KONAMI brings a social game into the game arcade

"Dragon Collection" is one of the popular social games of KONAMI having 7.5M users. They bring it into the game arcade. They released an arcade game "Doragon Collection: Ambition of the green pepper group(ドラゴンコレクション シシトウ団の野望)".

This is a card battle game to be able to play at a game arcade. Because this is an arcade game machine, players can get the real card which own name was listed in. Players can use them for a next play, collect them and can play as a trading card game.

"Doragon Collection: Ambition of the green pepper group" is a card battle game like social game Doragon Collection. However, it has a lot of monsters which there are not in Doragon Collection.

QR cord cards are listed in cards. When players scan this by mobile, they can get these monsters in Doragon Collection. In other words these two games link through cards. KONAMI assumes the play by parent and child in this. Children play "Doragon Collection: Ambition of the green pepper group" at a game arcade, and parents play "Doragon Collection" in mobile. Such Japanese families may appear from now on.

DeNA released a social music player "Groovy"

DeNA aims at the chance except the social game. This is music. They released a social music player for smartphones "Groovy".

Groovy connects users by a music interest graph. Users can listen to music free for 45 seconds. A paid play ticket is necessary to listen full version of music, However, users can get it as a privilege by inviting friends to Groovy. As an interesting function as the music player, Groovy has a function of display lyrics. 39 Japanese labels participate in Groovy, and the number of the sold music exceeds 1 million now. This is very rare in the Japanese music industry. Because the right of the Japanese music industry is complicated, and the labels dislike Internet! :D

Groovy is only Android version now. However, of course DeNA is going to release the iOS version.


Sports mobile social game platform "mobcast" broke through 3M users

In this week, Japanese sports mobile social game platform "mobcast" broke through 3M users.

mobcast is mobile Social Networking Service specialized in the sports that opened in February, 2010. At first, they provided social games of soccer and baseball which developed in themself, and sports news. However, they became the open platform in November, 2012. Now, various sports social games such as baseball, soccer, horse racing and fishing are provided by third parties.

According to them, users suddenly increased this month. Because there were a lot of sporting events in this month such as WBC, the arrival of the Japanese professional baseball season, the soccer J League start. The reality world links with Social Networking Service! :) They renewed it recently to strengthen service as the sports media.


NTT DoCoMo brings a mobile game platform into China

Japanese mobile company NTT DoCoMo brought game platform "d game" into the mobile market of China Mobile Communications Corporation.

d game is a NTT DoCoMo's mobile game platform, and started in Japan in December 13, 2012. Many third parties such as Bandai Namco, KONAMI, SEGA, Square Enix, TAITO, TECMO KOEI provide various mobile social games here. NTT DoCoMo brought this platform into China entirely. D2C China, doing advertisement and marketing business in China is in charge of the localization. In addition, not only the game apps but also the wall paper for mobiles are offered in China. The contents offered at the time of release are 20 kinds, but of course they increase from now on.

Japanese tower defense game apps "Battle Cats" becomes the boom calmly

Japanese mobile game apps developer Ponos announced that their tower defense game apps for smartphones "Battle Cats(にゃんこ大戦争)"  broke through 4M downloading.

Battle Cats is the defense game that individual cats appear. Players operate various cats, invade in each area of Japan and aim at the control in Japan. The iOS version of this was released on November 15, 2012, and the Android version was released on December 27. Then this updates a milestone every month.

Charm of this is mysterious artwork. Cats are simple designs, but are slightly different from Japanese-style Kawaii with a wonder in some way. They express it by the word "Kimo-kawa". This is the coined word that combined Kawaii(Cute) with Kimochiwarui(Grotesquerie). Is it be "Grotes-cute" if I transcribe it in English? Anyway, these cats are very attractive!

GREE CEO Tanaka and DeNA CEO Moriyasu becomes a director of Japan's Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association

The social game is holding the game industry of Japan. Today, Japan's Computer Entertainment Supplier's Association(CESA) announced that GREE CEO Yoshikazu Tanaka and DeNA CEO Isao Moriyasu becomes a director. It is decided officially in a regular meeting of CESA held in the end of May.

It is rare that 2 directors are added newly at a time. According to CESA, this is measures to cope with the expansion of the social game market in the Japanese game industry. CESA is a sponsor of Tokyo Game Show(TGS), and, in TGS of the last year, a social games were the leading role.

See Also:
[Report of Tokyo Game Show 2012] The conqueror of the game market of Japan is a mobile social game

How will about TGS of this year?


Big News: Softbank Mobile to acquire majority shares of game developer Gungho Online Entertainment

Japanese mobile company Softbank Mobile announced that they would tender an offer of online game company Gungho Online Entertainment.

Originally Gungho was a company running online games, but grows up by a mobile social game recently. Particularly, "Puzzle & Dragons" and "Keri-Hime Sweets" were popular, and the sales of their February exceeded 10 billion yen.

SOFTBANK Mobile says that the profitability and competitiveness improvement of the mobile business is urgent business. If this offer is completed, Gungho becomes the member of the SOFTBANK group.

By the way, Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son and Gungho chairperson Taizo Son are brothers.

Softbank's Press Release is here(English).


Japanese 80-year-old composer uses Hatsune Miku

Masao Saiki is an 80-year-old composer reaching the debut 50th anniversary in this year.

He is a very famous man in the Japanese music industry, but he posts a works using vocaloid Hatsune Miku to video sharing site Nico Nico Douga from last year. Of course himself does ALL WORK. His nickname in Nico Nico Douga is "Masa-P"(P is a meaning of the producers. Most of Hatsume Miku composers add P to a nickname).

His works are slightly nostalgic. and styles of the old Japanese popular song.  However, the evaluation in Nico Nico Douga and Twitter is excellent.


GREE carries out promotion with Internet cafe

GREE started new promotion "GREE for Netcafe" with Internet cafes in Japan.

Main services of the Japanese Internet cafe are PC rental, comics rental and online game offers. The online game offer grows up from 2006 through 2012, and the offer time is postponed in particular till 3,500,000 hours from 500,000 hours. GREE paid its attention to this. "GREE for Netcafe" is the service that points are provided depending on the time when we stay in Internet cafes. We can change the points for the virtual goods of GREE's
social games. The the first title is a "Kin-Niku-Man: muscle collection".

GREE chooses social games having Internet cafes and affinity and does promotion. Well, they are the social games of comics source.

Social game developer Poppin Games Japan raised 100 million yen

Japanese social game developer Poppin Games Japan raised 100 million yen. Poppin Games Japan was established at Tsukuba, Ibaraki in July, 2012(It is unusual for Japanese Tech startup to be established any place other than Tokyo). CEO Hisashi Tsujimura is the staff of former DeNA. The marketing section is in San Francisco, and the development section is in Tsukuba, Ibaraki. 30% of them are the foreign staff.

Their representative game apps are Peter Rabbit's Garden and Alice's Mad Tea Party. Both support a language except the Japanese(Such as English, Chinese, Korean). It worked, Peter Rabbit's Garden broke through 1 million downloading and Alice's Mad Tea Party broke through 500,000 downloading.

They establish a branch office in Kyoto by the fund which they raised this time. They yet develop only iOS apps, but go into Android apps from now on.

Bandai Namco games released a new mobile social game of popular Manga/Anime "ONE PIECE" in GREE

Bandai Namco games released a new social game for smartphone "ONE PIECE; Adventure log" in GREE.

This is a social game of popular Manga/Anime "ONE PIECE". Users can combine a pirate ship with characters of ONE PIECE, and form a "my favorite" pirate corps. Characters have a finisher each, and they are reflected to game graphic.

It is the 2nd time that Bandai Namco games releases a social game of ONE PIECE. They released "ONE PIECE; Ground Collection" in Mobage in January, 2012. These two resemble very much. However, "ONE PIECE; Adventure log" was developed as a social game for smartphones more at first, because graphic is beautiful, and UI is optimized for smartphones. This will be very advantageous if they want to catch ONE PIECE fans of the smartphone users.

Developer of graphic technology "Live 2D" CYBERNOIDS raised 52,400,000 yen

Japanese startup CYBERNOIDS which developed graphic technology "Live 2D" raised 52,400,000 yen from Q-TEC,INCSeibu Shinkin CapitalMitsubishi UFJ Capital Co., Ltd. and other investors.

Live 2D is graphic technology to express an illustration of 2D like 3D.

See Also:
2D or not 2D, that is no problem

Live 2D is utilized in many mobile games and Web browser games now. In particular, it is popular in Dating Sims. They want to contribute this abroad and exhibit in GDC 2013. Please visit EXPO #643 booth if you go to GDC.


GREE's Social game "Tanken Driland" becomes Anime again

GREE, TV Tokyo, TOEI ANIMATION and Bandai announced that they performed media mix development of GREE's social game "Tanken Driland". As the the first project, they broadcast a new anime of "Tanken Driland" from April 6.

It is the 2nd time that this becomes the anime.

See Also:
Social game anime of GREE

The broadcast of anime began in the summer of last year.  This is popular from not only children but also adults, and it continues more than a half year. And a new story begins in April as the new series. They develop the game more about this anime. Game→Anime→Game... and real goods... They intend to utilize one content thoroughly.

See Also:
GREE establishes a fund of the Anime industry with a subsidiary of Yahoo! Japan

DeNA combined poker with their popular social game "Kaito Royal "

DeNA released a spin-off title of their popular social game "Kaito Royal(怪盗ロワイヤル)" in Mobage. This is "Kaito Royal SECRET POKER".

Kaito Royal is the social RPG that users become a thief, steal various treasure of the world, and fights against gangs. It was popular after the early days when Mobage became the social game platform. It is still one of the representative titles of Mobage.

In Kaito Royal SECRET POKER, an element of the poker is added to it. Users fight against enemies with poker. It is tactical than we tap a screen according to instructions. It is popular now in Japan to put social RPG and something together. In particular, there are many examples to put a social RPG and poker together. However, unfortunately this is not collaboration with a gamble and the social game(Japanese gamble is very complicated, and Japan does not have a casino). Probably this will be trendy one of the social games.


Nnf! nnf! "Nameko Saibai Kit" opened sites of Taiwanese and Korean

Nameko Saibai Kit(Mushroom Garden) series are popular popular in not only Japan but also the foreign countries. Then, Nameko official site "Namepara(Nameko Paradise)" opened a sites of Taiwanese and Korean yesterday.

They supported Japanese and English until now. However, many Nameko fans exist in Asia. Namepara posts contents about Nameko such as Manga, video, column, goods information, book information and event information every day. If this is performed by Taiwanese and Korean, fans of the two countries will be pleased very much.

In addition, Taiwanese Seven-Eleven carries out the campaign of Nameko-limited goods from today. Because these are the goods which are not released in Japan, I want this! :)


Japanese popular messaging apps LINE become Anime again. Besides, it's 30 min!

I wrote about popular message apps LINE became Anime in January.

See Also:
Japanese popular messaging appa LINE becomes Anime

However, this is a 5-minute short anime.

On the other hand, "LINE TOWN" starting on April 3 is a long anime of 30 minutes.

LINE TOWN is the comedy which popular characters of LINE stamp(sticker) such as moon, coney, brown, James, Jessica and Sally appears. It is broadcasted in PM6:30~7:00 in TV Tokyo every Wednesday. Furthermore, popular idol Shoko Nakagawa sings the theme song of opening and the ending.

GREE enters the trading card business

Today, GREE announced that they entered the trading card game business. The brand name is "Siegkrone"(this means the "crown of the victory" in German).

GREE has subsidiary GREE Entertainment Products dealing with merchandising business. They dealt with the goods sale of social games of GREE until now, but run Siegkrone in addition to them from now on.

The first series is cards using artwork of social game of GREE "Cerberus Age(聖戦ケルベロス)", and released on June 27. The original illustration works drawn newly are included in them. GREE starts promotion activity from the end of April.

Let's compare LINE CM of the world

Popular messaging apps LINE broadcasts TV CM frequently.

It does not seem to be only Japan. TV CM of LINE is broadcasted now in Spain, Indonesia and Vietnam. According to NHN Japan, in these 3 countries, the increase of LINE users is particularly remarkable.




Popular actors of each countries appear in CMs, and appeal the LINE stamp(sticker).


Rovio Japan established an office in Tokyo, Shibuya

Rovio Japan opened an office in Tokyo, Shibuya. The representative is Antti Sonninen. Address is here.
8F 3-15-4, Shibuya, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo

Furthermore, they concluded licensing agreement with Sanrio fareast. They help with development in Japan of overseas characters. Above all, they are one company of the Sanrio group, the giant character business in Japan . This is an important business tie-up.

They do interesting goods sale "Minna no Kuji(みんなのくじ:Lottery for all people)" in all over Japan. This is marketing technique peculiar of Japan. The people pull a lottery at Lawson(convenience store) and the bookstore. One time of lottery is 500yen(about 5.2USD), they do not have a loser. The people can get one of goods of Angry Birds by all means.

This technique resembles Gacha closely. However, a vending machine is necessary for Gacha. However, it is not necessary for "Minna no Kuji" and can offer a large-sized prize. The size of stuffed toy of Bird and Pig are more than 30 centimeters.

Unfortunately, "Minna no Kuji" is hardly performed in Tohoku:( I want to pull a lottery very much. and to do it by all means if I go to Tokyo.