Analyse Asia Podcast: LINE IPO And SoftBank’s Divestments

2 min read

Serkan Toto from Kantan Games joined us for a conversation on three recent serkantoto-profile-pictureevents that impacted the mobile gaming market in Japan and the rest of world. We analyzed the progress of Nintendo’s new mobile games following the changes in Apple’s app store, the upcoming LINE IPO, and why SoftBank is divesting their gaming portfolio: Gungho and Supercell.

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Analyse Asia with Bernard Leong is a weekly podcast dedicated to the pulse of technology, business & media in Asia. They interview thought leaders and leading industry players and gain their insights to how we perceive and understand the market. Analyse Asia is a content partner of TechNode.

TechNode does not endorse any commentary made in the program.

Notes:

  • Serkan Toto, CEO of Kantan Games JP
  • State of mobile gaming in Japan [1:19]
    • How is the mobile gaming scene moving in Japan since we last spoke? [1:23]
    • Any updates on Nintendo’s continued foray into mobile gaming? [2:00]
    • Nintendo’s new mobile games: Fire Enblem (strategy) and Animal Crossing (farming simulation game) available in iOS and Android [2:30]
    • Niantic Labs (funded under Alphabet), Pokemon and Nintendo’s joint venture: Pokemon Game. What happened with their field test? [3:30]
    • Any new business models or concepts coming out of Japan’s mobile gaming industry with the introduction of AR and VR? [5:23]
    • Apple’s new app store changes and how it’s impacted the mobile gaming space worldwide. [6:40]
  • LINE IPO [8:50]
    • Why did LINE attempt a dual listing in U.S and Japan? [9:13]
    • They currently have 215M monthly active users, with ARPU $5.10 vs Twitter ($7.27) & Facebook ($11.27). How are they going to demonstrate growth by revenue or new products? What is their growth story going to be? [10:00]
    • Interesting numbers: Kakao Talk has 50% monthly active users (MAUs) less than LINE, Wechat has 4x more MAUs (800 MAUs) than LINE.
    • Will LINE end up like Mixi being overwhelmed by Facebook? [11:18]
    • What’s LINE’s impact in the mobile gaming market? [13:05]
    • LINE’s focus on O2O services. [14:00]
    • Is this going to be the biggest tech IPO of the year? [15:16]
    • Should we be bullish or bearish about the IPO? [15:35]
  • SoftBank’s divestments [16:22]
    • Recently, SoftBank has been divesting their assets in the gaming industry: Gungho, known for Puzzle and Dragons; Supercell known for ‘Clash of Clans’ (to Tencent); their stake in Alibaba: US$8.9B (acquired by various major players, Alibaba, Temasek and GIC Singapore). What’s going on? Are they just trying to reduce their debt or raise money for something else, for example, Sprint in the U.S? [16:55]
  • What excites Serkan in the mobile gaming market? Reference with Square Enix [21:00]