Japan has the fastest and the most connected mobile network in the world. This infrastructure has given Japanese companies time to explore possibilities ahead of the rest of the world. Two firms have shown how to take advantage of this infrastructure.
DeNA and Gree is challanging the world with new kind of social games. They call is ‘freemium’ games. These are games that are essentially free but players can increase the chance of winning if they choose to buy extra items. These items are very cheap, therefore easy to consume. The difference between traditional consle game companies is perhaps its target players. Traditionally, games were played at home, sometimes with friends, othertimes alone. These games were played during their free time and did so hours at a time. DeNA and Gree targets another kind of gamers. Their games are mobile based and are designed to be played in short periods of time. These games takes less time to engage with and requires less effort to advance. Another difference is the social factor. Console games does have social elements to it but with mobile phones as a platform, the network of players are infinately larger and provides new oppotunities for player to player interaction.
People in other countries does not have the possibility to play social games on the go (At least not on the same level) and this have given DeNA and Gree a head start. With their tested games and experties, the two companies now plan to go international.
I think this is relevent to us because it shows that markets that are ahead of others significantly increases the advantage of international success. Therefore, it might be relevant for us to look for markets that are advanced in terms of design?