Car Town developer Cie Games announced an international expansion into Asia today with the opening of a Japan office in Tokyo. Its first project, Car Town Japan, launches on DeNA’s Mobage mobile social network before the end of the week.
Speaking to Inside Social Games, Cie Games CEO Justin Choi explains that while Car Town has been and continues to be localized in other languages, the Japan expansion is significant because it creates an international infrastructure for game releases. This strategy differs from other social game developers that rely on partnerships for distribution in specific international regions.
“When we launch future titles, you’ll see us deployed internationally much more quickly on multiple platforms,” Choi says. “We are planning on opening additional offices. We are going to use Japan as a hub to expand into other markets in Asia.”
Before Cie Games begins launching new intellectual property, the developer is focusing on a mobile version of Car Town separately from Car Town Japan. This game is due out on iOS and Android “soon,” according to the press release announcing the international expansion. Car Town Japan, meanwhile, will be operated as completely independent product out of the Tokyo office.
Car Town Japan features a region-specific look and feel while retaining the core gameplay features of the Facebook version. In the game, players race cars to the point of winning virtual currency to spend on buying more cars, upgrades for cars, and decoration options. A key element of the game is the inclusion of real life automotive brands.
While the game is live on Mobage as of this week, attendees of the 2011 Tokyo Game Show will have a chance to play the game at the event next week. Car Town currently enjoys 5.8 million monthly active users and over 770,000 daily active users on Facebook, according to AppData traffic tracking service.