Coverage of Mobage Open Platform Forum 2012

Last Wednesday 25th took place the annual Mobage Open Platform Forum. A huge event, with hundreds of attendees and lots of presentations. Still, the most interesting points were related with the need of making Japanese mobile social games global.

The message from DeNA to the developers was crystal clear: go abroad and go ASAP. Localize language, but don’t mind to localize any other thing: you need to be out in 2/3 months, it’s now or never.

They are basing their assumption in the recent success of Rage of Bahamut from CyGames, which just hit the 1st place of top-grossing apps at Google Play (press release here [EN]). Seems like the KPIs of this game in America are really close to the Japanese KPIs, a shocking fact since nobody believed it was possible to replicate the Japanese ARPU abroad. As DeNA CEO Isao Moriyasu and ngmoco CEO Neil Young said, this demonstrate that the browser games can work in America, and of course that represents a huge opportunity.

So the idea is: keep the Japanese core of the game because it works. Not only Rage of Bahamut is being successful, TapFish (10th) and Ninja Royale (14th, with an ARPDAU multiplied x6 since launching) are showing there is a way to go.

Some of the advises of ngmoco CEO Neil Young to the audience:

  1. Make the game focusing on monetization.
  2. Take part of all available platforms: Android, iOS, etc.
  3. Localize not only to English, but French, German and Spanish as well.
  4. Take in account the cultural differences about theme, art and UI.

DeNA is recommending to develop web and app hybrid games, since they are easier to update and multiplatform. In that direction, they presented PEX, a tool to convert HTML5-Javascript games to native apps improving velocity and capabilities (it will be available by the end of may); and also an update of ngCore, their tool for making native apps, remarkably improving the performance of the previous version.

For those on Big Data business, they also talked about their needs regarding managing huge amounts of information, since they have 40 million users and 2 billion data-points every day.

About the presentations of new games, the most interesting one was shipped by BNDeNA, showing a Macross game with lots of 3D action as well as social interactions with other players; actually it looks more like a console game than a mobile social game.

BNDeNA presentation

(DeNA CEO Isao Moriyasu and BNDeNA CEO Shin Unozawa, this one a little bit embarrassed about the name of his company)

Finally, the Mobage Awards 2012: Platinum Prices were given to Sengoku Collection (Konami), Rage of Bahamut (CyGames) and Idolmaster (Bandai-Namco); the Partner of the Year was Gloops (price handed out by the idol Yui Aragaki).


Gloops’ “Legend Card” English Version Released For Global Market

gloops, Inc. [J] who run the social game for Mobage “Dai-Sodatsu!! Legend Card,” has released an English version as “Legend Cards” and held an exhibit at the 2011 Tokyo Game Show.

“Dai-Sodatsu!! Legend Card” is a card game style social RPG.  Players gather and build up cards which have been scattered around the world and battle in the arena.  The game revolves around matching power with companions and acquiring a “Legend Card,” proof of who is strongest, and over 450 cards appear in the game.  At first offered for feature phones on Mobage, now it is also offered for smartphones.
While the release of “Legend Cards” includes the same unchanged Japanese parts from “Oh-Sodatsu!! Legend Card” entirely written in English, the main visuals have been significantly altered.

Here are the main visuals for “Oh-Sodatsu Legend Card.”  The lovely characters are arranged as such.

On the other hand, here we have “Legend Cards.”  Compared with the “Oh-Sodatsu . . .” above, the design is fairly cooled off.  This reflects the preference of overseas gamers.  It seems that after all overseas gamers favor more realistic graphics over “Moeru” (enrapture) cutesy graphics.  However it seems that preferences of Chinese, Taiwanese, Korean, and other Asian countries’ people are similar to those of Japanese people.
Although it seems the “Legend Cards” exhibit was intended to appeal to western media, actually press from various countries visited the booth.

(“All the limited “Dragon Legend” cards have been distributed.”)

Also the general opening day was a great success, as many guests seeking the “Oh-Sodatsu!! Legend Card” and “Oh-Shingeki!! Dragon Kishidan” serial code printed cards came to visit, and all the cards which had been prepared ran out before noon
Furthermore, the “Oh-Sodatsu!! Legend Card” official guidebook is now being sold by enterbrain co.

Oh-Sodatsu!!  Legend Card official guidebook (Famitsu walkthrough book) [J]

[Tokyo Game Show Report] Translation authorized by VSmedia