TV ads are causing exponential mobile game growth in Japan, analyst says

by Mike Rougeau

December 3 2013

Thanks in part to TV advertisements that began airing in Japan in August, Tokyo-based mobile game developer Colopl has amassed 40 million new players this year, says Japanese mobile industry analyst Dr. Serkan Toto.

Toto wrote in a blog post on Monday that Japan is currently the only country in the world "where mobile games are being mass-advertised on TV, on national channels, during prime-time, in heavy rotation." And it's apparently working.

Colopl started out in February this year with 20 million users across all its iOS and Android games, which isn't bad. By August that number had doubled, and a few months later, at the end of November, the company had added another 20 million for a total of 60 million game downloads.

Its most popular title, Quiz RPG: World of Mystic Wiz, had 14 million users total at the end of November. It launched in March 2013, and before the ads, the game had just 3 million players. TV commercials for the game began airing in Japan in August, causing massive growth in just a few months.

The game is available in the iOS App Store and Google Play store globally, including in North America, though if you live outside of Japan chances are you've never heard of it.

Is it only a matter of time before tablet games start popping up more in prime time elsewhere? Just look at the recent TV spots for Candy Crush Saga and Pet Rescue Saga if you have any doubts.

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Mike Rougeau, TabTimes Games Editor
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