Author Archives: 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.

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…

Apple Removes Mixi’s Monster Strike From Japanese App Store (Update: It’s Back)

Update: The app returned early Sunday morning Japanese time. Monster Strike, the current top mobile game in Japan in terms of sales, has disappeared from the Japanese App Store today (Saturday Japan time). It wasn’t operator Mixi (2121) that pulled the app, but it seems that Apple just “erased” it without a prior warning. At the time of…

Konami To Close 31 Mobile Games In Japan Next Month

Canceled games, ousted star designers, exposed (bad) work conditions: Konami (9766) has not really been producing good news since it announced restructuring efforts around spring this year. And in about two weeks, starting from September 10, Konami Digital Entertainment will close a total of 31 mobile apps on iOS in Japan. The company also warns users that downloaded apps will not…

Monster Strike Now Pulls In US$4.2 Million Per Day In Japan

Monster Strike continues to print money for maker Mixi (2121). According to the latest financial report released by the company, the mega hit game pulled in a whopping US$378 million in sales between April 1st and June 30th. In other words, Monster Strike made Mixi US$4.2 million per day in that time frame, and the game isn’t showing any…

Three Podcasts (With Me) About Social Gaming In Japan, Nintendo On Mobile, And LINE

A total of three times in the past I was given the opportunity by Singapore-based mover and shaker Bernard Leong to speak with him about various tech-related topics in his podcast series “Analyse Asia”. As the name suggests, the focus of the interviews is on the Asian region, and I myself mainly spoke about the…

I Will Speak At Casual Connect In San Francisco Next Week

The Casual Games Association was kind enough to give me the opportunity to speak at Casual Connect 2015 next week. Casual Connect will take place from August 11-13 in San Francisco this year, with several thousand attendees expected. My lecture with the topic “Cracking Japan: How Foreign Developers Can Enter the World’s Most Lucrative Mobile…

GREE International (In SF) Apparently Lays Off 2/3 Of Workforce (Update: It’s Rather 1/3)

Update: Venturebeat has learned directly from GREE International COO Andrew Sheppard that around 30% (not 2/3) of the employees in the SF office were laid off. GREE International, the wholly owned US subsidiary operated by Japanese mobile gaming powerhouse GREE (3632), has apparently laid of 2/3 of its workforce. Neither GREE International nor GREE proper has officially confirmed…

Video And Slides From My Presentation At Casual Connect Asia 2015

I was given the opportunity to speak at Casual Connect Asia 2015 in Singapore back in May, covering (no surprise) the Japanese mobile gaming market during my 20-minute lecture. The title of the lecture is “Demystifying Japan: What Pitfalls And Chances Does The World’s Biggest Mobile Game Market Market Offer?”. The organizer of the event,…