Asian mobile provider Singapore Telecommunications and mobile-gaming publisher PlayPhone revealed a partnership today that will have the two companies working together on a new game portal called WePlay. This should give SingTel a new line of revenue while also providing a path into Asia for PlayPhone.
SingTel will preload WePlay on its handsets in its regional networks. This ensures that millions of customers already have the app when they first turn on their new devices without having to seek out and download WePlay — an essential strategy for getting games, especially those from the West, into the hands of Asian players. PlayPhone’s responsibility with this new portal is to fill it with games from its development partners and maintain the digital infrastructure.
WePlay supports tracking metrics for developers, and PlayPhone and SingTel will support studios with marketing. The service will also enable carrier billing — in which users charge purchases to their mobile-phone bill. This is a popular payment method in many Asian regions, though it hasn’t caught on in the West.
“With PlayPhone, we have a very strong partner in building a global community of mobile social gamers,” SingTel head of multimedia Cheong Hai Thoo said in a statement. “SingTel aims to bring exciting digital content and engaging mobile experience to our customers across Asia and we are keen to work with local and international developers to do so. WePlay will be preloaded on handsets in SingTel’s regional network, putting developers’ games in the hands of hundreds of millions of potentially new players.”
SingTel has around 480 million mobile customers around the world. In addition to Singapore, the company operates in the wider Asian continent, Australia, and Africa. It is in 25 countries, including Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. In its most recent fiscal year, the company generated $3.51 billion in profit.
“SingTel is a huge win for PlayPhone and our family of developers and sets the stage for PlayPhone to establish a prevailing mobile gaming footprint in Asia,” PlayPhone chief marketing officer Anders Evju said. “Exposure to over half a billion potential players is unrivaled by other platforms. These numbers stimulate the entire gaming ecosystem.”
PlayPhone is a San Francisco-based gaming network. It already has similar portals on many carriers in North America. Its service carries popular titles like physics puzzler Cut The Rope and shooter Shadowgun.