Hot Five

Japanese mobile games trends for 2018, mobile stock winners and losers, and Tencent opens up mini-games platform

Japanese mobile games trends for 2018, mobile stock winners and losers, and Tencent opens up mini-games platform

Japan remains one of the hottest mobile games markets in the world, and in recent times the makeup of the sector has been changing.

According to an App Annie study, Japan’s mobile games revenues rose 35 per cent in 2017 and in doing so outpaced the US. So as mobile games developers look to the land of the rising sun for expansion, AppLovin MD International Johannes Heinze gave us the rundown of what’s going up in the Japanese mobile charts.

Second on our Hot Five was contributing editor and data maestro Jon Jordan’s peak into how mobile games companies stocks are looking in 2018 and how it differs from the same point in 2017.

WeChat, AdColony lays off staff and unicorn juggernauts 

Elsewhere, internet goliath Tencent welcomed external developers to its mini-games platform on WeChat for the first time and offered up a 30 to 50 per cent share of revenue made from in-game advertisements.

Also on our Hot Five was the news that mobile ads firm AdColony had laid off a number of senior staff in a bid to become more profitable, and a guest post from Atomico partner Mattias Ljungman on why the European games industry is a “non-stop unicorn juggernaut".


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  • 5 "The European games industry is a non-stop unicorn juggernaut"

    "The European games industry is a non-stop unicorn juggernaut" logo

    According to Atomico partner Mattias Ljungman the European games industry is a “non-stop unicorn juggernaut".

    China aside, the European ecosystem of technology reigns supreme in the realm of games as more than a quarter (25.9 per cent) of all the billion-dollar-plus games companies founded over the last 15 years were born here.

    Among them is a slew of Scandinavian household names such as Supercell (Finland), King (Sweden/UK), Rovio (Finland), Mojang (Sweden) and games engine-maker Unity (Denmark). In contrast, the US has just three.

    While China does reign supreme Ljungman notes that if you focus on the top 10 mobile games by revenue (2017), the gap narrows considerably, with Europe on 28 per cent to China’s 36 per cent, thanks to Supercell and King.


  • 4 AdColony cuts senior staff as it eyes profitability

    AdColony cuts senior staff as it eyes profitability logo

    Mobile ads firm AdColony parted with a number of senior staff in a bid to become profitable.

    As reported by AdExchanger, the firm has let go of number of executive-level employees which includes VP of performance Tim O’Neil.

    It’s reported that job roles associated with growth, publisher biz dev, marketing and project management for the company’s SDK are also affected by the redundancies.

    “There have been a lot of changes at the leadership level,” said AdColony COO Şekip Can Gökalp.

    “We want to grow the company, and fast, and the most recent changes are purely down to cost savings. We want to be a leaner organisation that can act fast.”


  • 3 Tencent opens up WeChat mini-games platform to external devs

    Tencent opens up WeChat mini-games platform to external devs logo

    Internet giant Tencent has opened up its mini-games platform for WeChat to external developers for the first time.

    The mini-games are not too dissimilar to Facebook Instant Games with available titles requiring no additional download to play.

    The new batch of games were released on April 4th 2018. Studios currently stand to make 30 to 50 per cent of revenue made from in-game advertisements, while Android developers will also be able to sell virtual items through the platform.

    Overall the WeChat messaging app has over one billion monthly active users, making it an exciting opportunity for developers.


  • 2 2018 so far for mobile game company stock

    2018 so far for mobile game company stock logo

    In a study of the stock performances of games companies in the first three months of 2018, our contributing editor and data sleuth Jon Jordan found that companies have been faced with more challenging conditions than that in 2017.

    Notably during the calendar year of 2017 only two established companies, Japanese outfits DeNA and Sega Sammy, experienced a decline in their stock value.

    2018 paints a different and less pretty picture as 20 companies have seen their shares decrease in the first quarter, as opposed to the 16 that saw an increase in the same period.

    Looking closer Jon Jordan also found that the trend reflected in the largest games companies that have a large mobile games component as six saw their share price increase, while seven saw it decline.


  • 1 The must know Japan mobile games trends for 2018

    The must know Japan mobile games trends for 2018 logo

    As developers look to launch their titles in Japan amidst a 35 per cent rise in mobile games revenue in 2017, AppLovin MD International Johannes Heinze gave us a rundown of what’s going up in the Japanese charts.

    Two facts that have emerged out of the data hand-in-hand is that Japanese players are much more engaged than their global counterparts and opened up games apps more than twice as much as players in the United States.

    It unifies itself with the fact role-playing games and casual titles are the poison of choice in Japan, taking up over 55 per cent of mobile downloads between June 2016 and June 2017.

    With a high-engagement in mobile RPG titles with in-app purchases, the picture may become clear as to why Japan has become so profitable.

    However, as 2018 rolls on with the battle royale craze we could be in for a shakeup, as Knives Out has proven to be particularly popular in Japan. 


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