Japanese Mobile Social Gaming Startup Gumi Raises $26 Million
We can watch the name of gumi everywhere today. The social games of gumi are popular in Japan. They are popular in GREE in particular. However, they are not known easily abroad. And gumi CEO Kunimitsu can speak English, but the English version of gumi's website does not yet open.
Therefore I translated the summary of their popular social game into English in reference to this page of gumi's website.
It is the newest social game of gumi about Japanese Warring States period(Sengoku period). Users get the figures of various types of military commanders. And give a level of the figure by a quest and a battle, and get arms, accessories and skills. It is the characteristic of this game to bring up figure.
Sangoku! (Release: August 15, 2011)
The basic game system is almost the same as Sengoku!. However, the motif of this is a China's "Records of Three Kingdoms". Originally it was a social game for Japanese future phones. Now we can play this in GREE for smartphone as web application.
Probably this is the most popular in social games of gumi. It's won best RPG prize in GREE Award 2011 first half. This is a social card game about the Japanese Mafia "Yakuza". Users play everyday free Gacha(vending machine which various cards can buy at random) and collect the cards of the Yakuza character. And play various quests, battle with other users, give the level of characters. Originally it was a social game for Japanese future phones. Now we can play this in GREE for smartphone as web application.
This is the social game that fused by world history and a card game. The user becomes a time venturer, become a frined with historical famous people and organize "hero army corps". The characteristic of this game are "world history" and "historical famous people". Users do a time slip to various times in a game play, and play qwest. You can make army corps with Perry, Napoleon and Caesar :)
Duel in Wonderland (Release: July 05, 2011)
The basic game system is almost the same as Duel Eiyuutan. However, the motif of this is a Fairy tales in the world. Users have adventures in the world of various fairy tales and make friends with characters. This is popular with women.
English translation of this title is "The road to pirate". The basic game system is almost the same as Ninkyodo. However, the motif of this is a pirate.
Users become "summons" of creature and collect treasures hidden in all parts of the world. And contract with various creature such as angel, devil, god, put them together and buttle with other users. The characteristic of this game is personified creature. creature in various legends of the world comes up in this, but all of they are personified.
gumi and Sanrio developed this jointly. This is a general pet game, but is Hello Kitty not to mention a pet. Users do care of one's Hello Kitty and have changing clothes. Hello Kitty learns various gestures in the process.
There are many other social games of gumi. They released 18 titles only in 2011. Furthermore, they developed sports social game "FIFA world class soccer" of GREE in cooperation with EA. The main platform of current gumi is GREE. Their social games sells a virtual currency for 100M yen(about 1,280,000USD) per day in GREE.
It may show the tendency of the Japanese social gamer when we check their social games. They are "collection", "combination", "upbringing". Social "card" game is popular in current Japan. Because there are all these three elements. There is the function of buttle with other users, too, but it may not be so important. It is only one of the processes of upbringing. However, the development of the social card game is hard. Because the developer must prepare for the art works of many characters. It is the attractive characters whom users want to pay money. gumi's social games have the artwork of about 100-200 characters. Furthermore, they increase by update. In Japanese social games, artist is important with engineer equally.