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Video Games: A Winning Strategy for JapanHirabayashi Hisakazu

Japan’s video game producers have lost their former global lead. But in some respects the industry is doing fine. Japanese firms would do well to focus on role-playing games, a genre in which they excel.
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Many Ways to Play: A Mobile Game Creator Looks at Global Trends

CEO Sanada Tetsuya of the smartphone game developer KLab offers his take on the direction of the gaming industry in Japan and worldwide.
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Fill Your Phone with Cats: “Nekoatsume”James Singleton

Mobile gaming is one of the few bright spots in Japan’s IT sphere. One of the bigger―and certainly the most adorable―hits to appear this year is Nekoatsume. The title, which can be loosely translated as “gathering cats,” sums up the entire game. Players place various items around a virtual garden to entice a cast of adorable feline callers and then check into the app periodically to watch them go …
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Mario and Luigi on Your Smartphone? Nintendo, DeNA Announce Business Alliance

On March 17, gaming giant Nintendo announced a business and capital tie-up with mobile gaming and e-commerce service operator DeNA. The deal should have a major impact on the gaming scene, at last bringing Nintendo’s wildly popular gaming franchises to mobile platforms like iOS and Android. According to the press release from Nintendo, the alliance aims at “the joint development and operation of …
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If It’s Not “Kawaii,” How Can It Be Smart?

A key question faces Japan’s mobile phone industry: When will young women make the switch to smartphones? This demographic has driven mobile phone development for a decade or so, and young women’s tastes have inspired only-in-Japan innovations that have given conventional handsets uniquely convenient—and cute!—functions found nowhere else.
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