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Shiro Neko Project: Colopl Releases Its Next Big Game

Colopl (3668), which I last year called the biggest Japanese mobile game maker you never heard of, has released its next big game on iOS today.

The company, which is currently boasting a US$4 billion market cap, has very high hopes in the title. Colopl has also produced mega hit Quiz RPG.

On Android, the new game, a 3D action RPG called Shiro Neko Project (White Cat Project), was published on July 14 already. It has been off to a great start and is currently ranked at 3 in free downloads on Google Play and a very strong 12 in the grossing chart.

Colopl is marketing Shiro Neko as an easy to control “one-finger RPG” – which is really strange especially in a market like Japan, where a key design specification for a lot of mobile games is to make it possible for users to play them with one finger (Puzzle & Dragons, Colopl’s own Quiz RPG, Monster Strike, etc. etc.).

colopl 3668 shironeko project

To make it short:
Shironeko is certainly a good game with high production value, but I am a little surprised about the early success of the Android version.

It’s very heavy on battles, which are not round- and menu-based but fought in real-time. In other words, despite the “one-finger” marketing slogan, Shiro Neko should actually be tougher and more “hectic” to play for many light users – especially in later stages.

Speaking of battles, up to 4 users can fight together simultaneously. “One finger” in this case means that characters can be moved from A to B by dragging one’s finger over the screen, while enemies can be fought by tapping on the screen. Skill-based attacks can be pulled off with only one finger as well:

The quests in Shiro Neko are interrupted from time to time by scripted story sequences for which Colopl used a number of famous Japanese voice actors.

What I personally found enjoyable is that the game also lets players create and let characters interact with each other in their own towns.

This city-building part is supposed to drive the story forward in different ways and also makes it possible for players to evolve their characters, i.e. by improving weapons for the more challenging battles and boss fights.

Here is the official Shiro Neko Project trailer:

Mixi’s Monster Strike Passes 10 Million Downloads

Mixi (2121) today announced that its action RPG “Monster Strike” has passed the 10 million downloads mark on iOS and Android on July 19. The number includes users from Japan and Taiwan: in February, Mixi closed a deal with Tencent to distribute Monster Strike in China, but the game is still only available in two markets. Monster Strike was launched in Japan…

Puzzle & Dragons Hits 29 Million Downloads, GungHo Delays Update Puzzle & Dragons W

Japan’s top smartphone game Puzzle & Dragons hit 29 million downloads, maker GungHo Online Entertainment (3765) announced today. The number was reached inside Japan only (on iOS, Android, and Amazon Kindle). What’s interesting to note here is that the growth rate, the time it takes Puzzle & Dragons to add one million users, is slowing down. A total of…

Announcement: My Company “Kantan Games, Inc.” Is Official

If you have accessed this site over the past few weeks, you may have noticed this banner popping up quite prominently: The banner links to the site of my consultancy, “Kantan Games, Inc.” (in English and Japanese). “Kantan” is Japanese for “simple” or “light”. I actually formalized and incorporated this business last year but now…

Report: Japan’s Console Game Market Remains Stable In First Half Of 2014

Major Tokyo-based magazine publisher Enterbrain has released an update on the status quo of the Japanese console game industry. According to the owner of Japan’s biggest video game magazine Famitsu, the domestic market in the first half of 2014 reached US$1.685 billion in size, having moved sideways when compared to 2013. Here are the details of the report. Japan’s console…

From Wright Flyer Studios: GREE’s Next Big Game Is Out In Japan

As its big competitor, Mobage operator DeNA (2432), GREE (3632) is still waiting for its first big hit on smartphones. Today, GREE’s new subsidiary “Wright Flyer Studios”, which was established earlier this year, is trying again with a new app.  “Ten To Daichi Megami No Mahou” (roughly: “Magic Of The Goddess Of Heaven And Earth”) is now…

Picotto Kingdom: Puzzle & Dragons Maker GungHo Releases New Game In Japan

After quite a long time, Puzzle & Dragons maker GungHo Online Entertainment (3765) has released a new mobile game in Japan today, Picotto Kingdom. In contrast to recent GungHo games like Summons Board or Divine Gate however, this title is not “original” but based on Picotto Knights, a free-to-play Vita action RPG that was published in 2012. Another point…

LINE Ties Up With Salesforce To Provide Targeted Ads To Users

According to a report just published in the Nikkei Keizai Shimbun Online, LINE Corp. is planning to combine user data with a cloud CRM solution from to deliver targeted ads to the users of its messenger app. The new ad service is exclusively aimed at companies that are operating official accounts on the platform. There are…