This is part of our Japan 2012 in Review series, which you can find in its entirety here.
NHN Japan had a pretty crazy year in 2012. In retrospect, things really got busy for the company and its wildly successful chat app Line after it decided to get into the gaming business. But overall, 2012 has been a year of crazy growth, interesting business and distribution models, and a lot of flat-out fun in the mobile space. I thought we could run down though some of the highlights of our own coverage of the Line platform this year, particularly the second half of the year. I’ve also supplemented it with some links from social games expert Serkan Toto, whose website is a great resource if you want to follow stuff like this.
Expect even more from NHN Japan in 2013, as it will be giving Line more of an offline presence, starting with a new anime (Line Offline) coming to Tokyo Television next week, and perhaps more in the merchandising department a la Angry Birds.
- Japanese Chat App ‘Line’ Does Gangnam Style – 12/27
- ‘Line Play’ Virtual World Comes Out of Beta with a Million Users 12/18
- Line App Launches in China 12/12
- LINE Pop Racks Up 10 Million Downloads – In 12 Days | Dr. Serkan Toto 12/4
- Thailand Turns to Line App in an Effort to Hook More Travelers 11/29
- Line’s iOS Games Dominate Japanese App Store 11/29
- Line Gets 5 Additional Social Games | Dr. Serkan Toto 11/19
- Line Passes 70M Users 10/25
- After 97 Days: LINE Birzzle Hits 10 Million Downloads | Dr. Serkan Toto 10/12
- Japan’s Prime Minister’s Office Opens Account on Line, Closes its Weibo 10/5
- Line Surpasses 30 Million Users in Japan 9/27
- For LINE: Korea’s WeMade Signs Deal With NHN Japan For 6 Games | Dr. Serkan Toto 9/22
- For LINE: NHN Japan Inks Distribution Deal With Carrier KDDI [Social Networks] | Dr. Serkan Toto 8/31
- Chinese Developer Sells Fake Line Camera Application in Apple App Store 8/30
- Line Gets Coupon and Fortune Telling Features 8/22
- Line Camera Passes 10M Users in 117 Days, 3x Faster than Instagram 8/10
- Another Hit for NHN Japan with ‘Line Brush’ Drawing App 8/1
- NHN Japan’s Line App Passes 50 Million Users in 399 Days 7/26
- LINE and Telkomsel Add Special Stickers for Indonesian Users 7/13
- Line Birzzle Hits Number 1 in App Stores Around Asia 7/5
- Japan’s Line App Evolves into Platform, Expands into… Um… Everything 7/3
- This was the perhaps the moment that changed everything for Line in 2012. It announced it would be launching a number of features, but in retrospect the one that really made the difference was adding games on top of its platform.
First half of the year
- ‘Line Camera’ Launches 4/13
- Line Gets Desktop Apps for Mac and PC 3/7
- Line Cited by Docomo as Being Among VoIP Apps Putting Strain on its Network 1/30
- Line Hits 15 Million Downloads 1/27