The Japan Mobile Gaming Market Consolidation with Serkan Toto

The Japan Mobile Gaming Market Consolidation with Serkan Toto
Serkan Toto, CEO of Kantan Games JP, discuss the consolidation of Japan's mobile gaming market and the progress of the Nintendo-DeNA deal. He offered tips to how any game developer in the world can crack into Japan and the impact of negative interest rates to Japan's economy.

Serkan Toto, co-founder and CEO of Kantan Games JP, joined us to discuss the major trend of consolidation happening in real time within Japan’s mature and sophisticated mobile gaming industry. We discussed the progress of the Nintendo-DeNA deal and where the major players are heading in this challenging year. While discussing the broader trends, Serkan also offered his tips and perspectives on how game developers from independent to established players all over the world need to think about before entering Japan. Last but not least, Serkan discussed the impact of negative rates in Japanese economy and gaming industry.

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

  • Serkan Toto (@serkantoto, LinkedIn, Website), CEO & founder of Kantan Games JP
    • What are the interesting happenings in Japan’s mobile gaming industry? [0:49]
  • The major trend in Japan’s Mobile Game Industry: Consolidation [1:20]
    • How is Japan’s mobile gaming industry compared to the rest of the world? [1:27]
    • Japan as a mature and sophisticated mobile gaming industry: Average Rate Per Paying User in Gaming – $55-$60 per user [2:40]
    • Based on Serkan’s analysis in Casual Connect 2015: ~500-700 mobile game providers, 40 listed companies in the mobile gaming space, ~20 game platforms, 3 major companies (DeNA, Gree & LINE) 
    • Who are the major players in Japan’s mobile gaming marketing? [3:33]
    • What are the recent events in 2015/2016 that led to the conjecture that the trend is leading towards consolidation? [4:46] 
    • What are the indicators that we should be watching that will show that consolidation is happening in the Japanese mobile game industry? [7:33]
    • Consolidation of gaming platforms and what is happening to Gree and DeNA in the featured phone game market? [8:26]
    • What is happening to Gree after the Nintendo-DeNA deal? [9:40]
    • With mobile gaming companies going public, for example, MyNet, how will the trend of consolidation impact the market?  [11:23]
  • Whatever happened to the Nintendo-DeNA deal? [12:05]
    • Since our last conversation, how has the Nintendo-DeNA deal gone? 
    • Preregistration of Miitomo by Nintendo.
    • Has Nintendo published any mobile games? If so, what are the reviews so far? 
    • Niantic Labs (invested by Google, Nintendo and Pokemon Company) has a presence in Japan and said to have an interesting interplay between AR/VR with gaming, what will be their impact in the Japanese market? Niantic labs are known for the game, Ingress for Google Play. [13:53]
    • Is AR/VR gaming going to supercede Japan mobile gaming in 2016? [15:40]
  • Cracking into the Japanese Market
    • Given that Japan is the largest mobile gaming market in the world, what are the ways for foreign gaming companies to enter Japan? [18:00]
    • How are these foreign gaming companies perform so far in Japan? [20:56]
  • What is the impact of negative interest rates in the Japanese economy and how it impacts the gaming industry? [23:59]

Podcast Information:

The show is hosted by Bernard Leong (@bleongcw) and are sponsored by Ideal Workspace (Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn) with their new Aspirus Desk on Indiegogo (Twitter, Facebook, Medium) and Linkcious (and check out their other product, Chiibi). Also check out Ideal Workspace’s new standing desk, Aspirus and sign up for their mailing list.