexts, it can also be a helpful trait. This might be weird or unbelievable for other countries, but the fact that a game is made by a fellow Pinoy is often enough reason for another Pinoy to give it a try (assuming that the game is free). Yet Filipino mobile gamers are finding it difficult to find Pinoy-made games in the vastness of Google Play. This is the problem that the Pinoy Appshop is attempting to solve.

(See: Anino Games partners with Cherry Mobile to re-launch the award-winning puzzle game Cherry Dots)

Of course, a local audience won’t be as big as the one you get on Google Play or the App Store, but sometimes, small can be good. For instance, you could upload a game based on Philippine culture or tradition and not worry if your audience can relate to it, because if they use the Pinoy Appshop, they probably are Pinoy, too.

But will it work?

cm-phones
cm-phones

This promise of visibility and a higher revenue is indeed good, but of course, there are several factors to consider before this can become a reality. Although non-Cherry Mobile users can also access the market by downloading the app here, this strategy relies greatly on the sale of Cherry Mobile devices. For this to happen, Cherry Mobile needs to stick to its guns and continue rolling out affordable phones with impressive, if not jaw-dropping specifications. The Nvdia Tegra Note 7, for instance, is a step in the right direction.

Maintaining a good balance between quality and affordability while keeping up with the fast-paced changes in technology can be very challenging. However, if Cherry Mobile pulls this off, it could be all sorts of amazing—not only for the company, but for Pinoy game and application developers as well.

You can learn more and sign up for the Cherry Mobile Pinoy Appshop here.

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The post Cherry Mobile Pinoy Appshop, home of 100 percent Pinoy-made games appeared first on Games in Asia.


The post Cherry Mobile Pinoy Appshop, home of 100 percent Pinoy-made games appeared first on Games in Asia.