Mobile community Mig33 has brought together 40 million registered users on humble feature phones around the world. They play games, socialize, and browse the web using Mig33′s mobile-first platform.
Now the Singapore-based company is launching a game developer program to raise the profile of social mobile games on its platform.
Mei Lin Ng, co-founder and vice president of marketing at Mig33, said in an interview that users in the emerging markets where Mig33 is strong are already enthusiastically playing games. To boost the activity, the company is creating a formal platform so that users can play each other in multiplayer games, pursue challenges in games, and view leaderboards.
The new program will radically expand the company’s game offerings, which already enjoy about 1 million game plays per day.The game platform is a lot like other mobile social game platforms, where users can play the games for free and can buy virtual goods with real money.
Such virtual economies are generating a huge amount of revenue on platforms such as Facebook, online game sites, and the iPhone. But Ng said that her company has users in developing regions such as Africa and Asia.
Game developers who will use the platform include Blue Leaf Games, a game company in South Africa. Blue Leaf Games released Moonbase, a massively multiplayer online strategy game, yesterday on the Mig33 platform.
Other developers include TheMobileGamer in Southeast Asia, creator of Club Wars, and Kooky Panda, a Beijing-based developer with more than 300 Flash Lite games. Among Kooky Panda’s games is Kooky Pets, where users can care for pets and create pet homes.
Ng said the company will support a variety of phone platforms, including J2ME (Java), WAP, and the mobile web. Mig33 can make money on the game platform via revenue sharing. Ng said the platform lets developers concentrate on making good games while Mig33 handles the job of spreading a game via a mobile social network.
During 2010, Mig33 has been making a big push to create social entertainment on its mobile platform. The company has launched more than 1,000 virtual goods, items for avatars (virtual characters), and games. The members of Mig33′s network currently buy about 4 million virtual gifts per month and exchange nearly 1 billion Mig33 messages every day. Mig33′s competitors include China’s Tencent, which operates the huge QQ social chat network, and Japan’s DeNA, a mobile social gaming company.
Mig33 is in the midst of raising a round of funding. Investors include Japan’s Gree. Ng said more game developers will be signed up over time. The company will also add new platforms, including Android, as Google’s platform spreads to emerging countries.