Asian developers looking to muscle into Zynga territory in free-to-play and social gaming

Japanese social gaming companies are looking to expand into North America's mobile gaming sector, with social networking companies DeNA Co. and GREE already gaining footholds among American players through purchasing studios and releasing games for mobile platforms, reports Reuters.

"The emphasis of the Asian publishers is to successfully set foot in Western markets, and that gives you a blueprint of what's to come," managing director Joost van Dreunen of SuperData Research told Reuters. "The free-to-play games for mobile are where we identify huge growth."

These companies are moving into the territory of Zynga, known for Facebook games Farmville and Cityville, hoping to capitalize on America's growing investment in mobile and social games. Asian companies will utilize the "freemium" model — free-to-play games with optional in-game purchases.

The West's targeting is a response to PC sales slowing in Asian markets, most notably China. The growth of the smartphone and tablet market means the growth of the casual gaming market, with more easily-accessible titles that can be enjoyed for minutes as opposed to hours gaining traction, like Zynga's Words with Friends.

Zynga is currently planning to purchase digital games studio A Bit Lucky to develop "mid-core" games, casual titles that are still meant to promote addictive play.

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