Thai games studio Sinoze raises $750k from InVent, VC arm of Thailand’s largest telco

ThailandSinoze is most well known for mobile music game Thapster, which features Thai and international artists and has, it claims, about a million monthly active users. Today the company announced it has raised a US$750,000 round from InVent, the venture capitalist arm of Thailand’s largest telco Intouch. The funding will go towards international expansion through its second title Electhap, a music game aimed at the international market.

Gumi to lay off 100 in wake of Korea embezzlement scandal, post-IPO woes

JapanJust a week after Gumi confirmed that its South Korean operation was being investigated for alleged embezzlement, the embattled Japanese gaming company is bracing for layoffs. According to TechCrunch Japan, Gumi announced today that it will solicit “voluntary retirement” from 100 staff at both Gumi (Tokyo) and development center Gumi West (Fukuoka). The firm’s justification for the move is that the skill set of some employees no longer matches the company’s needs.

Netmarble proves success outside Kakao Game platform

KoreaNetmarble’s new mobile game “Raven with Naver” is leading major mobile application stores here, shedding new light on market success through a publishing platform other than Kakao Game. The nation’s leading mobile game provider said Raven, a mobile action role-playing game, has been ranked on the top perch in the top-grossing charts of both Google’s Play and Apple’s Appstore since March 17, five days after its release. The game ended the months-long lead of mobile strategy game “Clash of Clans,” developed and published by the Finnish game company Supercell.

Say hello to iMario: Nintendo goes mobile as it buys 10% stake in DeNA

JapanNintendo is finally getting smart. In Tokyo today, the company announced that it is entering into a partnership with DeNA, the Japanese tech giant which rose to prominence on the strength of its smartphone games.  During the press conference Iwata and Moriyasu revealed that this deal had been in the works since last summer. With the partnership announced, they confirmed that consumers can expect games to appear by the end of this year.

Sony Confirms Launch Of PS4, PSV In Mainland China On March 20

ChinaJapanese electronics company Sony announced that their flagship video game console PlayStation 4 and handheld gaming device PlayStation Vita will be officially available in the Chinese mainland market on March 20, 2015. Prior to this, Sony announced plans to provide the two products in China from January 11, 2015. However, due to various reasons, the debut launch was postponed. Sony also revealed that by March 8, 2015, the company had sold 20 million PlayStation 4 consoles worldwide.

Nintendo to finally develop mobile games with DeNA

JapanTOKYO: Japan video game maker Nintendo Co Ltd and online gaming firm DeNA are teaming up to develop smartphone games featuring the likes of Super Mario, in a bid to retain users increasingly shunning their console and browser-based games.  The two companies said on March 17 that they would buy 22 billion yen (122 million pounds) worth of shares in each other as part of a capital and product tie-up. As a result, Nintendo will acquire a 10% stake in DeNA while DeNA will acquire a 1.2% stake in Nintendo.

The PS4 will finally launch in China on March 20

JapanSony’s next-gen gaming console, Playstation 4, has a release date in China. Again. The console, which was originally slated for release in the Middle Kingdom in early January, saw its launch postponed indefinitely for reasons that were not disclosed. Now, the device has a new China launch date: March 20.

Gamevil tops among Korean mobile game publishers in global sales

KoreaGamevil said Monday it has been ranked the highest among Korean mobile game publishers in terms of mobile game sales at application stores such as Google’s Play market and Apple’s Appstore. According to the “Top 52 Publishers of 2014″ report released by a global mobile app analytics agency App Annie, Gamevil was listed in 11th place among the global mobile game publishers, up 15 steps from a year ago.

IPO hangover? Gumi reveals its expected $10.6M profit will be a $5M loss

JapanIPOs bring champagne showers – and increased financial oversight. Gumi, the gaming firm that had been left for dead but regrouped and surged to a nearly billion dollar IPO, is getting a first-hand lesson in the consequences of that oversight. The company announced today that is is revising its guidance for the fiscal year ending April 30. Instead of a JPY 1.27 billion (US$10.6 million) profit, the firm will face a JPY 600 million (US$5 million) loss.

4 years on, a look at where Games Solution Center has succeeded and failed, from SG

SingaporeThe Games Solution Center (GSC) in Singapore, initiated by the Media Development Authority and managed by Nanyang Polytechnic, is going all out for the Game Developer Conference (GDC) in San Francisco this year. It’s not only hosting the largest number of Singapore game companies to date – 21, if you’re curious – it’s also sponsoring three different events and parties at the con.

Game Over For Zynga’s Beijing Office

ChinaAmerican game developer Zynga announced that the company will close its office in Beijing. Zynga announced the decision while publishing its performance report for the fourth quarter of 2014. The company said that they will cut the 71 jobs in Beijing office and the related expense of USD7 million will be included in the first quarter of 2015. According to Zynga’s financial report, the company reached operating revenue of USD183 million in the fourth quarter of 2014, a year-on-year increase of 9% and an increase of 9% compared with the previous quarter.

Bandai targets mobile game market in Korea

KoreaBandai Korea unveiled new online and mobile games using cartoon intellectual properties “Gundam” and “Digimon” in Korea, Thursday. Gundam is a sci-fi television anime series depicting giant robots and Digimon is a cartoon and video game content about creatures in an imaginary digital world. Both Japanese media contents have garnered significant popularity around the world.

China Lifts Ban on Foreign Gaming Console Production and Sales

China.gifAfter close to 14 years, China finally lifted its onerous ban on foreign console sales that prevented Chinese gamers from getting their hands on PlayStations, Xboxes and Wiis. The ban was lifted Jan. 29 but only announced over the weekend. The production and sale of gaming consoles has been fully lifted across China, said the State Council, China’s Cabinet.

Shu Yoshida: The man who puts Sony back on top

JapanTOKYO, Feb 23 — “How many people came for video games?” asks a keynote presenter at Sony Corp.’s PlayStation bash in Las Vegas last December. The crowd roars. “And how many came to give Shu Yoshida a hug?” The roar gets even louder.  The man in question is an unlikely celebrity. Short and bespectacled, the 50-year-old Shuhei Yoshida is president of Sony’s worldwide game studios. What he’s done to draw such affection is champion some of the biggest hits in the business and prove people will pay US$70 (RM255) for top-notch titles even in a world with thousands of free smartphone games.

Myanmar language, culture gets game users

MyanmarTotal Gameplay Studio’s Pawthoot Android app, named for lovable rascal and Myanmar cartoon cultural icon Thamain Pawthoot, has gained 40,000 users. An iOS version is in development. “We are expanding this game in the Myanmar market, and we will expand this game in the world,” said U Myint Kyaw Thu, Total Gameplay Studio chief technology officer.

Chinese mobile games saw a big revenue spike in 2014

ChinaChina’s mobile gaming market has been growing every year, but it has never been a big chunk of the country’s overall gaming pie. That’s still true, and it’s still true that mobile games don’t make much profit. But mobile games did generate a lot more revenue in 2014 than they have in previous years, despite the fact that the number of mobile gamers didn’t jump that significantly. That means mobile games themselves were generating more revenue than they have in previous years.

These are DeNA’s newest gaming strategies

JapanDeNA yesterday released its operating results for October to December 2014. As it has promised before, the game business is still its core business, but now it’s got three strategies it wants to employ in the Japanese, Chinese, and Western markets. These tactics are in line with what the mobile gaming giant calls its “next mountain of coin consumption.” DeNA’s revenue peaked consistently each time it released hit titles in 2011, 2012, and 2013, and it aims to do the same for 2015.

Gree invests in San Francisco-based Make School, to open class this summer

JapanJapanese gaming firm Gree continues to branch out, this time with the help of an American education startup. The company announced today that it will invest in and form a business partnership with Make School, the self-styled “college for founders and developers.” With the new partnership, Gree will oversee a Make School-produced class on game development. The eight week course will take place this summer. Students, some of whom will be Gree engineers, are expected to plan, develop, and release a game within the eight weeks.

First Xiaomi, now Alibaba: Ouya takes another step into China with $10M deal

ChinaAlibaba has invested US$10 million in California-based game company Ouya, according to the Wall Street Journal. Ouya originally created an open-source, Android-compatible game console that struggled to sell after a high-profile Kickstarter campaign in 2012. Ultimately, the company pivoted from hardware into primarily selling its library of games on streaming video devices.

Alibaba Invests US$10 Million in Android Console Ouya

ChinaAlibaba is reportedly investing US$10 million into microconsole maker Ouya after the latter had a rather unfavorable 2014 and showed no signs of large growth in this year. Ouya was a highly successful Kickstarter that raised US$8 million in 2012 with the promise of a microconsole running games on Android. The end results were a bit less exciting, to say the least, with the console receiving poor reviews and faring badly against Sony and Microsoft.