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GungHo Reports Record Sales, Buys 70% Of US-Based Mobile Gaming Network Playphone

Puzzle & Dragons company GungHo Online Entertainment (3765) had a busy today here in Japan.

First, the company announced record numbers for the first three quarters of this year: GungHo’s revenue hit US$1.22 billion between January and September, which is 14.3% up compared to the same time frame last year.

In other words, GungHo boasted sales of roughly US$4.5 million per day between January and September: that’s a lot of magic stones that went over the counter.

The company is expecting October 2014 sales to reach US$120 million.

GungHo’s consolidated operating profit reached US$680 million (up 7.2%) for Q1-3, meaning the operating profit margin in that time frame exceeded a whopping 50%.

The main cash machine, Puzzle & Dragons, was launched in Japan in February 2012. It has now over 30 million downloads in this country alone and saw a major update this summer, when GungHo relaunched their hit app with Puzzle & Dragons W.

Second, the company said it is buying 70% of US-based mobile social gaming network Playphone.

This cannot be called a particularly surprising move, as a) GungHo’s global footprint is still very small and b) Playphone’s main strategy in recent years has been to partner up with carriers in regions like North America, the Middle East or East Asia to reach users there.

Numbers like this should be taken with a grain of salt, but today, Playphone claims it has “over 800 million subscribers”, making it the “world’s leading mobile social network”.

Details of the GungHo-Playphone deal were not disclosed. Both companies are planning to execute it by the middle of next month.

GungHo itself has announced an expansion to Singapore, as a gateway to reach players in East Asia, in August this year.

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Presentation: Trends In Mobile Gaming In Asia

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Here is an updated calendar of major free-to-play native apps that publicly traded  Japanese mobile game makers have announced for the coming months. Please note that these titles can be modified, canceled, or released at any given time. The list isn’t necessarily exhaustive, as games can get released without being announced before, for example. Details are subject to change. Please reach…