Lahore: Think Apps 2023, the first and the biggest offline event focused on apps and games, was held by Google in Lahore, Pakistan. The event saw more than 500 developers, in addition to business and industry leaders from around the country, come together to learn how to bring Pakistani-made apps and games to the world.
The event comes on the heels of Think Games and Gaming Growth Lab that were both held for the first-time last year in Pakistan. Through these events, Google worked with over 1,600 developers and nurtured 50 early-stage gaming studios to compete on the global stage. Google also helped over 5,000 Cloud developers and over 3,000 Android developers upskill through community-led programs such as Cloud Seekho S5 and Android Seekho S2.
Pakistan is making a strong entrance into the global gaming and app market. The country’s standing in the international app economy has improved significantly over the years, with Pakistan’s developers moving up to 16th place in 2023 from 27th in 2018 in terms of app downloads. In 2022, apps developed in Pakistan were downloaded a staggering 4 billion times worldwide, marking a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30% from 2018 to 2020. In 2022 alone, a total of 65 apps from 24 local developers reached the top 10 rankings in the gaming and apps verticals on both the Play Store and App Store.
To help Pakistani studios and developers further unlock digital opportunities, Google is expanding its support for the apps industry in Pakistan through Think Apps 2023, which is designed to bring in-depth knowledge and trends from global experts to local developers. The program is built on three unique focus areas:
- Build for Quality will inspire developers to understand how they can create high quality games that are built on strong gameplay and creative design. Game quality determines success, which will allow developers to build great games that provide engaging experiences and deliver long-term performance to users.
- Build for Profitability will help developers learn how to use the right Google AI-powered ad solutions to supercharge profitable growth, acquire new users, and expand globally.
- Build for Sustainability will enable developers to build the right apps by keeping up with trends, staying ahead of their competition, and creating competitive advantages to ensure long-term success.
Farhan S. Qureshi, Google’s Director for Pakistan, said, “Google will continue to invest substantially to nurture Pakistan’s developer ecosystem. The country has the potential to become a key player in shaping the future of the global app economy. I’m confident that Think Apps 2023 will enable even more local developers to create great games and apps, supercharge their growth, and scale globally with Google AI-powered solutions.”
Hazel Mobile Group, one of Pakistan’s leading game development companies, has adopted Google’s AAA (Android, AdMob, and Ads) Growth Framework to develop its more than 100 games and apps, resulting in the creation of over 200 jobs in Pakistan and more than 2 billion app downloads worldwide.
Waqas Ahmed, Chief Technology Officer, Hazel Mobile, said, “Google has been helpful in providing us with dedicated support, sharing the tools and insights needed to shape up our long-term thinking, and guiding us in optimizing our growth strategy.”