Google is seeking to supply mobile games to the global market in partnership with Korean mobile game companies.
According to industry sources on Feb. 26, Google recently made contact with the Korean mobile game developers such as NCsoft and Nexon, pushing forward business cooperation in mobile games.
The search engine giant reportedly put forward an idea that mobile game developers can launch games on Google Play without using mobile messaging platforms such as KakaoTalk, Band, and Line. The tech giant is planning to provide benefits to games that are directly launched on Google Play, including specialized exposure through the recommended game menu on the first page.
The reason for Google’s move lies in the fact that local social platforms like Naver and Kakao are trying to build their own networks. Recently, Naver has reportedly been involved in the construction of its distribution network connecting Band to the Naver Appstore. Kakao is also said to be preparing for the launch of its own app market.
With mobile SNS service providers seeking to build their own game platforms, their efforts are expected to bring about an upheaval in the distribution channel structure of mobile games, different from the current environment where those games are distributed only through Google Play.
So far, Google Play has played a role of a gateway, taking away 30 percent of the total cost as a “distribution fee,” even when mobile games are launched on messaging platforms. However, the future success of Naver and Kakao’s attempt to break from Google means a drastic decrease in the tech giant’s profits.
In the past, Google was not successful in Kakao’s gaming ecosystem, and is now targeting companies with business development capabilities over a certain level.
An industry source said, “Google’s suggestion is not particularly attractive in the Korean market. But it can be quite appealing in other countries in which separate mobile gaming distribution channels are not firmly established.” It is attributable to the possibility that if local mobile game developers create both local and global service versions of games at the developmental stage, they can target the overseas market more easily, with the help of Google.
To date, the tech giant has been operating instant messaging service Google Talk and social platform Google Plus. Nevertheless, Kakao and Naver have consistently outperformed its larger rival in Asian countries such as Korea and Japan, owing to Google’s failure to expand its services.
Google recently commented, “We are trying to find a way for business partnerships with Korean mobile game developers. Sooner or later, we will have an opportunity to give an official explanation for our effort.”