ALEX QUEJADO WRITES — If you’ve committed hours to the latest and greatest mobile role-playing game (RPG) or if you’re just playing Candy Crush while waiting for your bus, you’re part of the massive and growing mobile game market. With the prevalence of smartphones in today’s world, chances are you have downloaded and played at least a few games from the app store. Mobile app developer Gumi Inc. in particular, is capitalizing on this new trend.
Gumi Inc. is a Japanese company originally dedicated to the social networking platform for phones. In 2008, they evolved into a mobile app developer and their recent success with Brave Frontier, a popular mobile RPG, has propelled them to the forefront of the mobile game market. Gumi plans to go public with a share price of $28.40 and is estimated to be between $900 million and $1 billion. They will be listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in December.
In many cases, market expansion encourages overseas expansion. The Japan-based company proved to be successful in Southeast Asia with Gumi Asia, a branch located in Singapore. Gumi Asia recently released Big Hero 6 Bot Fight, a mobile game based on the movie Big Hero 6, in conjunction with Disney. The game earned instant popularity and is a considerable success.
Additionally, Gumi has expanded its Western audience with the addition of branches in the U.S., France, and Canada. With this, Gumi intends to introduce the Western audience to mobile games popular in Asia. They are currently working with Sega to introduce Chain Chronicles, a popular RPG in Japan, to the Western market.
How did Gumi Inc. and its contemporaries achieve this success? The newly-found mobile gaming market is the result of the change in mobile device access and interaction. Mobile phones have evolved beyond being just a means of communication and into a versatile tool and entertainment outlet in its own right. Smartphone users now surpass PC and console users in mobile game usage. As the mobile market continues its progress, it wouldn’t be smart for app developers to simply ignore it.