Monday, June 17, 2024

Why Kairosoft Works as a Mobile Developer.

July 1, 2023 by  
Filed under Gaming, GM, News, PC/Mobile/Android/iOS

( Kairosoft is a game developer that has been around for decades but really had its best period during the explosion in mobile gaming. We’ve touched on three Kairosoft games to play and went a bit into the business simulation gaming machine. It’s amazing for three reasons we’re about to get into now!

Kairosoft Embraced the Mobile Platform and Built Its Games for It

During the 2010s, there was an increase in mobile games as far as graphics, gameplay mechanics, variety, functionality, and staying power. We’re starting to get away from the Zygna-Facebook social gaming and heading towards mobile marketplaces with apps for dedicated games and programs.

Not only that, this new wave of mobile gaming—soon to see dominance from King and Rovio Entertainment—figured out alluring gimmicks, features, and promotion to monetize and market. While desktop PCs and laptops still get use and love, most people have a smartphone or tablet nearby. Everything with a site has a mobile-friendly version so that features and whatever can be explored.

Facebook never gathered that for their games but definitely got it for their social aspect—the foundation of everything Meta. So, Kairosoft—having 14 years in the business—takes to mobile. Their games were on PC before and it appears that they figured that their games could crossover on their still fresh platform.

In 2010, Game Dev Story arrived in Western marketplaces. The game allowed the player to operate a game development company, grow it, manage the roster, train workers, and make decisions on new projects. This brings up point number two:

The Kairosoft Formula

The first export on mobile established the formula for each game. First, there would always be some managerial aspect but most games are business management sims. Those that don’t feature the management of businesses usually has some trade or commerce aspect. These are your city/village management sims or career management sims.

It’s a different focus but they maintain the core mechanic of Game Dev Story and it’s become a heavy influence on games in the tycoon genre. All games feature some management of your roster/employees, something must be gathered or manufactured for sale, there must be progression in size or access or tier, facilities must be improved and actually give benefits and it’s all time-consuming.

These mechanics pop up in several other non-Kairosoft titles either as a near rip of GDS or Game Dev Tycoon or in easily recognizable pieces. Also, the time-consuming element of these games are a result of a quick in-game calendar, annual in-game awards or competitions, a ratings system, and just an overall sense of progression.

That’s very important: the Kairosoft games progress in a way where projects or training might eat up time between projects or competitions. When that time is up, you’re going to want to play another year and then another. “I just play for an hour or do a year” can easily become three hours and 12 in-game years of running a company, restaurant, team, or career.

This company’s games uses simple to learn and remember mechanics and gameplay,  progress and rewards to draw players in.

Kairosoft Gaming.

Monetization on Mobile

While I believe that the Kairosoft Formula is the most important thing here, the company’s ability to actually make money from its games while on a platform where free games are vast. At first, Kairosoft sold its games with their strong replay value for reasonable prices on mobile. We’re talking between $4.99 and maybe $7.99 at most—and that was rare.

So, after enjoying one game you might decide to try another title from them. What you’re playing is Game Dev Story with a different theme and mechanics tweaked to fit that theme. For instance, Pocket League Story, a league racing team simulator plays very much like GDS only with race winning, advertising, and selling cars being your means of income.

However, for this very familiar game, Kairosoft can charge a respectable $5.99 for this several other games before upping it to $6.99. After all, they have a dedicated base now. Tutorials and wikis are written about hints and strategies for these games.

In mix of the early wave of games, Kairosoft explored in-app purchases. Honestly, I believe this was the best balance because the free games with the increased ads, promotion for in-app purchases, and timed energy refills were hard to enjoy. You know there’s a fun game in there but it’s so mixed in with all of this other stuff.

Now, further down on the downside of Kairosoft’s monetization is the pricing on console. I’ve seen the prices on PSN for the digital console ports of its library and they’re priced at $13.99. I love the Kairosoft games but that’s a bit much for these games. Sure, they have extreme replay value but to get to that extreme amount of replay you have to really no-life them over and over. These are your main games.

Have you played any of the Kairosoft games? What did you think of them and what were your favorites? Also, if you’ve played them on console, how do you feel they crossover? Are they natural for console?

Let us know down below!

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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