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Sega And LINE Enter Marketing Partnership In Japan, Announce First Smartphone Game “Fortisia”

LINE Corp. and Sega Games (6460) announced a marketing partnership for mobile games in Japan during a joint press conference yesterday.

Not too surprisingly, Sega will act as the developer and publisher under the deal, while LINE Corp. will offer its messenger app as a platform for mass marketing and distribution.

The reason LINE gave for choosing this particular partner is Sega’s strong portfolio of mid-core games (at least over here on the Japanese market), a field LINE still struggles to expand into.

Sega’s motivation for teaming up with LINE is simple: the chat app boasts 50 million+ MAU in Japan alone, and while it currently offers 67 different titles on its LINE Game platform, the number of RPGs and other “non-casual” titles is relatively low.

(LINE Corp. said all of their games combined have been downloaded 605 million times since it started this business back in 2012.)

The two companies announced a series of LINE-exclusive games for the future and also unveiled the first app already, a 3D action RPG called Fortisia.

The game will offer real-time battles for up to four players, a chat function, “customizable avatars”, and a set of over 400 character cards in the first version.

Sega already accepts pre-registrations for the app, which will be released by year-end in Japan.

The two companies involved in the partnership didn’t elaborate on the possibility of future Sega/LINE games making it to international markets.

Here are some early Fortisia screenshots: fortisia sega line 3 fortisia sega line 2 fortisia sega line

Another IPO In Mobile Gaming In Japan: Tokyo-Based Mynet To Go Public Next Month

While Japan does barely produce any new smartphone game developers nowadays, the number of those going public continues to rise. The latest such company to get listed at the Tokyo Stock Exchange (at the Mothers market for high-growth and emerging stocks, to be more exact) is Mynet, a developer headquartered in Tokyo. While Mynet does have an office…

Video And Slides From My Presentation At Casual Connect 2015 In San Francisco

The Casual Games Association gave me the opportunity to speak at its Casual Connect 2015 event, one of the biggest of its kind worldwide, in San Francisco about the topic “Cracking Japan: How Foreign Developers Can Enter The World’s Most Lucrative Mobile Games Market”. Please find embedded below the entire presentation in the form of a YouTube video: The…

The Nintendo Shock: Which Predictions I Made Came True – And What’s Next?

It’s been five days since Nintendo (7974) surprised the world with further details on its smartphone plans. The news made the rounds on October 29 and shares of both Nintendo and partner DeNA (2432) have been falling in recent days, but the dust is slowly beginning to settle now. This is a good opportunity to have a quick…

I Will Speak At “Insert Coin” In Tokyo Next Week

Next week Wednesday, the 14th “Insert Coin” is scheduled to take place in Tokyo, an event series aimed at professionals working in the Japanese game industry. The topic this time is a post mortem of this year’s Tokyo Game Show – or in other words, a (bilingual) discussion on the status quo of the Japanese video and mobile gaming…

Why Pokemon GO Is Big News For Nintendo

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Japanese iOS App News Site AppBank Goes IPO

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Why Apple Banned Mixi’s Monster Strike, Or: What Are Serial Codes?

Mixi (2121) still hasn’t given an official reason why Apple pulled its mega hit Monster Strike from the Japanese App Store over the weekend (they are not obliged to), but the answer seems to be relatively simple. As I mentioned on Saturday (the day the app went offline), the official Monster Strike page was updated with a curt explanation according…