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PopCap, Taito To Launch Japanese Mobile Social Game Service

Casual game developer PopCap and Square Enix subsidiary Taito unveiled plans to launch Pop Tower, a dedicated mobile social game service, in early 2011 for the Japanese market.
Casual game developer PopCap and Square Enix subsidiary Taito unveiled plans to launch Pop Tower, a dedicated mobile social game service, in early 2011 for the Japanese market. The service will launch on GREE, a Japanese mobile social network with some 22 million users. Taito is developing the service under the supervision of PopCap's Tokyo office. It plans to host custom adaptations of PopCap's popular titles, including Bejeweled, Chuzzle, and Zuma, with an RPG-style metagame tying them all together, new game modes, social elements, in-game virtual goods, and other premium service options. While this is the first project overseen by PopCap's Japanese branch, the company has made several announcements for the Asian market in recent months, including a partnership with Chinese social networking site RenRen in August, and an agreement with NCsoft to bring its first online multiplayer game service PopCap World to Korea. Both Taito and PopCap have previously prospered in Japan's mobile gaming sector, with the former claiming to have released over a half dozen successful mobile social titles to date, and the latter selling over 1 million units of its single-player mobile games in the country. "Social games on mobile devices looks set to dominate gaming worldwide and Japan is already ahead of the curve," says PopCap's Asia/Pacific VP James Gwertzman. "PopCap is about identifying the curve and getting ahead of it. It's not about being 'trendy' or 'first'; it's about being the best; taking the talent and time to create something genuinely innovative." Gwertzman continues, "Our ambition for Pop Tower is to bring the best of PopCap - core game franchises like Bejeweled and Zuma - to Japanese customers; and hopefully make some discoveries about the mobile social space that we can then share with gamers internationally."

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