Japanese DeNA Rolls Out Mobage, a Mobile Social Game Platform for China
World social gaming revolution is here, thanks to Tokyo-based DeNA – a mobile portal provider, e-commerce website, and the owner of Mobage-town platform which is a popular mobile phone gaming platform in Japan. It also runs several other e-commerce based services. The company made $1.3 billion last year in mobile games from Japanese mobile consumers alone. In fact, in December of last year, it bought ngmoco, Inc for $400 million; an American-based distributor of video games for the Android platforms. The merge saw DeNA/ngmoco unveiling an English (and Chinese) edition of Mobage, its fabulous and flourishing Japanese mobile social gaming platform on Android.
Mobage is like Facebook and Zynga all put together, except exclusively available on mobile phones (no computer version); with equally first and third-party games (DeNA/ngmoco prides itself since it makes games as well) – including virtual social graph as an alternative of a real one (some of your friends will most likely be strangers, just like in the Japanese version).
The platform is completely new, outside social networks with a spotlight on mobile gaming in addition to its own virtual currency MobaCoin. Now ngmoco intends to replicate the achievement DeNA had in Japan, with over 30 million users internationally.
Mobage has it’s in English version (“Mobage Global”) primarily aimed at Android users in the UK, US, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and Australia. A distinct Chinese version (“Mobage China”) was launched via a local DeNA subsidiary, and similar to “Mobage Japan”, they won’t be linked on the international platform.
In Mobage (“Mobage Global”) the English version, players can select between 23 different names from the get-go (that is, Pocket God, Zoo Land, We Rule, Paper Toss and so on). On the other hand, the Chinese version (“Mobage China”) is only accessible on Android smartphone at the moment with four games together with its two in-house social games, Aqua Ninja and Royale Collection.
“All four games are originally Japanese games and localized by our Chinese team.” According to Wang Yong, the Chief Executive Officer at DeNA China, “by the end of next month, we will have 10 games in total available on Mobage China platform.” with more than 100 extra games being developed.
Just like Zynga, the business genre is to provide nearly all games for free and monetize through sales of virtual items. As this business model has worked just fine for DeNA in Japan where the business is presently listed with $7.6 billion market cap.
Prospect arrangements by DeNA/ngmoco include the release of additional titles, a Mobage iOS edition and increasing Mobage Global to further markets. Also GREE (another Tokyo-based mobile social gaming company that recently bought Openfeint for $104 million) is projected to make a presence into the US gaming market soon, (it recently opened office in California January this year).