serkan AT kantan-games.co.jp

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Zombie Jombie: GREE Rolls Out First US Game [Social Games]

Zombie Jombie – that’s the name of GREE‘s first game specifically designed for a non-Japanese audience. It took the company over a year to release a title outside its home market, and following a “stealth” test roll-out in the Canadian App Store, Zombie Jombie hit the US App Store a few hours ago.

Three things are interesting about the game:

  • it offers very Western artwork and design (it’s not the US version of a Japanese game either)
  • it’s a card battle game, a social game format that’s untested outside Japan
  • it integrates gacha, a special mechanism wildly popular in Japanese social games
GREE is apparently using Zombie Jombie as a test balloon before launching its globally unified platform sometime between next month and June, accompanied by a multi-million dollar marketing campaign for the US.

Best of luck to them, but I think they are facing an extremely tough uphill battle: winning against its mighty competitors and overcoming plain and simple indifference from American users will be tough (more on that from my perspective soon).

For GREE, I hope I am wrong, and it looks like Zombie Jombie for one already sees some traction. It hit the top 10 spot among all free games in the App Store (the company says it spent money on marketing the game in North America without specifying the amount – so take this with a grain of salt):

More coverage on Zombie Jombie in English:
TechCrunch
Venturebeat
Inside Mobile Apps

Trailer:

Serkan Toto About Serkan Toto
I am the CEO & Founder of Kantan Games, Inc., a Tokyo-based game industry consultancy focused on the Japanese market. Please subscribe to updates on this site via RSS or Email.