Breaking into new mobile gaming markets can be a risky gamble – especially considering the content of the game itself – but it can also be quite successful, as the market over there is hotter than ever. And apparently, the team at GREE knows this.
Earlier this year, the company teamed up with mobile phone carrier KDDI to develop, publish and localize specific games for the Japanese market, and, through an interview with Tech In Asia, vice president Yautaka Hori clarified exactly what the company is looking to do through said partnership, leading into the New Year.
Hori explained that Japan is like an “eccentric, older sister among mobile game markets,” and that “We want to get well away from card-battle RPGs or other niches that Japanese developers are historically strong in.” The team will work closely with developers who can create a massive online PC game-style experience, complete with deep gameplay and visuals, since those appear to be a hot trend at the moment.
Hori continued, “What excites us most of all, of course, is the idea of discovering truly trailblazing game modes that no one has even thought of yet, games that break the mold of what’s available in any market.”
The “midcore” market seems to be quite a focus for the company. “A lot of Japan’s recent growth has been in very casual games, but we think it’s getting to a tipping point now where we’re going to see growth in demand for greater depth in gameplay and a broadening in mobile game genres, particularly around the midcore,” said Hori. That said, the company would push forward beyond the typical puzzle games and casual affairs, seeking innovation. Aesthetics will play a huge part in this, according to Hori.
With KDDI as a partner, GREE wants to push forward as a primary mobile game publisher for the market. It’s already assigned half of its team to work on creative native games for the mobile front, but isn’t going to rush them into market. “We’d be delighted to publish far more if we see the right games,” explained Hori.
In addition, GREE will continue tweaking games for better success in Japan, and help them grow overall. “I can’t think of a better way to get started in Japan,” said Hori. “Here you have two mobile industry leaders ready to provide funding and advice to get the show rolling and then a whole range of support along the way. It’s the perfect gateway.”
The company’s first game under the new deal, Trifort, will release sometime this winter for mobile devices. We certainly wish them the best of luck.