After partnering with Yahoo!, purchasing a 20% stake in Aurora Feint, and inviting American developers to Japan, there seems to be only one logical next step for DeNA in their journey to North American shores: buy something! The DeNA acquisition train is officially rolling, with the group having purchased the popular iPhone social gamemakers Gameview Studios.
If the name Gameview Studios doesn’t ring a bell, the development house was formerly known as Bayview Labs. In the past they’ve been responsible for such runaway freemium iPhone hits as Tap Ranch, Tap Birds, and Tap Fish. Now it looks like they’ll be doing so under the DeNA banner.
“Our acquisition of Gameview today is congruent with our goal of rapidly expanding our mobile footprint as a leading brand and platform in mobile social gaming,” says Tomoko Namba, CEO of DeNA. “We were impressed by the creativity and passion that the Gameview team has for creating addictive and engaging gaming experiences, and we’re excited to welcome them into the DeNA family.”
Another member of the DeNA Family, MiniNation, will be forming an alliance with Gameview in an effort to bring social Gameview gamers to the MiniNation platform. As of this writing, MiniNation’s Pirate Nation is ranked #17 on the App Store’s top free games list.
“The overwhelmingly wide range of games and active users in the community are the formula for success DeNA has utilized on Mobage-town in Japan,” says Namba. “This acquisition will enable DeNA to replicate this success in the smartphone market and MiniNation platform, further expanding DeNA in the global market.”
To no one’s surprise, Gameview has confirmed alongside this announcement that they have some new mobile apps on the way. More surprising, however, is that they are now planning to offer apps in the Android marketplace as well.
For a company whose focus has largely been Japan, DeNA’s name sure seems to be popping up more and more in western development news lately. If the name DeNA isn’t on your watch list yet, you’d better be sure to scrawl it on there soon. Something tells me they’re about to become a big player in the American mobile market.