Disney and Japanese mobile gaming giant DeNA announced a new partnership this morning that will see their first jointly developed mobile social games launched on DeNA’s Mobage social gaming platform, beginning later this month.
The first title to arrive, “Disney Party,” was released on March 28th to the Mobage network in Japan, which serves a mobile gaming audience of over 35 million. On April 2nd, a second title will arrive in Japan called “Disney Fantasy Quest.” These two games will involve Disney’s own characters, but will be followed by a third, (yet to be named) card game battle that’s based on Marvel Comics characters.
The two companies aren’t only focused on Japan, despite DeNA’s Japanese roots – the plan is to make all three titles available worldwide. Localized versions of the two games will arrive both as smartphone apps as well as on Mobage’s non-Japanese networks: Mobage Global for North America and Europe, Mobage China, and Daum Mobage for South Korea. They will be the first three jointly developed titles released outside of Japan.
In addition, the new agreement will also see Disney and DeNA teaming up on other efforts, including Disney movies, Disney TV shows and smartphone apps. Disney Japan’s president said at a news conference that he hoped the unnamed Marvel Comics game would help raise awareness in Japan where the characters don’t have a built-in audience, ahead of the film which opens in August. (The Avengers, perhaps?)
DeNA has been doing well as of late. The company posted a strong third quarter in February, which saw net sales up by 16%, boosting its valuation to $4.8 billion. It’s now working on building up its presence in the U.S., Europe, China and South Korea – and this Disney deal will certainly help.