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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : December 06, 2010

Paper-based magazine launched for Japan's mobile social gamers

It's game on for Japan, and maybe the rest of the world, as the country's first social gaming magazine for mobile gamers goes on sale.

by Helen Leggatt

Why on earth would mobile social gamers in Japan, one of the most teched up countries in the world, need a paper-based resource?

According to Asianjin, a weblog focused on Asian start-up companies, websites, and technology communities, it may well be more convenient for mobile social gamers in Japan to reference an offline source for gaming hints and tips.

"I guess that most of regular users of those mobile simple games do not search or share the game info on PC web, and it is unlikely that people use multiple tab browser on mobile (latest feature phones are multi-task supported though)," writes Akky Akimoto.

"All mobile social gaming platform provide users communities to share the information to play those game better, I do not think that majority of the users discuss on how to solve the game there."

The magazine, which costs 680 yen (US$8), is published by Eastpress and sold at book and convenience stores around Japan.

Mobile social gaming is huge in Japan. One of the most popular destinations is Mobage Town, a mobile-only virtual world in which over 20 million Japanese participate. Mobage Town allows its population to exchange messages, share music, read pocket novels and most importantly, play a wide selection of free and in-app purchase supported games.

Mobage Town developers, DeNA, who are aiming to bring their Japanese success story to the West, claim that average revenue per user on Mobage Town is 30 times that of Facebook and 15 times that of Zynga's.

"It's hard for people in the West to get their heads around how big it is in Japan," Neil Young, CEO of Ngmoco, a U.S.-based iPhone app developer, told CNN.

"What's happening in Japan is really a blueprint for what's going to happen here."

Tags: Japan, mobile gaming, social gaming

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