Japanese-Themed Games – Interview with Mitsuya Fujimoto, Ganapati
There has been an air of uncertainty recently in markets globally, however, in this dynamic iGaming industry creative entrepreneurs are not so easily deterred. One of which is Ganapati, which has been making waves in our industry over the past few months. We talked to Mr Mitsuya Fujimoto, CEO of Ganapati (Malta) Limited, who explained the company’s operation and the exciting new Japanese-themed games they’re bringing to the market.
The mission of Ganapati is to spread Japanese Culture worldwide. How are you embarking on such an ambitious and exciting project?
It was natural for us to focus on Japanese culture because it was something very familiar to us and has so many aspects to be explored; from the rich traditional culture to the modern-day anime and manga culture. Only a selective amount of our culture has made it out of Japan into the rest of the world – there is so much more to share!
We wanted to spread Japanese culture through something that is already well integrated into everyday life in Europe. The igaming industry was ideal in a sense that it is well regulated, integrated into everyday life and is a place that our products will be well appreciated.
How are your games promoting Japanese culture? What are the features of your games that showcase Japanese culture in a unique way?
We will be focusing on the traditional side of Japanese culture, the arts and the graphics, as well as closing up on the more recent culture which has gained more popularity worldwide through games and anime culture. Our designated staff, well equipped in both Japanese and European culture inside and out, will determine what content will be best to represent Ganapati and what aspects of Japanese culture would be the most interesting to share with the European market.
What ideas have you been implementing to promote your games? Why do you feel your content is different?
In the past, content with a supposed Japanese feel has not really represented the true culture which we feel we are able to deliver on. We bring not just the Japanese-look to the slot games, but also the technology and essence that makes things “Japanese.” Our content is different from any others because we are authentic and only choose the best of what Japan offers.
We are working with top creators in studios in Hollywood and Japan to deliver high-quality 3D imagery on our games.
Your company has the backing from the Japanese Government – how has this partnership been instrumental?
The Japanese government for the last few years has been quite proactively promoting Japanese culture, through a very strict system of authentication. We are happy that, even though there is still stigma attached to gambling in Japan, the Japanese government was able to acknowledge the potential in our business model, which goes above and beyond a basic distribution business.
You’ve been at a few shows already. Which markets have been more receptive to embracing Japanese culture in general and how has your ideas and concepts been received?
Yes, we attended ICE and the Super Show in Amsterdam earlier this year. We have had such a great reception from everyone we met and spoke to there. I cannot say which markets have been more receptive because we received a lot of positive feedback from the operators and suppliers that service in all markets across the globe. Everyone seems very interested in Japanese culture and the unique aspects we can bring to the games, which is extremely encouraging. We even met a few manga and anime fans which show how popular Japanese culture is outside of Japan. Our ideas and concepts have been received well and I am determined to bring those aspects to this industry for all of our enjoyment and entertainment. It’s hard not to get excited about this kind of momentum and I look forward to launching our games!
As a new entrant to the online gaming industry, what do you feel you will add to the industry as a whole?
Whilst we may be new to the industry we have a good understanding of what the end user likes and understands. We believe our products and brands have an association with the consumer which is hard to replicate unless it comes direct from the creators with which we have relationships. We have a team of talented game developers and can use the technology in Japan to continually create content which I believe has not yet been seen in the industry yet.
Can you tell us a bit about the background of the company and yourself?
Ganapati Plc has been around for two years now. We are a listed entity on ISDX in the UK and have offices in Japan and London. We have several business entities worldwide already providing social apps and other services. The gaming industry is an area we have looked at since our infancy, however it is only recently that we have decided to make an entrance into the market place. With this in mind, we had to ensure we were able to support the product and the industry through proper means, which required employing the right team and gaining the right knowledge. We are now in a position to launch our first products in the gaming industry.
As for me, my background is mostly in TV/ music production and artist management where I have worked with major brands and artists worldwide. Despite being new to the iGaming sector, I have extensive experience in the entertainment industry and have been enjoying the exploration of this new avenue.
Tell us about your roadmap for your games. How do you intend to distribute your products and when will you be ready to launch on to market?
We have three games ready for distribution just after ICE in Feb 2017. These games will be Japanese-themed slot games which will showcase our animators and technology and various aspects of Japanese culture. After this initial release, we will be releasing our other games which are in the production schedule. For the first year our main theme will be the Japanese-style fighting games and from there our content will continue to diversify and grow, but continue to share the uniqueness of Japanese culture and technology through each game and deliver high quality imagery.