Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Tech Tuesday: Zynga's Not the Only Mobile Social Game Developer in Town

Have you ever heard of Top Stylist, a mobile game in which users can style high-profile clients in real-world brands? How about Monster Quest or NFL Shuffle?

No? Don’t worry—soon you probably will.

All three games are GREE products, one of the world’s leading mobile social gaming platforms boasting millions of players from all corners of the world. “[Dedicated] to building the best in mobile social gaming for players and developers, while creating and supporting unique free-to-play game content,” GREE produces games for both iOS and Android where users can connect and compete with friends.

Founded by Yoshikazu Tanaka in 2004, GREE is making a big push into western markets, and the company has spent the past eight years meticulously developing strategies to find success in ways with little risk. In a TechCrunch post Anil Dharni, GREE’s senior vice president of studio operations stated that the company was focused mostly on content.

GREE has developed a network of consumers large enough to issue the games in an inexpensive way, an incredibly important move to “prove it is not so vulnerable to the hits-driven nature of the business,” especially with Apple’s majority control over iOS products. For that reason, companies like GREE now and in the future will be challenged to find new and exciting ways to create and market their products in order to adequately compete with Apple, as iOS has become more lucrative than ever over the past year.

“It is four times and beyond in terms of revenue [compared to a year ago],” Dharni said, and a large reason for that is the introduction of the iPad as another source of iOS gaming. Though Androids are becoming more and more popular amongst consumers, they are still “lagging behind iOS on per user monetization.”

With leadership in Japan that enabled the stateside team to better understand the market, GREE is able to create original fun and engaging content “on a daily or weekly basis,” encouraging users to return regularly to experience the novelty.

In the coming year, GREE is hoping to utilize Facebook as another option to market their products, meaning they will likely have a larger presence in the United States.

Do you think GREE will be able to stand against Apple and other domestic game producers?

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