Notable tech founders and executives converged in Tokyo this week for the New Economy Summit, part of the Japanese government’s push to modernize its industries and stay relevant and competitive globally. A host of top Internet companies showed up, including the founders of Twitter, Pinterest, Evernote and Android, to preach entrepreneurship to Japan’s manufacturing-centric business mindset.
Looking to get a slice of the creativity and potential of the Japanese mobile gaming industry, San Francisco-based online game company Kabam is putting out major money to lure Japan’s game developers westward. The free-to-play operators have put up US$50 million to help Japan’s smaller game developers make it big in the North American and European mobile markets.
Japanese mobile games outfit GREE and Yahoo Japan signed a wide-ranging deal in November 2012, and today the two companies have announced that they will be opening a joint-venture focused on developing social games for smartphones next month. The new entity will be tentatively named “GxYz” and will open business on March 15.
DeNA, a billion dollar Japanese Internet and social gaming company, has undergone a rebranding to project a more fun image and to consolidate its international presence in an attempt to achieve in the global market the same success that it enjoys at home.
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.
The Google Play digital marketplace is seeing rapid growth in Asia, and that is even more apparent with the recent fact that Japan has become the top revenue generator, topping even the United States. The key to Asia's growth for Google Play is seen as the large number of publishers, such Japan's mobile gaming giants DeNA and Gree, who develop their games and content for a global audience, as opposed to just a regional one.
Japan-based mobile gaming platform Gree is expanding its line to include games that will run on the web browser itself, which will free the company from fees and requirements from apps stores like Apple and Google.
It has been less than a day that GREE agreed to significant deal with Yahoo Japan, that a new announcement by DeNA has come up to fuel the Japanese mobile gaming war. DeNA has announced that it is expanding its existing partnership with Yahoo Japan onto mobile devices. The deal is significant to the PC-based gaming service Yahoo Mobage, and takes the flight to smartphones, tablets and other devices.
The Tokyo Game Show, one of the largest video game industry events in the world, was kicked off on Thursday in Chiba Prefecture, Japan. While the four-day video game expo is usually looked forward to for the showcasing of new hardware or upcoming games for consoles by Nintendo or Sony, this year is showcasing a much heavier focus on the smartphone and mobile gaming markets. With an estimated 195,000 game fans expected, and a record of 1,043 titles being shown, the 2012 expo serves as a highlighted example that the sales and interests in console gaming are losing traction.
Gree, the Japanese mobile social game network giant, has announced another U.S. game developer acquisition as it continues its overseas expansion. The company released a press statement on Monday announcing that San Francisco-based App Ant Studios had been purchased for an undisclosed amount. Gree says the new game developer will help it reach its goal of 1 billion users worldwide, and their experience will be a quality addition to Gree's game development.