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Josh is speaking at the Latin America Mobile Summit in SF this Thursday (January 25th, 2017)!  

Josh Curtis

Dev Evangelist, US & LatAM

Brazil has been out of the global spotlight since the Games in Rio ended in August, but mobile game developers shouldn’t take their eyes off of this emerging market so quickly. The Games, for one, helped push the country to upgrade its outdated 2G network, giving a boost to mobile games. Mobile developers and marketers should keep in mind the consistent growth mobile games continue see in the country.

Brazil’s growth is slow, but steady

When Chartboost last covered Brazil as an emerging mobile game market in 2015, the country had just under 50 million smartphone users. Today, according to eMarketer, the number of smartphone users has grown to 64 million. Chartboost data also shows high YoY session growth of 63% since 2015: Brazil certainly has a healthy subset of players.

Brazil remains the most prosperous of the Latin American countries when it comes to mobile game revenue (a projected $791 million in 2016 according to SuperData), but as its economy falters, the current challenge for devs has been identifying players who pay. Still, studios remain optimistic.

“Although its economy has stalled, Brazil’s mobile app industry is poised to continue growing as the value provided by apps have ensured that there is a segment of consumer spend that is relatively well-insulated from such macroeconomic factors,” says Thiago Nam of Sao Paulo-based Tapps Games.

Key takeaways: rewarded ads and community

While Brazil’s player base continues to grow—“The mobile market is definitely becoming the major mainstream channel. People are staying away from TVs or other forms of interaction, including PCs, in their spare time,” says Christian Lykawka, founder of Porto Alegre-based Rockhead Games— user acquisition remains challenging.

According to Nam, Brazilian user acquisition happens when games are community-oriented. The best performing games on the market—including Tapps’ own F2P titles Dear Diary and Toilet Time—have a high virality factor. Nam advises devs to focus on organic and viral growth in Brazil, since few users convert to make in-app purchases.

These issues aren’t unique to Brazil, of course; payments are a challenge in all developing countries, so Nam says most users in Brazil monetize with ads. But not just any ads. Brazilian players are impatient with banners and interstitials: the ads must be built into the reward loop of the game.

“Plain ads annoy [players in Brazil],” says Pablo Luis Santos, CEO of Sao Paulo-based Fluxgames.“Put a lot of effort in discovering how you create value. If you succeed, Brazilian players will consume all the ads you offer.”
Brazil remains a major emerging market, as evidenced by its large population and existing revenue. Incoming developers with a strong plan for localizing and marketing their game will find plenty of potential here.

Check out Brazil’s CPI data on the Chartboost Insights page here.

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