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.

The Major Trend In Japan’s Mobile Game Industry Now? Consolidation.

Shortly after DeNA (2432) and GREE (3632) pioneered the concept of mobile gaming as the world knows it today (free-to-play business model, bite-sized content embedded in social networks to increase stickiness, data analysis to improve monetization, etc.) in 2006/2007 on feature phones, a flood of new developers entered the Japanese market. The acceptance of local users to consume and pay for…

dotGEARS: Flappy Bird Developer Signs Deal With Japan’s OBOKAIDEM

dotGEARS, the Vietnam-based studio behind global mega hit Flappy Bird, signed a deal with OBOKAIDEM, a game brand operated by Tokyo-based Media Kobo (3815). The announcement was made public last Friday (but has flown under the radar of English-language game media so far). Launched just last year, OBOKAIDEM has released several apps aimed at the Japanese and global…

Nintendo Partner And Pokemon Go Developer Niantic Labs Opens Japan Office

US-based Niantic Labs, the Google spin-off that Nintendo (7974), The Pokemon Company and Google itself invested US$20 million in back in October, now has a presence in Japan. The company made it into the headlines in the gaming world in September as Nintendo’s chosen partner for the co-development of Pokemon Go, a GPS-based mobile game using augmented…

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…

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…