DeNA Picks NetDragon to Run a Mobile Gaming Joint Venture in China

By Kim-Mai Cutler Comment

Looking to bolster its presence in the world’s biggest market, DeNA said today that it will work with NetDragon Websoft Inc. to bring its mobile games to China. The two companies will launch a joint venture this quarter with $6 million in funding and 30 employees.

DeNA is in the middle of a big push to bring its games and revenue model to both China and the West, as it seeks to expand beyond the saturated Japanese market. The yet unnamed joint venture will localize DeNA’s social games for smartphones in China and bring them to the Mobage platform. Longer term, it might create original IP like massive multiplayer online RPGs, which NetDragon is known for.

With the new joint venture, DeNA gets expertise in distribution in China where NetDragon says it has 40 million users for its smartphone marketplace. NetDragon brought 202.7 million renminbi ($32.1 million) in the third quarter while its mobile revenues came in at 19.2 million renminbi ($3.0 million).

Meanwhile, DeNA continues to try and pick up partnerships left and right, with a recent deal to distribute the company’s games on Kaixin001, one of China’s better-known social networks. It is also using its U.S. subsidiary Ngmoco, which it acquired in 2010 for up to $403 million, to bring its Mobage gaming platform to the West. Ngmoco has been busy with signing up deals to exclusively provide popular titles on Android and with launching first-party games like RPG Skyfall.