- - First of all, could you explain an overview of the current social game market?
I have to say that nobody knows what the domestic social game market will be like three months later, as it is changing very rapidly. Previously, the market was led by card battle games that are easy to monetize. But now, games of other genres or titles focusing on game elements have become hits. I think successful games have one thing in common: They are "easy to play, but have more to play than they look".
- - The rise of so-called "native app"-type games has been seen since the second half of 2012. Is the market changing?
It surely is. But they become hits not because they are of "native app" type but because they entertain users, as we have seen so far. So I don't think the social game market translates into the app market.
- - So there is no shift away from social games, right?
No. The definition of social games is different from person to person. One may think that gacha (the mechanism of selling random in-game items) is synonymous with social games, and another may think that social games are card battles. At Capcom, we define social games as means for facilitating communication among users and something in which game elements and monetization are involved. From this standpoint, we think that all games will be basically social in future.
- - I see.
In the next-generation home video game consoles, users are more and more closely linked to each other online, as in mobile devices and personal computers. I think games in the future will be required to be social in some way. As game creators, we come up with an exciting game and then determine which platform is best suited for it, instead of thinking, "It's a social game so let's make it for smartphones". I think the market is evolving this way.