Will Harry Potter prosper in Asia? That question is at hand as Jam City launches its Western hit mobile game, Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery, in Hong Kong and Taiwan on the Google Play and iOS App Store. Jam City and Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment’s Portkey Games launched the game in the West in April, and it quickly climbed to the top of the app stores.
In the new territories, the game is fully localized in Traditional Chinese. Starting today, players in Hong Kong and Taiwan will have the opportunity to create their own characters and experience life as a Hogwarts student.
“Harry Potter is a globally treasured franchise with storylines and characters that resonate with fans around the world,” said Chris DeWolfe, CEO of Jam City, in a statement. “We are so excited to bring the magic of Harry Potter: Hogwarts Mystery to players in Hong Kong and Taiwan so they can experience the adventure of the Wizarding World as the story continues to unfold.”
The title is a role-playing game with a narrative adventure focused on players experiencing life as a Hogwarts student training to become a witch or a wizard in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter universe.
The game drew criticism for its aggressive monetization and the Guardian called it a “shameless shakedown.” I played it and very quickly ran into a decision where I had to either wait to finish the first combat scene or pay money to complete it. Jam City addressed some of that criticism by reducing the prices of its in-app purchases.
The question is whether the title will translate well to Asian markets, which haven’t always been receptive to brands owned by Western companies such as Disney. As China has become the world’s biggest gaming market, success in China and greater Asia is clearly a big opportunity for Western companies, if they can make their games work for the unique gaming culture of Asian fans.
Jam City plans to roll the game out to all of Asia and is doing so in stages.
Jam City hasn’t disclosed revenue or download numbers for Harry Potter, but measurement firm Sensor Tower estimates the game has been installed more than 25 million times so far and has grossed nearly $50 million since launch. Players are spending more than $300,000 per day in the game, Sensor Tower said.
Nearly half of the $50 million (47 percent) has been spent by players in the U.S. Its second most popular country is Great Britain, which has accounted for about 9 percent of its revenue so far.
The Harry Potter mobile game is currently ranked No. 316 for U.S. iPhone downloads and No. 73 for U.S. iPhone revenue. On U.S. Google Play, it’s No. 315 for downloads and No. 51 for revenue.