Mobile and Internet technology have reportedly assisted the unprecedented growth of social games in Japan, as well as in other countries populated by die-hard game players. New Japanese game companies like Gree, Inc. and DeNA are dominating the social-games market with their card-battle games that allow members to actively interact and influence each other’s gaming style. This development is making previous big players and console-game manufacturers like Nintendo, Sony and Microsoft to reform and compete on equal footing with these dynamic newcomers.
The gaming industry is a huge one, with an estimated turnover of about $78 billion. However, the most interesting part of this issue is that the percentage taken up by mobile social games has increased tremendously from almost nothing a few years ago to about $4.36 billion a year. These statistics point to a progressive increase in this area of gaming industry, where Japan has reportedly held a leading position. Developers and companies marketing social games were, at earliest times, able to market their social games on most locally produced Japanese phones that allow graphics and game play structures. This was even before the invention of smartphones and other new generation of mobile telephony.
Seeing the possibility of becoming the leader in social games industry, Japanese gaming companies are modifying their games to meet the tastes of foreign (western) games players. Take for instance: DeNA attested that the three games on its Mobage network—namely, card-battle game “Rage of Bahamut”, role-playing game “Blood Brothers” and battle game “Ninja Royale” are reportedly staying on the Top Ten of the best downloaded games on U.S. Chart for Google Play.
Responding to an interview in the just concluded Tokyo Game Show (September 20,212), Isao Moriyasu, the Chief Executive of DeNa confidently said that “We want to build social games up into an industry where it can become the next area of global strength for Japan.” The belief is that Japan is positioning itself as a viable leader in social-games with the expectation of commanding a lion’s share of the global gaming industry.
New Japanese game companies like Gree are considering acquiring franchises from large console-game players with the hope of bringing their console games into the social games world. In the pipeline are the deals between Gree and Konami Corps for its console game “Metal Gear Solid”; Ubisoft Entertainment SA for its “Assassin’s Creed”; and Capcom Co. for its “Monster Hunter”.
Social games also offer these new Japanese gaming companies the opportunities of monetizing their offerings through the sale of virtual goods, weapons and additional powers. As a sign of good things to come, Shin Unozawa, the Chairman of the Computer Entertainment Suppliers’ Association said that “I used to think the videogame industry moved fast, but this social-game market moves three times as fast.”
This observation is also reflected in the statement of Yoshikazu Tanaka, Gree’s CEO, who believes that smartphones will eventually offer better graphics, more processing power and bigger memory than other video game devices that are currently in use. However, he might also have been considering the challenges that increased gaming activities would bring to the gaming companies’ executives, who would have to worry about dealing with increased storage, memory, security requirements.
Invariably, social game developers would have to design the appropriate mechanism for storing their clients’ games so as to provide uninterrupted gaming procedures. To achieve this, it means they have to adopt cloud computing that would offer both the developers and the players the unique chance of storing their games’ data in the cloud. This will not only guarantee uninterrupted gaming activities, it will also add value to the joy of playing social games, since players will not need to worry about losing any vital information or suddenly get bumped out of their games due to lack of adequate storage facility.
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About the Guest Author:
Jerry Olasakinju, a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) degree holder, is a passionate researcher and writer whose interest in everything computing is unparalleled. He blogs about his literary works at http://jerryolasakinju.blogspot.jp/