Hot on the heels of the unexpected news that Line is establishing a US$100 million fund to solidfy its growing position in the gaming industry, DeNA (TYO:2432 ) announced its first quarter financial results for 2014. The company emphasized its many new businesses but that was not enough to ignore the gaping hole left behind by missing game revenue. The basic numbers tell the story. Revenue down 31 percent (37 percent just for social media which includes games) from the previous year and operating profit down 59 percent.
If Tomoko Namba had followed conventional wisdom, DeNA (TYO:2432) would never have existed. She had made partner – only the third Japanese woman ever- at prestigious consulting firm McKinsey and Company after only ten years. Only three short years later, she left that left behind to found her own company. Initially conceived as an online auction service, DeNA struggled to attract users and profits. But in 2009, DeNA started to explore the gaming industry. One year later, titles like Kaito Royale caught fire and its valuation skyrocketed, giving a Namba net worth of nearly a US$1 billion and propelling her to the upper echelons of Japanese society.
Japan’s DeNA built its empire from games for feature phones and desktop PCs, but its legacy in leisure isn’t stopping it from tackling more serious matters. The company announced today it has formed the aptly named DeNA Life Science Inc, a wholly-owned company subsidiary specializing in health care.
The team at DeNA must be wearing out the minus buttons on their calculators. The mobile social gaming company posted its Q3 financial report (for October to December in human time) this afternoon, and all key numbers are down. DeNA (TYO:2432) has seen a 20 percent drop in revenue in the past year, and a 42 percent plunge in profits. DeNA’s revenue is down to JPY 41.7 billion – that’s $411.7 million – in Q3, and operating profit sunk to $112.5 million.