Considering the firm itself doesn't directly aid western developers make a move on the Japanese market, it was a little contrary to hear GREE's David McCarthy talk up the coming dominance of the Asian model in the coming years during his talk at Develop Liverpool.
The Japanese take on mobile social gaming - though alien to much of the west as things stands - will come to represent the norm, he suggested, with GREE leading the charge.
GREE's Japanese bent is understandable, given that's where the social giant is based and where the platform is currently one of the dominant players, but its acquisition of OpenFeint and the coming merger between the two platforms in 2012 will see a distinctly Asian flavour attached to the it's role in western markets too.
"The Japanese casual model can translate [to the west]," McCarthy claimed, "but there will always be cultural, regional differences."
One rule that doesn't change from one market to the next is the need for games to be socially focused from the word go, with McCarthy stating there is "no point in adding features at the last minute", such as taking a paid game and dropping it wholesale into the freemium model.
Developers who want a head-start on the new OpenFeint-GREE platform now, he advised, should download the GREE SDK as it stands, as this will form the basis of OpenFeint moving forward.
Those looking to target the Japanese market in tandem, however, will have to do so largely without GREE's help, with localisation issues farmed out to trusted third-parties.
With a fine eye for detail, Keith Andrew is fuelled by strong coffee, Kylie Minogue and the shapely curve of a san serif font.
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