DeNA (Mobage-town) Shuts Down Social Game “Bandit Nation” On Facebook

Back in May, Japan’s mobile gaming juggernaut DeNA ($3.8 billion market cap at the Tokyo Stock Exchange) took a serious step to bring Mobage-town (its highly successful mobile game community) global. DeNA formed a separate company for that endeavor (MiniNation KK) and localized a total of four games for Non-Japanese players, which were offered to iPhone users under a social network called MiniNation.

That social network and the four games it’s currently built around are still alive [iTunes link]. But today, MiniNation KK announced the Facebook version of Bandit Nation, the MiniNation game with the biggest potential, will be shut down on August 31. Bandit Nation, whose basic gameplay resembles that of Mafia Wars, is DeNA’s flagship game and biggest cash machine in the Japanese Mobage-town network (it’s called “Kaitou Rowaiyaru” there).

On Facebook, however, new user registration for Bandit Nation will stop as early as  July 31. It won’t be possible to purchase MiniCoins, MiniNation’s virtual currency, from that date on either. All users are urged to use their MiniCoins up before the service shuts down one month later.

That’s a pretty quick death, but DeNA has good reason to pull the plug: With around 250 new games appearing on Facebook every day, Bandit Nation has just attracted around 40,000 monthly active users on Facebook (and just over 3,000 people appear to play it on a daily basis).

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Dr. Serkan Toto is a German based in Tokyo. Like us, he is passionate about introducing Japanese IT to the rest of the world. Full-time, Serkan works as an independent web industry consultant for hedge funds, venture capital companies and start-ups worldwide. He is also a writer for mega tech blog network TechCrunch, covering Japan-related technology and web trends. This is Serkan's website. Follow Serkan on Twitter here.

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Serkan Toto

Dr. Serkan Toto is a German based in Tokyo. Like us, he is passionate about introducing Japanese IT to the rest of the world. Full-time, Serkan works as an independent web industry consultant for hedge funds, venture capital companies and start-ups worldwide. He is also a writer for mega tech blog network TechCrunch, covering Japan-related technology and web trends. This is Serkan's website. Follow Serkan on Twitter here.