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Social Network Gaming in China and Japan

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Half of a GDC 2011 lecture on essential monetization strategies for any social game company looking to grow outside of North America. …

Half of a GDC 2011 lecture on essential monetization strategies for any social game company looking to grow outside of North America.

My presentation focused on how the Social Network wars are effectively over, and Facebook is the clear victor - except in Asia, where local social networks are still putting up a fight. This is especially true in Japan and China where large audiences (400M+ users on QQ Zone in China) and large ARPUs (>10x Facebook on Mobage in Japan) make local networks unusually attractive. This presentation looked at the social networks in Asia that matter, describe how they are different from Facebook, rate their policies and openness to third parties, and deliver an in-depth analysis of the top games on each network and how they differ from comparable games on Facebook.

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  • Social wars are over… facebook clearly the global SNSIf you’re a developer, just build for Facebook, right?
  • Except that there are still some big pockets of Asia where Facebook is not yet the dominant network.
  • Look at recent growth in Asia…Clearly #1 in Taiwan, Indonesia, Philippines, etc.But what’s going on in Japan and China?
  • Looking at growth is even more interesting – look how fast FB is growing in Korea, India, Thailand, etc. But not really at all in China or Japan. So what’s going on there?
  • Well, in China FB is blocked for most usersGreat Chinese FirewallSo that’s giving other networks an opportunity to grow
  • This is all you need to remember about social networks in China.
  • This is older data but it gives you a sense of the key players.
  • Because viral channels are limited, promotion through the app directory and encouraging friends to invite other friends are especially important channels.
  • Here’s an example of a leading SNS game in China.
  • Here is all you need to know about SNS games in Japan.
  • Gree and DeNA are the two leading mobile social networks.
  • Here’s a sample screenshot from our localized Bejeweled Blitz game running on RenRen in China – this was more of an experiment for us, not a major focus.
  • Transcript

    • 1. Social Games in Asia(aka Where Facebook is Not Yet King)
      James Gwertzman
      VP Asia/Pacific
      james@popcap.com
    • 2.
    • 3. Facebook Usage(as % of population)
      (source: www.nickburcher.com; visualized with OpenHeatMap)
    • 4. Korea
      Japan
      China
      Taiwan
      India
      Philippines
      Thailand
      Vietnam
      Malaysia
      Indonesia
      Facebook Usage(as % of population)
      (source: www.nickburcher.com; visualized with OpenHeatMap)
      Australia
    • 5. Korea
      India
      Thailand
      Facebook Growth(2010 vs. 2009)
      (source: www.nickburcher.com; visualized with OpenHeatMap)
    • 6.
    • 7. China Market Overview
      Many competing platforms
      High DAU; Low ARPU
      Heavily regulated
      (esp. for foreign companies)
      Predominately PC focused
    • 8. China SNS market
      QZone
      RenRen.com
      Sina Space
      51.com
      Kaixin001.com
      Sohu
      Douban.com
      139.com (mobile)
      Kaixin.com
      Other
    • 9. User behaviors
      China’s platforms
      Facebook
      Stealing
      Cooperating
    • 10. Art style
      China
      Facebook
    • 11. Viral feeds
      QZone
      No app feeds
      RenRen
      App Feeds
      App Invites
    • 12. App Discovery
      QZone
      RenRen
      App Directory
      Ads
      App Directory
      Banner Ads
    • 13. Platform currency
      QZone
      QB
      RenRen
      RenRen Beans
    • 14. Happy Tower“Farmville meets Cake Mania”
      Manage a shop
      Service your customers
      Steal from your friends
      DAU: 15M
      ARPU: $.005 / DAU
      Monthly revenue: $2.5M
    • 15. Core Mechanic
      1.Rent a floor to open a shop
      2.Serve guests and get coins
      3.Spend coins to upgrade and expand
      4.Steal coins and guests from friends
      5.Finish daily tasks for bonus rewards
      (1)
      (4)
      (2)
      (5)
    • 16. Business Model
      Buy items to:
      Attract more customers
      Shorten service time
      Improve customer satisfaction
    • 17. Viral Growth
      Friend invites
    • 18. Fantasy Seabed
    • 19. Business model
      Buy items to:
      Shorten growth time
      Extend harvest time
      Buy special fish
    • 20. Viral Growth
      Friend Invites
    • 21. Little War
      Grow, decorate village
      Make war on others
      Build magic powers
      Prank friends
    • 22. Business Model
      Buy:
      Building materials
      Magic energy
      Special decorations
      Shorten growth time
    • 23. Viral Growth
      Friend invites
      Form feeds
    • 24. Japan Market Overview
      Mobile Phone (“Gala-kei”) Implementations
      High (US$2-$3) ARPU
      Limited social features:
      activity feeds, messaging, avatars
    • 25. GREE vs DENA : Feature Phone
      As of Feb 7, 2011
      As of Feb 11, 2011
      1
      Dragon Collection
      Kaitou Royale
      2
      100 Mannin No Sangokushi
      NouenHokkorina
      3
      Omiseyasan
      Kaizoku Treasure
      4
      Love&Job! Otona No Jijyou
      Hoshitsuku
      5
      Shirotsuku
      El Ark
      More competitive games
      Top 5, all from DeNA / 8 DeNA titles in Top 10
      More like Nintendo
      More collaborative games
      Few titles from GREE
      Titles related to “love” and “boy” are popular
      More like Sony Computer Entertainment
    • 26. Kaitou Royale
      Dragon Collection
      “Mafia Wars” style RPG
      “Mafia Wars” not popular in Japan
      Released as “Bandit Nation” in US; not especially successful
      Card collection and battle game
      Popular with women as men
    • 27. 100 Mannin no sangokushi
      NouenHokkorina
      Farming game
      “Strategy RPG” game
      Reunify ancient China
      Simple battle mechanics; no real fight interaction
    • 28. Kaizoku Treasure
      Omiseyasan
      Seafaring Pirates
      Ship Battles
      Treasure hunting
      Shopkeeper game
      Visit friends’ shops, etc
    • 29. Hoshitsuku
      Love & Job!Otona no jijyou
      Life drama game
      Main character works in nail salon
      At the turning point of your life, choose between love and job!
      Pay per-episode model
      Planet-building game
      Develop the culture on your planet
      Spend energy to go to other players’ planets and find items
      Use found items to boost your culture
    • 30. GREE vs DENA : SMARTPHONE
      In service now
      Flash emulation
      Original web browser
      Native apps for Gree API
      To be launched on April Using NG moco’s engine
      “ngCore”, which is Android-iPhone cross-platform capable
      Native App
      calls GREE API
      Web based Flash Emulator
    • 31. GREE vs DENA : PC SOCIAL
      Focusing on smartphone, not PC
      Partnering with Yahoo (Yabage) to go after PC
    • 32. App Discovery & Virality
      Discovery through promotion or charts(new, top selling, recommended)
      Virality limited to activity feeds & messaging
      Low click-through on game-related invites (25%)
    • 33. Q4 2010 Mobile & PC trends
      Minutes spent
      Reach rate
      Average PV
      Mobile
      mixi mobile
      mobage
      Minutes spent
      Reach rate
      Average PV
      Ameba mobile
      SNS market in Japan
      PC
      Yabage
      Ameba pigg
      Hangame
      Q42010
    • 34. Q42010 ARPU
      Item ARPU
      Ad ARPU
      Mobage
      (Unit: JPY)
      SNS market in Japan
      Q42010
    • 35. Western Companies Competing in Asia
      Zynga
      China: purchased Beijing social game studio (XPD); developing primarily for Facebook
      Japan: $150M Softbank investment,; bought 120 people studio (Unoh); launched Farmville on Mixi platform (PC); working on mobile titles
      Crowdstar
      Partnership with Drecom in Japan to launch social titles on mobile
      EA
      Growing Playfish Beijing studio; opening iPhone studio in Beijing; planning to enter China market
      PopCap
      Built 80 person Shanghai studio; partnering in Japan, Korea, China
      Announced social-mobile “PopTower” project for Japan
    • 36.
    • 37. Predictions…
      <$100 Android handsets
      Huge competition on social/mobile in China
      Facebook will partner to enter China
    • 38. Questions?

    ×