We've been excited about the new HTML5 revolution evolving these past few years. One country that was at the forefront of HTML5 gaming is Japan. Japan has been one of the early developers to build off HTML5 and make some extraordinary games, not only with Namco Bandai but also with DMM Games and a few others. One company that has been building off this and creating its own excitement is Wortal by Digital Will.
Digital Will, specifically their platform Wortal, is working to address the challenges faced by both game developers and publishers to democratize the gaming world, making it easier for developers to distribute and monetize their content and for platforms to source quality games and help them succeed.
They've been working with Cocos for a long time, and we're happy to chat with them about Wortal finally. We talked to one of the co-founders of Digital Will, Will Bohn, about the company, what Wortal can do for developers, the issues that developers could face, and the opportunities they have coming to Japan.
Cocos: Great to talk to you, Will. You've been on our Discord and had your SDK on the Cocos Store, but we never got a chance to dig deep and learn more about Wortal. Could you share a bit about it for our readers?
Will: It's great to talk to you. Wortal is a game distribution and monetization platform designed to empower game developers by eliminating the common obstacles they face in distributing and promoting their games. We offer a one-stop-shop for game developers to reach a wider audience, optimize their games, and maximize revenue using cutting-edge AI and cloud technologies.
Not only has Wortal been pushing games into the Japanese market, but it has also helped developers build their games for many other markets.
C: So, how is Wortal helping game developers?
W: We're bringing games on Wortal across various platforms and super-apps like Facebook, Viber, Rakuten Link, other distribution channels, and website publishers. Our relationship with this industry provides game developers with an unparalleled opportunity to reach millions of users worldwide.
We're also working with various game developers and publishers from around the world. Our platform is designed to transcend geographical limitations, aiming to revolutionize game distribution and monetization on a global scale.
So not only can we help bring games to Japan, but we can also help Japanese and non-Japanese developers distribute their games worldwide for maximum reach and revenue.
We can do all of this with one SDK. All within one platform. We shoulder the weight of distributing to the world so game developers can focus on making great games.
C: Has the Japanese web gaming market been doing well within the gaming industry?
W: The Japanese gaming market is one of the most lucrative and receptive to innovation. While it's true that local preferences and cultural nuances play a significant role, there's a growing appetite for diverse gaming experiences. Companies outside of Japan can certainly penetrate the market, especially if they collaborate with local partners (such as us!) to better understand consumer behavior. For example, the Japanese mobile gaming landscape is vibrant and highly competitive. In Q1 2023, Japanese app users spent $4.65 billion across all verticals, marking a 13% increase from the previous quarter. The total spending for the year is expected to exceed $17.7 billion.
But the biggest issue has been a growing need for innovation and new revenue streams.
C: Why is that?
W: We've provided Japanese developers with the tools they need to succeed locally and expand globally. We really believe that the power of HTML5 and AI with our platform can help things grow even further in Japan and worldwide.
C: So why did you choose to partner up with Cocos Creator and make an SDK for the game engine?
W: We chose to work with Cocos Creator because of its robust features, ease of use, and strong support for HTML5 game development. Its flexibility allows for rapid prototyping and development, which aligns with our mission to simplify the game distribution and monetization process for developers. Additionally, the strong community around Cocos Creator offers valuable resources, making troubleshooting issues easier and accelerating our development cycle. Also, HTML5 games made in Cocos run fast and fantastic - just like their native counterparts.
C: That's great. We have many platforms for web game developers. How are you doing this differently than other platforms?
W: There are several things that set us apart. We're offering AI-powered game onboarding, optimization, and feedback. We're also including rapid updates and A/B testing, and we aim to make it less resource-intensive for developers to iterate and improve. We're also providing robust marketing support for developers.
The idea is that we care about creating an ecosystem for developers to thrive. We know that adapting to each particular distribution channel can be tricky. We're here to make it as easy and impactful as possible.
So, we're giving them the tools and working with our strategic partnerships to provide developers access to a broad audience they might not otherwise reach.
All a developer has to do is use our platform and SDK, and they get access to not only the distribution channels that we have today but also any future channels that we onboard in the future.
C: How has this been going for developers?
W: Since our launch, we've increased their monthly revenue by an average of 25% and continuously added more distribution channels that we support.
C: I'm excited to hear that. Especially seeing you have Japanese platforms. We know many developers would love to join the industry there. But the track record for a Western developer winning in Japan isn't the best. What have you seen as good advice for developers?
W: We recommend conducting thorough market research to understand Japan's unique dynamics and consumer preferences. Localization isn't just about language; it extends to the gameplay experience, aesthetics, and even the monetization methods. Through Wortal, you can also easily access the local market. We can assist with localization and any other Japan-market-specific needs.
C: Well, thanks for your time. How can people get started with Wortal?
W: They can first go to the Cocos Store and download the SDK for either Cocos Creator 3.x or Cocos Creator 2.x and then go to our website to learn more on what they need to do to be a part of Wortal.
If you are building for HTML5, Wortal is definitely one of the best to look at, and we're excited they are committed to making Cocos Creator games better and in the hands of more gamers. So go try it out for yourself!