|Kuuhubb Inc. (“Kuuhubb” or the “Company”) (TSX VENTURE:KUU) a technology company focused on acquiring, developing and distributing lifestyle and mobile game applications, is pleased to announce that it has established operations in Tokyo, Japan as part of a global expansion strategy.
Kuuhubb enters the Japanese gaming market after establishing, cultivating and working with many of the key players in the Japanese gaming community. Japan’s growing mobile gaming market represents a great opportunity for Kuuhubb, especially in the lifestyle genre apps targeting the female audience. Kuuhubb’s flagship app Recolor is the world’s number one digital coloring book application.
“Mobile gaming in Japan keeps gaining momentum and after strong growth in North America, the Japanese market is a natural first Asian expansion for Kuuhubb. While the male gamer segment is excessively competitive, female mobile gaming and lifestyle app usage provide very attractive opportunities,” stated Jouni Keranen, CEO of Kuuhubb.
Mobile gaming revenues in Japan increased by approximately 35% year-on-year in the 12 months ending June 2017, according to the October 2017 report from App Annie & Dentsu. Japan’s mobile revenues have now surpassed the US for three years in a row despite the US having three times as many smartphone users. Japanese players access their games twice as much as those in the US and is the highest-ranking country in terms of average number of sessions in games per user, also spending twice as much time when they do play.
The Company is pleased to announce it has appointed Sam Markkanen to lead Kuuhubb’s Japan market entry, as Head of Kuuhubb Japan. Mr. Markkanen brings over 20 years of experience in mobile gaming and working with companies such as Softbank, KDDI and NTT in partnership and market expansion within the Japanese market. Mr. Markkanen was instrumental in growing Finnish 3D game engine company Fathammer, which was sold to Acrodea Inc. in Japan. He then joined Acrodea as Vice President of Strategy and Chief Marketing Officer, which later had its successful initial public offering on the Tokyo Stock Exchange in 2006. Mr. Markkanen is fluent in English, Finnish and Japanese and has lived and worked in Tokyo for over a decade.
“Kuuhubb has dedicated to grow globally and Japan is a mobile gaming market which has matured very quickly, and continues to grow at a very rapid pace,” Markkanen said in a statement. “Establishing a presence in Tokyo, which is the hub of mobile gaming in Japan, offers us the ability to create and publish local as well as international content for Japan’s growing smartphone population.”
The Company has also appointed veteran mobile gaming professional Alex Nagayama as Head of Japanese Business Development. Mr. Nagayama is the co-founder of Capita Inc., a consulting company for start-ups in Japan. He has a long-term experience with the computer game industry, working at management level for EA and Activision in Japan. Alex has consulted successful start-ups such as HI Corp and Acrodea Inc. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Keio University.
Kuuhubb also announces the appointment of Tsukasa Kuroiwa as Kuuhubb Japan’s Product Manager. Mr. Kuroiwa is a seasoned product manager and the founder of E8 Inc. He has long-term experience within the games and mobile apps industry working at management levels for HI Corp and Acrodea Inc. in Japan and Singapore. Mr. Kuroiwa also designed a long-lasting and popular cross-platform female focused pet game line. He has also worked in planning various “Purikura” (photo booth) content. Purikura is wildly popular within the female demographic in Japan. Most recently, Mr. Kuroiwa developed the world’s first mobile marketplace for manga animation and voice actors.