DeNA Acquires Punch Entertainment’s Vietnam Studio to Bolster Mobage Network

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By Kim-Mai Cutler Comment

Japanese mobile-social gaming giant DeNA made another small acquisition to fuel development of its global platform Mobage. It agreed buy the Hanoi-based arm of Punch Entertainment to create gaming titles for the platform.

Like we’ve noted before, the Japanese mobile gaming platforms are distinct from U.S.-based ones in that they both create games and support the infrastructure for third-party developers. This is different from what other social networking platforms like Facebook have elected to do in not creating their own gaming IP.

Punch Entertainment has built games like Ego, Music Tycoon and Reign of Swords, which did decently when they were initially released two or three years ago. But it doesn’t appear that the studio has stayed as competitive since.

DeNA says the studio will provide engineering support to the company’s efforts to build its own games on the Mobage platform. It will add 50 employees to DeNA’s “first-party” team, which creates the company’s own games. DeNA has been steadily building out Mobage in both English-speaking Western markets and in China by signing developers up to paid contracts to the ire of rivals like PapayaMobile and GREE’s OpenFeint. Its ambition is to build a global gaming platform that mirrors the model which has proven successful in Japan.