Japanese mobile gaming giant GREE has just released a new sumo-based game for domestic cell phones, and it isn’t just any type of game, it’s from the card battle genre! Grand Sumo Card Battle has been developed in cooperation with the Japan Sumo Association, and features several of country’s wrestlers, including Yokozuna, or grand champions, Hakuho and Harumafuji. Unfortunately for iPhone and Android users, it’s only available on Japan’s feature phones right now.
Just like the real sumo tournaments, players will travel through the country to participate in different national tournaments, developing and training their wrestler along the way. While the sport of sumo has been declining in popularity for some time now in Japan, the card battle genre is among the most popular with mobile and social gamers. Using their cell phones, players can easily compete and cooperate with others on the GREE network.
Tech in Asia’s Rick Martin points out that it would be neat to see the game in English or released for an international market, but just as the sport of sumo holds little interest among young people in Japan, it is also little more than a cultural icon to those outside its borders. Even then, if GREE wants to reach more gamers, they need to open it up to audiences on Apple and Android devices.[via Tech in Asia]