In a continuation of his talk from Casual Connect’s conference in Asia earlier this year, Dr. Serkan Toto, Founder and CEO of Kantan Games spoke at Casual Connect USA about the possibilities the world’s largest mobile gaming market offers to foreign developers. He highlighted the size and structure of the Japanese game landscape, key differences to the West, efficient modes of entry for foreign game makers, and successful case studies from the past. “If you are a foreign game developer, the first thing you need to understand is that it’s an extremely mature and sophisticated market already”, he said.
While many game developers are getting disenchanted with Kickstarter, crowdfunding successes are still popping up often enough to make it a tempting option. Late last week, Muv-Luv rocketed past its $250k goal to hit $350k in less than 24 hours. Unlike the prototypical video game projects on Kickstarter, however, Muv-Luv isn’t a new game offering a fresh take on a classic genre. Quite the opposite, it’s an English-language localization of a visual novel trilogy, an example of a genre obscure in most parts of the world.
As the moderator of the Publishing Panel, Chris Natsuume, Business Director of Boomzap Entertainment, led the discussion at Casual Connect Asia about the booming Southeast Asia market. Opportunities and challenges abound in the region, “As this part of the world gets more interesting, people from outside are going to want to get involved in this.”
In his Casual Connect Asia lecture, Minoru Yanai said the idea of an “Asian market” for apps and mobile games is a myth. “Asia is all different countries,” he says. “In Taiwan, China and Japan, for example, only a few games are the same in the Top 10.” For his breakdown of strategies specific to Japan, see the video below.
Dr. Serkan Toto mapped out some of the pitfalls in the Japanese mobile games market during his Casual Connect Asia lecture. “The first myth is that Japan is not much different from Korea or China or from Southeast Asia.” Serkan says. “It’s an intellectual mistake to think like that.”