DeNA expands Mobage roster with 10 new international developers

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By Kathleen De Vere Comments

DeNA announced today it has signed 10 new international developers to its Mobage mobile-social gaming network, adding games that range from casual collection titles to zombie horror games to the platform.

According to Barry Dorf, the senior director of third party at DeNA’s U.S. subsidiary ngmoco, today’s announcement has been in the works for several months and marks the debut of DeNA’s new international publishing strategy.

“Last year our strategy was to really do a shotgun approach with developers and try to really go after every single person we possibly could,” he explains. “It didn’t work out as well as we had hoped. We really figured out that we needed developers to be extremely focused and to work with us in a partnership.”

Dorf tells us that over the past six months, DeNA executives had met with more than 500 developers, whittling them down into the 10 mentioned in today’s announcement.

When we asked him why DeNA has been so selective, Dorf explains DeNA isn’t trying to zero in on a single type of game or target a specific audience with its partnerships — the goal is simply to find titles where the monetization strategies DeNA has brought over from Japan will seem like a natural fit.

“We’re trying to look for content that we can put into these games that will delight users. It’s never about monetizing on the negative — having to monetize to go forward — it’s about having them make a purchase that’s going to make them happy and make them feel rewarded,” says Dorf. “It does seem like we’re going all over the map a little bit, but it’s not true. When you start playing all these games, you’re going to get a sense for the rhythm and the timing and the pacing of the gameplay.”

Considering DeNA’s gaming division was able to generate revenues of 41.5 billion yen ($527 million) in the last quarter alone — most of which came from Mobage Japan, where DeNA has just over 43 million registered users — it’s not surprising the company is looking for international games compatible with the strategies DeNA has found so lucrative at home.

As part of the partnership deals, DeNA is providing cross-platform porting assistance, to ensure all its Mobage titles will be available on both iOS and Android. DeNA’s ngmoco subsidiary is also still working on a lineup of first party titles to compliment the company’s expanded third party lineup.

The full list of the 10 new Mobage development partners follows. Two of the developers announced today, BigHut and Cobalt Play Games have already launched their Mobage titles.