Yu-Gi-Oh’s second mobile game has expanded to new markets outside of Japan.
Konami today made Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links available to download in North America for iOS and Android devices. The Yu-Gi-Oh franchise encompasses a card game (which has sold over 25 billion cards) and anime shows, and the free-to-play mobile release allows players to create digital decks and fight their friends or other Yu-Gi-Oh fans.
Duel Links came out in Japan in November, where it already reached 9 million downloads. It is the No. 12 ranked game in Japan’s Apple App Store, according to App Annie. Expanding to these new markets will give it a better chance at taking advantage of the $36 billion mobile games market. Digital card games have become popular on mobile, with Blizzard’s Hearthstone leading the pack.
This isn’t the first Yu-Gi-Oh game Konami has created for mobile. The publisher released Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Generation in 2014. Duel Links is a faster game than its predecessor, having players use smaller decks and starting with less health.
Konami used to focus on console gaming, but the publisher has shifted to mobile and pachinko (a kind of Japanese gambling game). The change happened amid drama in 2015 as Konami had a public falling out with Hideo Kojima, the man in charge of the popular Metal Gear franchise. This all happened as Konami was preparing to release Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.