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DeNA, Ngmoco Expanding Mobage Network Outside Japan

Mobile developer ngmoco and parent company DeNA are planning to expand the popular Japanese mobile social gaming network Mobage to iPhone and Google Android users around the world sometime next year.
Mobile developer ngmoco and parent company DeNA are planning to expand the popular Japanese mobile social gaming network Mobage to iPhone and Google Android users around the world sometime next year. The company told CNN that the expanded Mobage network, which already claims 20 million users in Japan, will build upon features that already exist on ngmoco's mobile plus+ network, which claims 13.5 million users. It's unclear whether Mobage will exist alongside the existing plus+ or serve as a replacement for that service. Ngmoco has already opened registration for the Open Mobage Smartphone beta program, which will reportedly allow developers to "gain access to the tens of millions of users across our integrated services." Ngmoco CEO Neil Young told CNN he hopes to "globalize what DeNA has been able to do in Japan," and that the game-focused social network would offer specific benefits over more general social networks like Facebook. "Sometimes you don't want your friends and family knowing that you're playing these games every day," he told CNN. Japanese mobile giant DeNA purchased ngmoco last month in a deal worth $400 million. The company also acquired mobile studio Gameview last month and has invested heavily in Aurora Feint, maker of mobile social network OpenFeint. The company recently announced its sales for the last quarter had doubled year-over-year, with average user revenues well exceeding social networks like Facebook. Ngmoco publishes some of the most popular social games on the iPhone, including We Rule, Godfinger, Rolando and the Touch Pets series.

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