More bad news for GREE and DeNA, but Mixi's on the up thanks to Monster Strike

Weekly digest from Tokyo

More bad news for GREE and DeNA, but Mixi's on the up thanks to Monster Strike

As well as being one of the largest mobile game markets by revenue, Japan is currently also one of the most dynamic.

It's a good opportunity, then, for PocketGamer.biz to hook up with Indie Navi, a site which is dedicated to the coverage of Japanese mobile and indie development.

Set up by two enthusiastic and experienced translators, you can find out more about the services they offer here or email info (at] indienavi.com.

Otherwise, let's get on with the show - the five most interesting stories from the Japanese mobile games industry.

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  • 5 MMORPG Klee performs well for loss-making Aeria

    MMORPG-lite Klee  has been doing the business for publisher Aeria, which posted Q1 2014 sales of ¥291 million yen ($2.9 million).

    However, the company still posted an operating loss of 254 million yen ($2.5 million).

    Aeria attributes the loss to advertising costs and ongoing investments, which overshadowed growing revenue through IAP through Klee, a game that was created by

    Sega alumni Takeshi Hirai, who participated in the development of fan favorites ShenMue  and Space Channel 5 Part 2.

  • 4 Deeper and down for DeNA, with FY14 sales decreasing 10%

    Investors in DeNA are also suffering. For its full 2014 financials, sales were ¥181 billion yen ($1.8 billion), down 10 percent year-on-year.

    Operating profit was ¥53 billion yen ($532 million), down 31 percent.

    And there were no bright spots as DeNA experienced decreased sales and operating profit every quarter of the fiscal year. Tellingly, these decreases were mirrored by decreases in revenue through DeNA's social media businesses.

  • 3 Mixi's last quarter is on the up

    Long overshadowed by DeNA and GREE, social mobile platform Mixi hasn't appeared to avoid the same fate when it comes to FY14 figures.

    It saw sales drop 4 percent year-on-year to ¥12 billion yen ($120 million), while operating profit was down 81 percent to ¥480 million yen ($4.8 million).

    Yet, Q4 2014 sales were up 143 percent and the company made a profit of $10 million compared to a loss of $1 million 12 months ago.

  • 2 GREE continues to slip away, with nine month sales down 14%

    Thanks to poor results, GREE's financials now receive close investor scrutiny, and there was no better news.

    For the first months of its 2014 financial year (from 1 July 2013 to 31 March 2014), it reported sales of ¥99 billion ($990 million), down 14 percent year-on-year.

    Operating profit was ¥29 billion ($290 million), down 29 percent.

    GREE attributed the decrease in sales to ongoing declines in purchases through the company's browser-based titles and titles for feature phones - a market that is declining quickly in Japan.

  • 1 Monster Strike dethrones Puzzle & Dragons

    The reason for Mixi's Q4 financial boost was the performance of its game Dragon Strike, which on 15 April, briefly stole the number one top grossing spot on the App Store games rankings in Japan, bringing to an end Puzzle & Dragons'  year-long streak.

    However, GungHo was quick to react, offering in-app incentives to users, which boosted its game back to the top, and leaving Monster Strike  fighting it out with Colopl's Quiz RPG for the #2 spot.

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