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Social Games In Japan 2013: Status Quo, Trends And Internationalization
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Social Games In Japan 2013: Status Quo, Trends And Internationalization

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This is the (edited) version of a presentation on the social gaming industry in Japan I gave a few days ago in Tokyo.

This is the (edited) version of a presentation on the social gaming industry in Japan I gave a few days ago in Tokyo.

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  • 1. Japan‘s Social Gaming Market 2013:Status Quo, Key Trends & Internationalization By Serkan Toto, PhD www.serkantoto.comImage credit: DeNA
  • 2. 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
  • 3. Visit My Website For Free Information OnJapan’s Mobile Game Industry(http://www.serkantoto.com)
  • 4. Contact InformationTwitter: @serkantotoLinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/serkantotoEmail: serkan AT serkantoto.com
  • 5. AgendaI: Status Quo Of Japan’s Social Gaming MarketII: 10 Key Trends In Japan (And Asia)III: Internationalization Efforts
  • 6. I: Status Quo Of Japan’s SocialGaming Market
  • 7. 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
  • 8. 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.
  • 9. Japan‘s Social Gaming Ecosystem
  • 10. Size Of Japan‘s Social GamingMarket-> Projection from Morgan Stanley, January 2012    
  • 11. Size Of Japan‘s Social GamingMarket-> Projection from Nomura Research, January 2012    Image credit: The Nikkei
  • 12. 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.
  • 13. Size Of Japan‘s Social GamingMarket-> Projection from Yano Research, January 2013
  • 14. Extremely High Paying User Ratio-> Morgan Stanley offers more insight.
  • 15. Spending Patterns-> Not much difference compared to other regions
  • 16. 4 Big Reasons Why Japanese PlaySocial Games
  • 17. The Top 5 User Demographics ForSocial Games
  • 18. Some User Data From GREE
  • 19. The  Top  10  On  Mobage.  
  • 20. The  Top  10  On  GREE.  -­‐>  Note:  on  feature  phones,  GREE  doesn‘t  show  their  own  Atles  in  the  ranking.  
  • 21. II: 10 Key Trends In Mobile GamingIn Japan (And Asia)
  • 22. Trend 1: Smartphone Revolution    Source:  Impress  R&D  
  • 23. Trend 2: Shift To The App Economy
  • 24. Trend 3: Rise Of The Chat Apps
  • 25. Trend 3: Rise Of The Chat Apps
  • 26. Trend 4: Competition In Platforms
  • 27. Trend 4: Competition In Platforms    Image credit: TechCrunch Japan
  • 28. Trend 5: Puzzle & Dragons Hype
  • 29. Trend 5: Puzzle & Dragons Hype
  • 30. Trend 5: Puzzle & Dragons Hype
  • 31. Trend 5: Puzzle & Dragons HypeImage credit: Social Game Info
  • 32. Trend 5: Puzzle & Dragons Hype
  • 33. Trend 6: Next-Gen Social Games
  • 34. 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.
  • 35. Trend 7: Regulation (?)
  • 36. Trend 8: Card Battle Fatigue (?)
  • 37. Trend 8: Card Battle Fatigue (?)
  • 38. Trend 8: Card Battle Fatigue (?)
  • 39. Trend 8: Card Battle Fatigue (?)
  • 40. Trend 9: Diversification
  • 41. Trend 10: Internationalization
  • 42. III: Internationalization Efforts
  • 43. DeNA And GREE’s PlatformBusiness Outside Japan Failed
  • 44. 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.
  • 45. Positive Signs Exist (In The US)
  • 46. Positive Signs Exist (In The US)
  • 47. 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.
  • 48. Difficult Situation In China
  • 49. Japanese Content Does Well In SK
  • 50. 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.
  • 51. Transferability Of Content Is Key "Key issue: art style and themes"
  • 52. Thank you for listening! Questions?
  • 53. Contact InformationTwitter: @serkantotoLinkedIn: http://linkedin.com/in/serkantotoEmail: serkan AT serkantoto.com