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One of the companies that is helping Western developers release their games in China is now expanding to other Asian countries.
Mobile publisher Yodo1 is revealing today that it is working with studio ZeptoLab to bring its Cut the Rope 2 physics-based puzzlers to the KakaoTalk platform in Asia. KakaoTalk, which has millions of users around the world, is one of the primary ways that new games break out in territories like South Korea and Japan. Yodo1 also plans to release ZeptoLab’s full library of Cut the Rope mobile titles in China, which is a market that generated $1.8 billion in mobile spending last year. China, Japan, and Korea are especially important markets for developer making smartphone and tablet games, as these countries produce a significant amount of spending that is comparable with the United States.
“As we’ve helped developers move into China, we’ve discovered that they’ve also been having troubles with other key Asian markets,” Yodo1 chief executive officer Henry Fong told GamesBeat. “Where not just the gameplay and monetization are different, but often the discovery and distribution mechanics were also quite different from the U.S. or European markets.”
This prompted developers who were already working with Yodo1 in China to ask the company to expand to these other territories so that they could work with just one partner for all of Asia. Fong and his team agreed, and they are even opening offices in Korea and Japan to facilitate these efforts.
Yodo1 isn’t just publishing the various Cut the Ropes in Asia. The company is co-developing updated versions that are optimized for China and for KakaoTalk.
“We work very deeply with the game designers,” said Fong. “We started expanding into Korea last year in October with a production company out in Seoul, and that team has been working with ZeptoLab, on Cut the Rope 2 in particular, to add a lot to the game design.”
Cut the Rope stars a tiny monster named OmNom who just wants to eat candy, which players must help him with by manipulating objects throughout dozens of levels. While it is focused on single player in the West, Yodo1 worked with ZeptoLab to add a number of social features that will greatly improve its chances of success on KakaoTalk.
“Our co-development of a game for KakaoTalk with Yodo1 will support our goals of reaching new markets,” said ZeptoLab CEO Misha Lyalin. “We want to ensure that players across the world can enjoy our games, and we’re confident Yodo1 will help us bring our unique game experience to new fans in China and Korea.”
While Yodo1 is focusing on prepping Cut the Rope 2 and the other games for Asia and KakaoTalk, Fong also told GamesBeat that they are looking at other popular chat apps like Line in Japan. Kakao, Line, and similar apps aren’t merely just text-messaging platforms. Millions of gamers spend a significant amount of time communicating with friends using that kind of software. This has prompted developers and publishers to split up to 20 percent of their revenue with chat apps that give prominent ad or discovery space to their games.
Yodo1 has already reached 150 million global players by helping Western developers navigate China and Chinese developers establish a presence in the West. Now, it hopes to expand its success by doing the same in the rest of Asia.
Other big games on Kakao include titles from developer Gamevil, which produces a number of games including Baseball Superstars 2013 and the Zenonia role-playing titles.