The Flappy Bird Saga

The Flappy Bird saga has been all over the game industry the past few weeks – from the game’s surprising origins (created by a single developer, Dong Nguyen, in Vietnam) to its meteoric/questionable rise in the app stores, and now the controversial deletion of the game permanently by Nguyen.

Forbes has a very insightful blog post on Nguyen’s reasoning behind taking the game down for addiction, as there have been several instances all over Asia where people have died due to game addiction.

However, another way to look at it could be that the developer made a lot of money already on the game and wants to keep momentum for his next game, or maybe that he is too small to defend himself against big game companies that may want to pursue him for some infringement of concepts. Either way, Niko Partners thinks it is pretty cool that this game came out of Vietnam…

Foxconn Expanding into Indonesia

Indonesia is one of the largest and most interesting games markets in Southeast Asia. The geographic reality of being a nation made up of thousands of islands means that mobile technology is more important than landlines. Indonesians have long embraced mobile phones and young people are snapping up smartphones rapidly, with the biggest use (after talking) being for mobile games.

Now Foxconn, a huge manufacturing company, will open factories in Indonesia to produce smartphones and Indonesians for the local population, which supports the assertion that growth in device usage there will continue to rise and the market will be very important for device makers as well as apps companies.

Line is Japan’s Largest Social Network

According to Games In Asia and Line’s financial report, Japanese IM app company Line doubled its user base and became Japan’s largest social network. The company reaches more than 3 million users worldwide. The article reports that most of the company’s $343 million in sales in 2013 came from games.

Giant Interactive Going Private

Wei Liu, CEO of Giant Interactive, wrote in a letter to all employees that the company will in fact go private in 2014. This was rumored in late November, but now he has said it is the strategy. She intends for the company to grow in “start-up” mode and to focus on mobile gaming in addition to PC gaming.