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Conquering the Japanese Social Gaming World



Card-battle games are very popular among Japanese social game platforms. In the west also, the card-battle game has gained credence, as shown by the popularity of Pokemon on Gameboy, Magic and the Gathering.

Western social gamers are now slowly getting used to Japanese social games. Kids who have played the original Pokemon are now adults and more than willing to try similar games. Former Game Boy users will still play card-battle style games or RPGs on the browser or with smartphones.

Social games have grown hugely with Facebook. Zynga is one company which exhibited phenomenal growth due to this market, earning more than $317 million during the first quarter of 2012. This is still nowhere near the earnings of rival GREE which had earnings of $558 million for the same period, catering mainly to the Japanese market.

Lately, GREE and DeNA have been focusing on expanding outside of Japan. With a better model for monetizing their mobile game apps, these Japanese firms should be able to grow abroad while maintaining their domestic stranglehold.

It is safe to say that having a Japanese partner or distribution channel helps foreign market entrants no end. Even then, success is not guaranteed. For smaller companies, partnering with Japanese distribution channels is sensible. Localization and culturization is required for any app to compete in the Japanese market. The additional customization by a third-party on the ground makes the app more acceptable to consumers. Mobile games in Japan are very Japanese. Cultural motifs play a major part in the design and game play.

Game culturization via a Japanese distribution channel makes for sound strategy for anyone wishing to conquer Japan.

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About the Guest Author:

Rodolfo Lentejas, Jr

Rodolfo Lentejas, Jr. is a fulltime freelance writer based in Toronto. He is the founder of the PostSckrippt, a growing online writing business dedicated to producing top quality, original and fresh content. To know more about him, please visit Like him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest.

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