Japanese video game giant Sega is taking a crack at the international mobile game publishing market with its investment in four-month-old Singaporean start-up goGame.
Sega Networks, the mobile game division of Sega Games, and Japanese venture capitalist Incubate Fund have sunk a combined "multimillion-dollar" investment into the home-grown mobile game publisher. The deal was announced yesterday at the opening of goGame's office in Tai Seng Avenue.
Sega Games president and chief executive Haruki Satomi said: "Global game publishing is getting more and more challenging and cost-consuming for every company. We believe that with goPlay, we will be able to provide the first one-stop solution to solving these problems."
GoPlay is a goGame system that allows developers to publish their mobile games. It includes a host of services such as market research, customer acquisition and distribution.
Veteran local entrepreneur David Ng is the founder and CEO of goGame. Mr Ng is the former CEO of gumi Asia, the Asian arm of the Japanese mobile game-maker and helped set up its office in Singapore in 2012.
He hopes that goPlay will allow a game developer to publish his work in two months, down from four to five months now. The system could also help game developers cut out the middleman - game publishers - who can sometimes take up to 70 to 80 per cent of the revenue from a game. GoGame promises to take only a 10 per cent cut of any revenue in excess of $100,000.
Mr Ng sees Sega's investment as more than just a financial boost. He also hopes to tap the expertise and networks that Sega has built, in particular, an advertising network in Japan called Noah Pass. The free-to-use service pushes players from one game to another in the network via in-game advertisements. It has a reach of over 100 million users in Japan. Mr Ng said: "It is my job to... make it the biggest gamer network in the world."
GoGame has offices in Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, with hopes to expand to Vietnam, China and Malaysia by the end of next year. Mr Satomi has high hopes for goGame with the rapid rise of mobile phone users in South-east Asia. He said: "We believe goGame will be one of the most recognised publishers in the market."
Correction note: An earlier version of this report stated that the Noah Pass advertising network has a reach of over 33 million users in Japan. It actually has a reach of over 100 million users.