Bigger than GREE, Japanese gaming powerhouse Colopl hits $2.4 billion market cap

But does the firm have global ambitions?

Bigger than GREE, Japanese gaming powerhouse Colopl hits $2.4 billion market cap
Having filed an initial public offering (IPO) back in December, Japanese mobile gaming specialist Colopl (TYO:3668) is now worth more than GREE, reports Tokyo-based consultant Serkan Toto.

The company, which focuses solely on the Japanese market, now has a market cap of $2.4 billion. That puts it ahead of GREE on $1.8 billion and not all too far behind social gaming rival DeNA on $3 billion.

Colopl was an early mover on smartphones, pushing forward a preference for native apps rather than the browser-based games, though the company also releases feature phone titles.

Notably, it also runs its own social network, though Toto – speaking on his blog – claims it's the company's focus on "creating content instead of a platform" that has seen it amass value.

No platform play

"This is an area where hybrid platform and game providers DeNA and GREE have been failing in the last months," details Toto.

"Colopl's product portfolio consists of said platform, a few flagship titles (see below), and – most importantly in this context – over 50 smartphone games I would call 'average' to 'below average' in quality.

"In other words, Colopl is pumping out one title after the other on Android and iOS to rope in users and cross-promote other Colopl games (preferably those flagship titles that monetize well) inside these titles."

Some of the firm's biggest hits include card game Pro Baseball Pride, RPG Treasure Detective and quiz RPG Wizard & Wiz the Black Cat – the last of which is also available in English.

Global local?

With 40 million downloads amassed in Japan, previously Colopl's only English-language game was free-to-play release Dino Dominion on iOS and Android. But is this set to change?

"The popularity of smartphones is greatly changing the mobile game market," details president and CEO Naruatsu Baba on the firm's website.

"A new kind of entertainment is becoming part of our daily lives, and it is expanding throughout the world, not just in developed countries.

Treasure Detective

"A mobile game market is emerging on a scale never seen before. At Colopl, we are aiming to be the No. 1 smartphone entertainment company in the world."

[source: Serkan Toto]

With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.