DeNA is seeing ARPDAU near $1 in its North American games

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By Kathleen De Vere Comment

DeNA’s  first party titles Blood Brothers and Ninja Royale saw peak average revenue per daily active user (ARPDAU) of about $1 during Q1 2012.  For reference, in June DeNA competitor Glu Mobile reported its games were seeing ARPDAU in the rage of 6.1 cents to 13.2 cents on iOS.

In a recent interview with Inside Mobile Apps, ngmoco CEO Neil Young said that while mature mobile-social game company typically sees ARPDAU in the range of 15 to 20 cents a day, some DeNA is able to drive ARPDAU 3 to 6 times higher than normal, a claim that’s been backed up by the company’s Q1 2012 earnings report.

In addition to its impressive ARPDAU figures, DeNA has also revealed Moba-coin sales reached almost $10 million dollars in July– a figure the company credits to the success of its iOS and Android title Rage of Bahamut. That game has been the top grossing iOS app several times and held the top grossing spot on the Android app charts for more than 17 weeks now. According to Young, the title is making more money now than when it first topped the charts back in April.

The company’s impressive growth is coming at a price however; DeNA revealed it is growing its North American user base through “intensive marketing” — a strategy we’ve heard has been driving user acquisition costs up to record highs. According to its first quarter earnings report, DeNA spent 5.4 billion yen ($68.6 million) on sales, promotion and advertising expenses during Q1. That’s an increase of 10 percent year-over-year and 23 percent quarter-over-quarter. This means that while DeNA is seeing some extraordinary earnings figures already, it may not be in a position to recoup its user acquisition and advertising costs in North American for some time to come.