When I first came to Japan six years ago, the thing I noticed was that the portable industry was king here. Everywhere you went people were using a DS or PSP. However, since then, the smartphone has quickly become the dominate platform of choice. Go anywhere in the country, even in rural Japan where I live, and you will see someone with their smartphone out texting, browsing, or gaming. And boy do they love gaming on their smartphones.
Recently, Gungho Entertainment Online& Mixi, the makers of Puzzle & Dragons and Monster Strikers, published their earnings for the first quarter of 2015. Monster Strikers is currently the reigning champion bringing in over $4million a day, and the almost 4-year old Puzzle & Dragons is still brining in over $3million a day. Let that sink in for a bit, $3-4million a day, that is three to four million dollars of revenue in one single day. Those kind of numbers are absolutely insane. The internet meme is that Nintendo's 3DS prints money, well the 3DS doesn't hold a candle to how much damn money a hit mobile gaming app can print.
Looking at these ridiculous sales figures, its not hard to see how Konami came to the decision to abandon the console market in favor of mobile gaming. They are chasing the obscene money that a hit app like Monster Strikers and Puzzle & Dragons can bring to a company's bottom line. It's sad that, that the chase for the all mighty dollar lead to the demise of some of the most beloved franchises in gaming today. But, in the end Konami is answerable to its shareholders, not its fans.
It's going to be very interesting to see how the other big Japanese developers deal with the exponentially increasing mobile market, especially with Nintendo entering into the fray in the very near future. Could more and more companies follow Konami's path? With sales numbers like these, it is very, very possible.