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About Me• Social and mobile
gaming industry consultant• Advisor for startups in Japan and the US• Japan contributor for TechCrunch.com• Based in Japan since 2004• Hardcore gamer• Personal site: http://www.serkantoto.com
Japan‘s Unique Social Landscape• 4
homegrown social networks with roughly 25-40+ million registered users each: – Mixi (80% mobile social networking) – GREE (mobile social gaming) – Mobage (mobile social gaming) – LINE (mobile chat application)• Twitter: 30+ million users• Facebook: 19+ million MAU
Fragmented Game Market• ~300-400 social
game providers in Japan.• 20+ game platform providers (all mobile). • 2 dominant companies as platform and game provider hybrids: GREE and DeNA (“Facebook+Zynga in 1“).• LINE (since July 2012), Kakaotalk (February 2013), and dgame (December 2012) emerge as domestic competitors.
Size Of Japan‘s Social GamingMarket->
Other sources (July 2012) • Ministry Of Internal Affairs:US$3.26 billion (2011)• Japan Online Game Association:US$3.6 billion (2011)-> SuperData: US market sized at $1.4 billion in2011, to grow to $2.4 billion by 2014.
Trend 7: Regulation (?)• There
are now payment caps for younger players on DeNA and GREE.• Real-money, off-platform trading of virtual items is still a problem.• Certain bingo/lottery-like gaming mechanics are banned.• Odds of winning are now disclosed in gacha.• JASGA has been established.
DeNA And GREE’s PlatformBusiness Outside
Japan Failed• GREE International publicly acknowledged the platform (in the US) is „on ice“.• Openfeint was shut down in December 2012.• GREE‘s HTML5 platform is poised to fail, too.• Mobage offers 75 games on its English- language platform now – 20 months after launch in the US (Japan: 1,500+ games).• Mobage moved to FB and Twitter integration.
Difficult Situation In China• GREE
is active in China with an office, a partnership with Tencent, and various investments. There seems to be no progress.• DeNA is much more active in China. It runs dozens of partnerships with handset makers, telcos and app stores. Mobage had 60 games and 5 million users in August 2012.• Both companies are very, very quiet about the Chinese market.
Outlook On Internationalization• The future
will likely see both GREE and Mobage turn into content providers and publishers. People want games, devs want distribution - not platforms-inside-platforms.• DeNA in particular is running a number of titles successfully already.• GREE‘s Funzio titles are doing well.• Japan (and other markets in Asia) offer a big reservoir of excellent content providers.