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Game Freak acquire smartphone developer "Core Games"/Koa Games

JoeM86

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Acquisition happened in August.
ゲームフリークは、本日(10月27日)付の『官報』に「合併公告」を掲載し、スマートフォンアプリ開発会社のコアゲームスを吸収合併することを明らかにした。コアゲームスは解散する。

コアゲームは、『仮面の勇者 ~心の迷宮RPG~』『ワールドネバーランド エルネア王国の日々』『伝説のレギオン』『街コロ』といったスマートフォンアプリの企画・開発・配信を行っており、2015年8月期は6700万円の最終赤字だった。一方、ゲームフリークは、世界的な人気家庭用ゲームソフト『ポケットモンスター』シリーズの開発会社として知られており、2015年3月期は16億3700万円の最終利益を計上した。

Seems Koa Games was suffering financial losses and Game Freak have bought them out. The company will be disbanded and absorbed into Game Freak.

http://gamebiz.jp/?p=151524

Koa Games are responsible for Labyrinth RPG, Erunea Kingdom, Legendary Legion and Road Roller.
 

JoeM86

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Good on them.

Not sure what their role is going to be, but more manpower is always needed

Well Game Freak's iOS/Android title, Solitiba, is ending support in December, so maybe more sequels and other cool titles like that.

Give into the inevitable.

Thankfully, it's not Game Freak's choice if they did want it. Nintendo would block it.
 

PetriP-TNT

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The day a main line Pokemon will launch on mobiles too will be glorious. Some people might actually die from the amount of money they will obtain. Hopefully sooner than later!
 

JoeM86

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The day a main line Pokemon will launch on mobiles too will be glorious. Some people might actually die from the amount of money they will obtain. Hopefully sooner than later!

It will not happen. Why do people keep thinking this? It's not even Game Freak's decision for Pokémon to be on mobile. Nintendo would block it based on what they said about how they approach mobile.

Chances are this acquisition is for their side projects i.e. HarmoKnight, Solitiba, Tembo etc.
 

L~A

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I know they're totally unrelated, but I still find pretty ironical this news comes out barely a few days after it was announced service for Soliti Horse (Game Freak's only mobile game) is ending for pretty much the same reason as all other F2P games shutting down.

Whatever they end up doing, hopefully it'll be successful.
 

JoeM86

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Do you mean Koa Games, OP?

Yeah that's the one. I translated コア as Core, as that's the usual translation. I'll fix. My apologies

If a mod could fix the title, it'd be appreciated :)

I know they're totally unrelated, but I still find pretty ironical this news comes out barely a few days after it was announced service for Soliti Horse (Game Freak's only mobile game) is ending for pretty much the same reason as all other F2P games shutting down.

Whatever they end up doing, hopefully it'll be successful.

Indeed, it's quite unusual.
 

@MUWANdo

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Yeah that's the one. I translated コア as Core, as that's the usual translation. I'll fix. My apologies

If a mod could fix the title, it'd be appreciated :)

It's cool, I was just doing a little research in the hopes that it might shed some light on why Game Freak bought them, of all companies. Maybe they're just pals with Tajiri or something, you never know.

I haven't personally heard of any of their games but they seem to have attracted some talent; their "Labyrinth RPG" game featured a lot of Enix/Chunsoft alum, for example.
 

Nightbird

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They have a third team (possibly more now) which works on projects if they get enough support from their staff. James Turner has taken lead on two of them.

Three already?

I always thought they have just two large ones lol

Semi-related:

I think the character designer of Koa Games will be a nice addition to the cast. I think his/her designs are nice enough

 

ash_ag

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Jan 24, 2013
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I guess this means the Pokémon
Koa
series is coming to smartphones... :p

Seriously though. A core RPG for smartphones is completely unlikely for the simple reason that they wouldn't make as much off it as they do from selling 45-buck games. Even if the audience was 10x or 100x, it still wouldn't nearly reach balance in the long run. Just consider that Pokémon is almost a yearly title with a very loyal audience -- how many app releases would you expect it to withstand in the endless ocean that is the mobile market? How long would each player keep playing, and what would the average revenue/player be? There are so many risks attached to a move like this, that the idea can only be considered a joke. Consumer titles like Pokémon aren't fit for mobile.

On the other hand, I wouldn't be surprised by a Stadium-esque mobile game. Think Shuffle's formula with the core Pokémon mechanics. Integrate Bank and Global Link into it, and it would make a pretty decent "Portal" app for the series. It would act as a convenience to players, a means to very well-done promotion, and a source of revenue similar to Shuffle. That's what I had in mind as plausible before GO -- granted, now I think GO might fulfill some of these premises.

Incidentally, if I had to guess, the acquisition of Koa games is related to Game Freak's non-Pokémon aspirations. Solitiba was somewhat successful, and judging from Tembo, it's clear that they are interested in branching out and expanding as a company. I'm perfectly fine with this. The more types of games they make, the more open-minded they are about game design in general, which in turn can help improve Pokémon itself.
 

JoeM86

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Aug 11, 2012
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I guess this means the Pokémon
Koa
series is coming to smartphones... :p

Seriously though. A core RPG for smartphones is completely unlikely for the simple reason that they wouldn't make as much off it as they do from selling 45-buck games. Even if the audience was 10x or 100x, it still wouldn't nearly reach balance in the long run. Just consider that Pokémon is almost a yearly title with a very loyal audience -- how many app releases would you expect it to withstand in the endless ocean that is the mobile market? How long would each player keep playing, and what would the average revenue/player be? There are so many risks attached to a move like this, that the idea can only be considered a joke.

On the other hand, I wouldn't be surprised by a Stadium-esque mobile game. Think Shuffle's formula with the core Pokémon mechanics. Integrate Bank and Global Link into it, and it would make a pretty decent "Portal" app for the series. It would act as a convenience to players, a means to very well-done promotion, and a source of revenue similar to Shuffle. That's what I had in mind as plausible before GO -- granted, now I think GO might fulfill some of these premises.

Indeed, and as LA said, F2P games in Japan are closing like crazy at the moment because they just aren't making enough, this includes Game Freak's own.

Plus, Pokémon Shuffle has only managed 4 million downloads on iOS and Android globally since release in August, that's not good.

The mobile marketplace is just a mess, so hard to get in there and make proper money, even with established franchises. I'm amazed that analysts and investors still think it's an awesome blue ocean where it's guaranteed success.

Like you said, a Pokémon main game on mobile would have a strong start, there's no doubt about it, but would it last? Would it make the equivalent of the ~$500,000,000 that each main series title makes in revenue? I very much doubt that. In 2014, the mobile gaming industry made $25b. That means a Pokémon game would need to make 2% of the entire smartphone gaming industry's revenue to break even, revenue wise, to what it does on handhelds. It's possible, sure, as some do manage it, but it's such a volatile market.
 
I imagine they want staff with more experience making mobile games for their mobile efforts.

We've seen pretty steadily that the most successful games in the market are those made by people who already make successful mobile games, though that's probably self evident.

Koa Games isn't an amazing hire on that front, but they're an option that was available and within Game Freak's budget range.