Japan's DeNA says on track for overseas profit in fourth quarter

Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:06am EST
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By Mari Saito

TOKYO (Reuters) - Two years after shifting its focus abroad and millions of dollars in aggressive acquisitions later, Japanese gaming firm DeNA Co Ltd says it's on the verge of turning its first profit in its overseas operations, the company's president told Reuters on Thursday.

DeNA's Mobage platform - a Japanese-style contraction of "mobile games" - has more than 45 million members in Japan and the decade-old firm has a market capitalization of $5.4 billion as of Wednesday, nearly double that of embattled Japanese TV maker Sharp Corp.

Isao Moriyasu, who took the reins of the firm last June after the sudden departure of his predecessor, said the gaming firm is on track to generate $60 million from in-game currency abroad this quarter, double the amount logged in the July-September period.

Such in-game sales, called "Moba-Coin" on DeNA's platform, consists of revenue for both third-party developers and in-house games. But the firm's overseas sales is small change compared to DeNA's numbers in Japan.

"What we're aiming for is to turn a profit in the fourth quarter and we're on our way to that, but I don't believe it is going to be easy at all," said Moriyasu, speaking at the company's new headquarters in the fashionable Shibuya district.

The company said in-game sales in Japan reached 56.2 billion yen ($677.7 million) in the July to September quarter this year.

"We are launching new titles like 'Transformers' and have already launched 'HellFire' in the United States and we are also developing high-end first person shooter games," said the soft-spoken executive. DeNA sealed a three-year agreement with U.S.-based Hasbro Inc in July to jointly develop smartphone games based on the company's Transformers franchise.

The 39-year-old executive, a graduate of University of Tokyo's Aeronautics and Astronautics program and a former systems engineer, said it was important to develop hits like "Rage of Bahamut" and "Blood Brothers", which have topped Apple Inc's App Store and Google Play in the United States and attract new users to the company's platform.   Continued...

Japanese gaming firm DeNA Co's "Mobage" - a Japanese-style contraction of "mobile games" is pictured in front of the company's logo in Tokyo December 13, 2012. REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao