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Borderwalker and more in this week's Japanese news roundup

Gamasutra rounds up recent reports on the Japanese games industry from local news site Andriasang.com, including an iOS game from Square Enix veterans, predicted losses for Japan's social games sector, and more.

Eric Caoili, Blogger

May 8, 2012

2 Min Read

[Gamasutra rounds up recent reports on the Japanese games industry from local news site Andriasang.com, including an iOS game from Square Enix veterans, predicted losses for Japan's social games sector, and more.] In our latest round-up of Japanese game industry news not previously reported on Gamasutra, we look at Amazon Japan's recently launched used game program, analysts reacting to impending regulations for random virtual goods in social games, and Crunge Products' new iOS game from several notable Square Enix veterans. Analysts expect major social game losses if sales tactics are banned After this morning's reports that Japan's Consumers Affairs Agency could restrict the sale of random virtual goods in social games, analysts are predicting that this could lead to network operators and developers losing a significant portion of their revenues. Credit Suisse estimates that "kompu gacha," or random virtual prizes given to players as rewards after they purchase a set of items in a social game, makes up 60 to 70 percent of the social game industry's overall sales, according to NS Journal. If CAA declares these virtual good sales tactics illegal, Credit Suisse predicts that social game developers could see their sales drop by 20 to 30 percent, and their operating earnings fall by 40 to 50 percent. Social game network operators, however, could be the worst hit, as Credit Suisse says that microtransactions make up 92 percent of Gree's operating profits, and 80 percent of DeNA's (Mobage) profits.  Amazon Japan begins used game program Amazon Japan has launched a used game sale program. Consumers in the country will now be able to sell their games to the online retailers for store credit -- and will presumably begin selling them soon, too. Amazon is currently accepting more than 7,000 titles as part of the program, and is allowing consumers to send in their games without having to pay shipping. Uematsu, Nojima and Minaba team up for iOS fantasy title Borderwalker An all-star cast of Japanese developers have come together to create a new fantasy adventure game for iOS at Crunge Products. Already available in Japan, Borderwalker (pictured) features Square Enix veteran Kazushige Nojima, who worked on numerous Final Fantasy games, as its scenario writer. Other notable Final Fantasy contributors like Hideo Minaba and Nobuo Uematsu worked on Borderwalker as its character designer and composer, respectively. Nakaba Higurashi, who worked on Monolith Soft's Baten Kaitos series, also worked on Borderwalker as the monster designer. [This story was written with permission using material from Andriasang.com, a leading destination for English-language news on Japan's game industry.]

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About the Author(s)

Eric Caoili

Blogger

Eric Caoili currently serves as a news editor for Gamasutra, and has helmed numerous other UBM Techweb Game Network sites all now long-dead, including GameSetWatch. He is also co-editor for beloved handheld gaming blog Tiny Cartridge, and has contributed to Joystiq, Winamp, GamePro, and 4 Color Rebellion.

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