According to Nicolas Godement-Berline, general manager of Gumi, if you're looking to make money from the Japanese market, your best bet at the moment probably isn't releasing a game.
Instead, Godement-Berline suggests that right now there are two ways to break into the Japanese market.
First, if you've got money to invest, there's a lot of capital flowing in and out of the Japanese mobile gaming market, so finding a partner, or funding a project, is a sensible way to get in on the action.
Perhaps the more interesting of the two methods is to learn monetisation techniques from Japan. Godement-Berline suggests two.
First, there's Gatcha.
It's basically paying for a random card or unit. Gamers don't know what they're getting until after they've paid.
Godement-Berline cited Mutants by developer Kobojo. It took two weeks to develop the system for the game, and after it was implemented it recouped its costs in a weekend and pushed revenue up 15 percent.
Adding what Godement-Berline calls Tension Gatcha is also a possibility. These add different animations, sounds, and other cues to the purchasing of the cards and units, some of which end in super rare cards, others that end with a joke and a standard card.
Godement-Berline says that "players don't purchase items, they purchase emotions. Tension and fun create "deep emotional value."
The other best method is live events, which are the "number one growth opportunity for mobile games."
These are regular, timed events that add special graphics, special rewards, and different difficulty settings to the game.
Godement-Berline says these must be new content, built on the core loop, and add special objects, leaderboards, and unique rewards.
The main thrust of the Japan section of the East meets West track is that it's a very difficult market to break into, but there are definitely lessons to learn and money to be made, at least acccording to Gumi.