LINE IPO & SoftBank's divestments with Serkan Toto

LINE IPO & SoftBank's divestments with Serkan Toto
Serkan Toto from Kantan Games discussed the three recent events that impact the mobile gaming market from Japan to the rest of world: 1/ app store changes in Japan, 2/ LINE upcoming IPO and 3/ SoftBank divesting their games portfolio.

Serkan Toto from Kantan Games joined us for a conversation on the three recent events that impact the mobile gaming market from Japan to the rest of world. We analysed the progress of Nintendo’s new mobile games with the impact of the new Apple app store changes, the upcoming LINE IPO and why SoftBank is divesting their gaming portfolio: Gungho and Supercell. 

Here are the interesting show notes and links to the discussion (with time-stamps included):

  • Serkan Toto (@serkantoto, LinkedIn, Website), CEO of Kantan Games JP
  • State of mobile gaming in Japan [1:19]
    • How is the mobile gaming scene moving in Japan since we last spoke? [1:23]
    • Any updates on Nintendo’s continued foray into mobile gaming? [2:00]
    • Nintendo’s new mobile games: Fire Enblem (strategy) and Animal Crossing (farming simulation game) available in iOS and Android [2:30]
    • Niantic Labs (funded under Alphabet or Google), Pokemon and Nintendo’s joint venture: Pokemon Game. What happened with their field test? [3:30]
    • Any new business models or concepts arise from mobile gaming in Japan with introduction of AR and VR? [5:23]
    • Apple’s new app store changes and how it impact the mobile gaming space worldwide. [6:40]
  • LINE IPO [8:50]
    • Why did LINE attempt a dual listing in US and Japan? [9:13]
    • They have currently 215M monthly active users, with ARPU $5.10 vs Twitter ($7.27) & Facebook ($11.27). How are they going to demonstrate growth by revenue or new products? What is their growth story going to be? [10:00]
    • Interesting numbers: Kakao Talk has 50% monthly active users (MAUs) less than LINE, Wechat has 4x more MAUs (800 MAUs) to LINE.
    • Will LINE end up like Mixi being overwhelmed by Facebook? [11:18]
    • What’s LINE’s impact in the mobile gaming market? [13:05]
    • LINE’s focus on O2O services. [14:00]
    • Is this going to be the biggest tech IPO of the year? [15:16]
    • Should we be bullish or bearish about the IPO? [15:35]
  • SoftBank’s divestments [16:22]
    • Recently, SoftBank has been divesting their assets in the gaming industry: Gungho known for Puzzle and Dragons and Supercell known for clash of clans (to Tencent) and also their stake in Alibaba: US$8.9B (acquired by various major players, Alibaba, Temasek and GIC Singapore), what’s going on? Is it just trying to reduce their debt or raising money for something else for example, Sprint in US? [16:55]
  • What excites Serkan in the mobile gaming market? Reference with Square Enix [21:00]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Altizen Desk on Indiegogo (Twitter, Facebook, Medium). Also check out Ideal Workspace’s new standing desk, Altizen and sign up for their mailing list. Sound credits for the intro music: Taro Iwashiro, “The Beginning” from Red Cliff Soundtrack.