Well-done article by Venture Beat on the current status, and future path projected, of Jpn mobile social game giants: http://bit.ly/rT2BOF
Japanese firms battle for mobile social game supremacy
The Japanese are coming. In the wide open field of mobile social gaming, two large-scale Japanese companies, both of which have made major acquisitions of American firms, will soon be going head-to-head for worldwide dominance. Gree is expected to launch its global network sometime in 2012, while DENA’s Mobage network recently came out of beta on Android and will spread to iOS soon after.
In Japan, the companies are already carving up a mobile social games market that is worth billions of dollars. But which one will come out on top on a worldwide basis? And is there room for both?
Gree has been growing fast. Between 2008 and 2010 Gree claims to have seen its sales growth rate increase by an astounding 4000 percent. It has 26 million registered users in Japan and, thanks to its acquisition of OpenFeint in April 2011, now boasts 140 million users worldwide. After the announcement of the $104 million acquisition, the two companies explained that they would be creating “a global ecosystem of distribution channels for game developers.” That ecosystem will come in the form of an all-new mobile social network set to launch in mid-2012.
Mobage: But while we’ll have to wait to see what Gree has in store for us, DeNA and Ngmoco have already released their big new social platform. Japan’s DeNA bought San Francisco-based Ngmoco in 2010 for as much as $403 million.
On the surface Mobage is very similar to other mobile networks like OpenFeint or even Ngmoco’s own iOS service Plus+. Users can create a persistent profile to use across games, purchase virtual currency, and interact with friends. One of the things that separates the service, though, and makes it particularly attractive for developers is its monetization. More specifically how well its games tend to monetize. In Japan Mobage has been able to create an average revenue per user of $12 a month, which is very high for free-to-play game experiences. This is done through the sale of Moba-coins, a premium currency that can be used across all games on the service.
Great job by Andrew Webster, suggest you cick-thru to read the entire article>>