Japanese Social Network Wars: GREE Overtakes Mobage-town, Is Now Japan’s No. 2

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Mobile social gaming platform GREE‘s CEO Yoshikazu Tanaka repeatedly said in the last weeks he wants every Japanese to use GREE eventually (yeah, right). He also said he wants to beat direct rival Mobage-town in terms of user base in six months, and Mixi in twelve months.
That was in September. And today, at the end of October, the Nikkei (Japan’s answer to the Wall Street Journal) reports Tanaka already reached the first goal. As of the end of September, GREE’s user base stood at 15.12 million after the mobile- and Japan-only social gaming platform added 750,000 new members in September.
In the same month, Mobage-town added just 190,000 new members but boosted its number of users to “just” 15.10 million.
So GREE’s aggressive marketing campaign in Japan works. The company has been advertising several games on billboards and on TV for the past couple of months (and spending $11 million per quarter in the process).
And GREE is aggressive in another field, too: Four weeks ago, it came to light that GREE is suing DeNA, the company behind Mobage-town, over copyrights related to a popular fishing game.
GREE also completely changed the concept of its PC offering, which isn’t really earth-shattering now but much, much better than before.
It will take a while to overtake Mixi, the Japan’s biggest social network (which sees about 60% of page views coming from mobile phones). Mixi last officially talked about its member base at the end of June, when it had 17.41 million people (at that point in time, GREE had just 12.6 million).
Via Nikkei [registration required, paid subsription]

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