WHAT happens when a multinational firm decides to shutter its Irish operation? Do staff just filter off into other multinational jobs? Or can indigenous entrepreneurs emerge? It's the ultimate post-IDA question: are multinational outfits actually creating an ecosystem that can be self-sustaining?
After being in closed beta for nine months since last June, 5 Rocks, a Korean mobile game analytics startup founded in 2008, launched officially on April 9, 2014. The team has some serious firepower. Changsu Lee, the CEO of 5Rocks, led the tech team at GameON, a Japanese developer and publisher of video games and also worked as a product manager at SK Telecom, Korea’s largest telecom. Chester Roh, one of the co-founders, is an experienced serial entrepreneur. He co-founded 4 startups including INZEN, which went public on KOSDAQ in 2002 and Tatter&Company, a Korean blogging platform, which was the first company in Asia that was acquired by Google in 2008. He worked for Google post-acquisition and left in 2010. Both founders hail from KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) – the MIT of Korea which has yielded a number of top programmers in Korea.
The 13 year old computer games company based in the Netherlands is using the crowdfunding platform fundedflow to raise US$ 100,000. “We are crowdfunding to expand the business” said CEO of Xing Interactive B.V, Alex de Vries.
Xing Interactive has a had a solid 13 year track record in the games industry, with a focus on development and publishing. What makes Xing Interactive a solid investment opportunity is the experience and interesting range of games they produce such as puzzle and adventure genres. “We have developed and published over 300 games and have existing international distribution channels in 32 countries” CEO Alex told fundedflow.
Last week, chat app Line announced that it passed the 300 million download milestone for its gaming platform Line Game. That’s a huge achievement considering it is under two years old, launching just in July 2012.
Last April, Dong Nguyen, a quiet 28-year-old who lived with his parents in Hanoi, Vietnam, and had a day job programming location devices for taxis, spent a holiday weekend making a mobile game. He wanted it to be simple but challenging, in the spirit of the Nintendo games he grew up playing. The object was to fly a bug-eyed, big-lipped, bloated bird between a series of green vertical pipes. The quicker a player tapped the screen, the higher the bird would flap. He called it Flappy Bird.
The game went live on the iOS App Store on May 24th. Instead of charging for Flappy Bird, Nguyen made it available for free, and hoped to get a few hundred dollars a month from in-game ads.
The Nomura Research Institute says that Japan's social gaming market will likely be worth 393.5 billion yen (US$5.1 billion) in fiscal 2016, roughly doubling in size when compared with 2011.
Here is a full overview from the main sources (100 million yen are US$1.3 million currently):