I can’t say I am surprised: DeNA today announced they will form a joint venture with Grasshopper Manufacture, the maker of games like No More Heroes, Shadows Of The Damned, Killer 7, or Lollipop Chainsaw. The joint venture company, provisionally named “Grasshopper Social Network Service”, will be established within this month.
The goal is to develop mobile social games – exclusively for Mobage on smartphones, in Japan and other markets. DeNA says that under the joint venture, Grasshopper will “transfer its existing mobile games resources to Grasshopper Social Network Service and DeNA will provide support for the company’s game development.”
The main bullet point here is that DeNA wants to “lock in” the talent and reputation of famed game maker Goichi Suda (aka Suda51), who is the CEO of Grasshopper Manufacture, for Mobage.
Suda founded his company back in 1998. He was one of the five star game creators that inked an exclusive deal with DeNA in July this year for social game development on Mobage (Suda announced one of his goals is to develop the most violent social game and offer it worldwide).
GREE stock has been growing rapidly in recent months, and today the company reported some impressive revisions in their earnings estimates for the fiscal year (which, for GREE, ends in June 2012)
GREE is now projecting sales to reach US$1.67 billion to US$1.8 billion (that’s up 40-44.4% from the previous projection), while the company expects operating profit to hit between US$770 million and US$900 million (+ 40-50%).
The company also expects higher numbers (between 39.2 and 50% more) for ordinary profit and net income, saying it was able to monetize games better than previously expected.
GREE’s new estimates can be found here (in English).
DeNA issued its financial report for the second quarter of this fiscal year today, and year-on-year, the numbers look pretty good: sales reached US$457 million for the quarter (which ended on September 30), which translates to a 28% plus year-on-year. Operating income hit US$203 million (+13%).
The situation doesn’t look as rosy when comparing how numbers changed from Q1 to Q2 this fiscal though: sales have been flat (+/-0%), and operating income even shrank by 3% (DeNA president Isao Moriyasu said the delay in rolling out first party games for Mobage in recent months was to blame).
DeNA’s full financial report for Q2 2011 can be downloaded from here (in English).
Nanami Madobe (Madobe Nanami in Japanese name order) was originally an unofficial character appeared from an Akihabara shop, became an official later before Cloud girl and Hyper-V girl. Nanami is from Japanese seven("nana")=7, and Madobe means "windows-side" in Japanese.
The bundled Nanami Madobe items are;
original video on which Nanami explains Microsoft Touch Mouse
Gree announced today that it revised up its annual sales outlook from its original forecast 90-100 billion yen(US$1.15-1.28 billion) to 130-140 billion yen(US$1.67-1.80 billion). Net income is expected to increase 11 billion yen (US$141 million) as well.
This upward revision is due to higher rate of social game monetization, the release said.
Reason for revision
Fiscal 2011 Q1, as seen in the last fiscal year, has shown stable paid service sales, with
monetization of social games on our social networking service (SNS) GREE increasing at a
higher rate than originally expected. Considering this level, we have revised our annual
estimates for Net Sales, Operating Profit, Ordinary Profit and Net Income, which are
expected to exceed our previous estimates.
We have considered increased costs for enhancing data centers, increased advertising costs,
increased labor costs and recruiting costs with the expanding business, and increased costs
related to offices overseas such as the Americas, Europe, and Asia, in addition to recent
financial performance when revising our estimates
Mantan-web reported [J] that the dramatized version of popular social game Kaitou Royal, on Japan's large social game network Mobage by DeNA, got 4.2% audience rate in Kanto-area (greater Tokyo and around) by Video Research's research at its first week episode.
4.2% at 0:20 after the midnight is not so bad. It is about 1.6 million people according to the rate-and-population chart on Video Research site [J].
Japan, the broadband Internet country is having new Internet connection service under the name of AKB48, Japan's most popular girls group.
On the top image, one of the most popular member Yuko Oshima is "breastfeeding" a baby and the caption says "will you make a baby with me?"
The ISP offers free application AKBaby (AKB + baby), which compose baby face from AKB48 member and you. You upload your face and choose an AKB48 member, you will get the baby photo with the member.
The provider costs 1,480 yen monthly. You also need either optical or ADSL internet connection by NTT East or NTT West. (It is possible that enthusiastic AKB48 fans could want multiple memberships, but I could not find information if you can subscribe only AKB48 Net part without NTT contract.)
As a member of AKB Official Net, you will enjoy the following rewards,
Internet connection service (of course!)
AKBaby application explained above
advanced distribution of AKB48 movies
right to purchase a special e-mail address with your favorite member's sub domain (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org, atchan is one member's nickname)
AKB48 official fan club member contents, including 1) right to request song and 2) queuing tickets for AKB48 theater booking
AKB48 is known by its election business, where they hustle fans into purchasing more than one CDs to push their favorite member up on the inside-group ranking (Wikipedia English). That is well designed voting entertainment such like The US presidential nominating caucuses and primaries. AKB48 does not reach any political achievement, but I see similarity in collecting huge money from supporters.
In May, there was a report that one fan bought 5,500 of the same CD for "voting". Although some say that this 5,500 CD story is a fake, there are many anecdotes on 2-channel and other sites that AKB fans buying 10-100 CDs to support his girl and get a special treatment such like hand-shake with her.
In September, nation-wide real-estate agent chain Apa Man Shop introduced AKB48 apartment [J], where the lessee can listen AKB48 members' (recorded) voice in their flat.
It is becoming more and more convenient for Japanese AKB48 fans to show their loyalty for their Oshimen (a generated word on this AKB48 phenomenon means "A member you support").
At its “First Competition of Young Entrepreneurs,” the Korea Entrepreneurship Foundation awarded the top prize (worth 50,000,000 KRW approximately $45,000, along with the opportunity to receive mentoring from established entrepreneurs) to the “StyleShare” team, who through their product seek to provide a service aimed at sharing fashion-info and thoughts with those around through using the provided app or website.
Ja-Young Yoon, a representative of the StyleShare team, explained the background to the planning of the service. When walking along the street, who has not seen somebody wearing something particularly sophisticated and wondered where they bought that, for how much, and “would it suit me?” It’s difficult to find answers to such thoughts within the crowded streets of today. With the premise of providing such fashion-info quickly and wherever, the fashion-based social-networking service (SNS) “StyleShare” was born.
At the end of June, Ms. Yoon was in Boston, USA, where she took part in the “Mass Challenge Accelerator,” a sort of Business-Venture Competition. This year roughly 750 teams from 24 countries took part in the preliminaries of this competition with 125 teams being selected during the 2 months of the preliminary rounds to fight it out in the finals. Of those 125, 122 teams were from America. StyleShare was the only team from Asia to have been successful in making the final 125.
In the recent Young Entrepreneurs Competition, a total of 445 teams gathered from around Korea with fierce competition being shown right from the preliminaries, from which a cut was made with 10 finalists being selected to make a presentation. For the 10 teams who have made the cut, a team grant worth 50,000,000 KRW (or approximately $45,000) awaits them along with mentoring from already established and successful venture capitalists.