serkan AT kantan-games.co.jp

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GREE To Start Selling Physical Card Games In Japan

Growth in Japan’s social gaming market is starting to slow down, competition is increasing, and internationalization isn’t going as well as expected.

So what can you do as a mobile game platform provider?

While Mobage operator DeNA continues to do m-commerce and started branching out into social music, GREE is currently offering a social TV app, a photo sharing app, a paid newsletter and is selling physical products based on their games’ characters. (With comm and GREE Messenger, both companies also offer chat apps).

Merchandising (in a broader sense) seems to be an area in which GREE wants to become more active: the company now plans to sell (physical) trading cards based on card battle games offered on the GREE platform.

Starting in June, subsidiary GREE Entertainment Products will start offering “4-6” different card games on the Japanese market, according to The Nikkei.

These cards will be sold under a new brand called “SiegKrone”. The first two sets (50 cards each) will be offered for 1,300 Yen (US$13.60) each on June 27. For this first run, GREE has chosen its popular card battle game “Cerberus Age” (which is also available in English by the way), a title with over 1,000 cards in its social game version.

The Nikkei mentions that the Japanese market for trading card games was worth US$1.1 billion in 2011 – or about a fourth of what the social game market is projected to be worth in this country in 2013.

This is a very interesting experiment and another indicator of how mature the mobile social gaming market in Japan has become: expect a lot more of these side businesses to come out of DeNA and GREE going forward.

Siegkrone logo and Cerberus Age cards:

gree siegkrone

gree siegkrone 2

 

 

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.