At Casual Connect in San Francisco, Ken Asakura opened his presentation on Asia Expansion: Mobile Trends and User Acquisition Strategies in Japan and Korea by exclaiming, “Self publishing in Asia is possible!”
Opening Doors and Finding Gamers in Asia
Ken Asakura is General Manager of Adways Interactive, specialists in mobile app distribution and user acquisition with 80 percent of their clients in the gaming industry. Adways Interactive’s home company, Adways Inc., runs the largest CPI ad network in Asia. Adways has a proven track record of helping Western developers succeed overseas.
Announcing “Party Track: User Acquisition Analytics for Games”
Aside from distribution, Adways Interactive has been hard at work developing a powerful analytics platform. At Casual Connect USA, they announced the launch of Party Track, a user acquisition analytics tool for games. Party Track enables game developers to discover where their most valuable players are coming from. Utilizing a single SDK and reporting dashboard, Party Track enables developers and advertisers to accurately track, attribute, measure and compare all of their UA campaigns and their impact on user acquisition, retention, in-app engagement, ROI and life-time-value(LTV).
Party Track has been in closed beta, working with the likes of Square Enix and Namco Bandai, and is now officially ready for launch. Ken is responsible for all business decisions for Adways Interactive, including product management for Party Track.
Change is the Constant
As Ken looks toward the future in the gaming industry, he contends, “In terms of mobile user acquisition, I think it’s impossible to predict the future because the industry changes so quickly. 2011 was the year for Tapjoy and incentivized CPI networks. 2012 was the year of non-incentivized CPI networks such as Chartboost. Now it’s all about Facebook. Who knows what’s next? I believe when the mobile industry matures, it will become more like PC.” He considers that OS will become 65 percent Android and 25 percent iOS, as iOS takes their share of premium users and the remainder use Android. He also sees this becoming the most accessible global market ever, with content providers from South America shipping contents to Asian consumers within hours of release. Why? Because mobile is affordable and Apple and Google have become a global gateway for all. In his opinion, the primary internet interface for 95 percent of people will be on mobile sooner than expected.
He believes many fragmented rules and standards, and particularly privacy issues, must be settled as this globalization occurs. He sees brands becoming more active in providing content and increasing spends on mobile advertising.
His final suggestion is directed to Google and Android – “PLEASE accelerate UX optimization for GooglePlay!”
Establishing a Company 101: Teamwork is Everything
Ken believes the most important emphasis for his company is to build an energetic and motivated team. He has been able to form a well balanced team, which is a critical aspect of meeting their clients’ needs. Leading this team with optimism and a willingness to take action is what energizes him in his everyday work.
Ken tells us the greatest learning curve in his career occurred when he signed a highly lucrative deal which indirectly victimized another entity. He is determined to ensure that this never happens in the future. The most important thing he learned from this unfortunate experience was, “Go with your gut feeling… not what your supervisor says.”
About Ken Asakura
Ken considers his analytical proficiency as his main strength, which is undoubtedly a tremendous asset in his varied responsibilities. However, work is not the only emphasis in his life. In his spare time, he enjoys golf and is currently studying Business Management at UC Berkley. He is also passionate about music and appreciates many different genres including rock, hip hop, electro and house.